The future of 3D Printing is here
From aircraft parts to artificial hearts, 3D printing is revolutionising manufacturing and product design
Omer Krieger is General Manager, Asia-Pacific and Japan, of Stratasys AP Ltd, a US company at the forefront of 3D printing innovation for more than 25 years. Its work in aerospace, automotive, education and health has earned the company a worldwide reputation for trustworthiness by leading manufacturers and ground-breaking designers for its ideal mix of technologies, industry expertise and flexible implementation options to meet customer needs.
Stratasys will take part at a breakout session titled “3D Printing & IP: Give Life to Your Ideas,” in the Business of IP Asia Forum, to be held 3-4 December in Hong Kong.
Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) has been one of the main growth drivers at Stratasys as the company contributed to over 50 per cent of the worldwide 3D printing market [in terms of unit sales] in 2014, according to the latest Wohlers Report.
Adoption of 3D printing continues to increase in Asia, particularly in the automotive, manufacturing, medical and education sectors, where companies create prototypes for concept modelling and functional tests.
Meanwhile, Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM) applications, such as 3D printed manufacturing tools and end-use parts, have also been more widely adopted by manufacturers and entrepreneurs due to their production efficiency. With the rising momentum in 3D printing applications in APJ, as the market continues to find more benefits, Stratasys is dedicated to catering to the demand in this part of the world through our local offices and well-established channel partner network.
Stratasys has had a presence in Hong Kong for more than 17 years, serving as the APJ regional headquarters to promote the value of 3D printing solutions and encourage the adoption of 3D printing technologies. Hong Kong itself is a unique and dynamic market for Stratasys, top-notch medical facilities, world-class universities and research centres, alongside well-known consumer brands that are among the leaders in 3D printing adoption.
Situated in the heart of the region, our Hong Kong hub also supports the nine sub-regional offices across the region, including Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Busan, Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Singapore and Bangalore, through sharing of worldwide trends and best practices. The Hong Kong office is also equipped with a world-class experience centre, which houses a suite of products and solutions; from industrial 3D printing systems, desktop 3D printers, to a wide range of specially engineered 3D printing materials, to provide professional and accessible hands-on 3D printing experience to local and regional 3D printing communities.
Its suite of 3D printing systems, specialised applications and solutions cover the most demanding design and manufacturing requirements for companies across industries such as aerospace, automotive, consumer goods, industrial machineries, medical, dental, education, as well as architecture and entertainment .
Apart from concept modelling and functional prototyping for design validation, Stratasys offers Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM) solutions to assist local and international businesses in optimising manufacturing efficiency while minimising production cost. Through the production of customised jigs and fixtures, injection moulds, or end-use production parts, companies benefit from more effective production processes, flexible manufacturing schedules, as well as higher creativity in their offerings to their clients. In fact, many companies and organisations worldwide have already been applying 3D printing and DDM application into their business.
Leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus leverages Stratasys’ FDM 3D Production Systems to produce over 1000 aircraft parts for direct use on its first-of-type A350 XWB. 3D printing has also changed the life of five-year-old Mia Gonzalez, who suffered from a life-threatening heart condition. Surgeons from the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, in the United States, made use of the Stratasys Connex3 multi-material 3D printer to replicate the little girl’s heart with all its intricacies for better visualisation; then decided on the best surgical solution using the 3D printed model, leading to reduced complications and decreased operating time.
Stratasys has seen great achievement over the past years as the 3D printing industry expands with growing demand for efficient manufacturing and product design. We are convinced of the long-term growth opportunity of this innovative technology in view of the increasing momentum of global 3D printing adoption.
Different governments in Asia have also been focusing on innovation and smart manufacturing, such as the Made in China 2025 and Make-in-India initiatives, and the joint development plans for 3D printing by the various ministries of the South Korean government.