The AMC was jointly opened by Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry and it aims to offer cost-effective solutions for large format 3D metal printing for key industries—particularly in the marine, oil and gas, engineering and manufacturing sectors.
At the opening, individual project collaboration agreements were signed with A*Star’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech); as well as the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) and Singapore University of Technology and Design’s (SUTD) Digital Manufacturing and Design Centre (DManD) to jointly develop and commercialise 3D metal printing technologies for large metal printed parts in Singapore.
“Singapore’s strategic location, pro-business environment, high-technology infrastructure and its intense focus on the additive manufacturing sector to support our economic transformation to Industry 4.0 makes it a logical choice for us to set up our AMC here,” said Matthew Waterhouse, chief executive officer, 3D Metalforge.
The AMC will have a range of printers from highly-precise printers to large scale and cost effective printers that will help customers capture the benefits of 3D printing. Some key advantages include the ability to re-design parts to reduce material usage and extending the lifespan of equipment by printing obsolete parts.
Additionally, the AMC supports small batch productions which translates to immediate cost savings on production, shipping, and warehousing for customers, This is a major advantage as more companies are moving towards the “high-mix, low-volume” production model in the Asia Pacific region.
The company’s partnership with SIMTech will have them commercially develop Singapore’s first large format laser aided additive manufacturing (LAAM) technology for 3D printing for industrial applications; and the collaboration is supported and co-funded by NAMIC. SIMTech developed the background intellectual property (IP) of the LAAM technology; whilst the new equipment will be housed in 3D Metalforge’s AMC.
In addition to the partnership with SIMTech, the launch also saw the signing of a separate project collaboration agreement with NAMCI and SUTD’s DManD on the development and commercialisation of the wire and arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) technology.
The technology utilises robotics, plasma, and machining technology to deliver a faster and more cost-effective 3D metal printing solution. It uses feed material that is up to five times cheaper than traditional metal powders, translating to more cost savings for customers; and the technology is targeted at key industries such as marine, oil and gas, and manufacturing industries.
“The government is committing S$3.2 billion (US$2.3 billion) over 2016 to 2020 to develop technological capabilities in the advanced manufacturing and engineering domain,” said Mr Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry. “AM has increasingly entered production processes, with AM manufactured end-use parts rising from almost nothing in 2003 to over 50 percent in 2015. In particular, the metal AM segment has risen rapidly.”
APMEN News, May 2017