Sat, Apr 12, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Science ministry aims to innovate in 3D printing industry

Staff writer, with CNA

A 3D printing development program is scheduled to start next month to tap the fast-growing field, according to a report released by the Ministry of Science and Technology on Thursday.

Under the ministry’s three-year program, it plans to spend about NT$70 million (US$2.33 million) annually to support local 3D printing technology development.

According to Wohlers Associates Inc, a consulting firm, the size of the global 3D printing market is expected to grow to US$10.8 billion by 2021 from US$2.3 billion last year, representing a compound annual growth rate of 22 percent.

The ministry said 3D additive manufacturing technology developers currently face such problems as poor production efficiency and unsatisfactory quality of finished products.

For the first year, the ministry said it is set to push for efforts to cultivate talent in academic and industrial environments, to bridge the gap between local development and international progress in the industry.

The ministry said the program would focus on research and development to facilitate the local industry, and would assign part of its budget to develop metal-molding devices and other technologies for dentistry.

The three-year program also aims to encourage academia and industry to work together in 3D printing development, the ministry said.

The ministry said that as the nation has taken the lead over many of its global peers in the information and communications technology business, this program is expected to lead the local high-tech sector to combine cloud technology with 3D printing development to further improve innovation of the local industry.

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