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3D printing: the missing link between the lab and the factory?

3D printing could present an opportunity for addressing Australia’s
shortcomings in turning fundamental research into manufacturing output.

Professor Gordon Wallace and Dr Stephen Beirne wrote for the Fairfax
papers that despite advancements in materials science and engineering, these
are not translating to new manufacturing businesses in Australia.

They are that a decline in traditional manufacturing in Australia and a
failure in accountant-driven more/faster/cheaper industrial businesses could
present an opportunity for creative manufacturing to emerge, assisted by 3D printing.

Wallace and Beirne argue that the instant translation of ideas to
products presented by 3D printing could help scientists and engineers to get
the next generation excited about STEM, developing the
skills needed for advanced manufacturing.

“Consider if any breakthrough other than 3D printing has had such a
profound effect on our ability to make stuff over the past 20 years,” they
wrote, adding that the technology makes the connection between
science/engineering and fabrication obvious.

“From the youngest high school student who has visited our labs, to the
most seasoned engineer, there is an excitement that the ability to make stuff
is back in the hands of the creative.”

To read their editorial piece, click here.


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