Soon, life-saving body parts such as corneas, skin, and heart tissue may just be a click away, thanks to the rapid advancement of 3D printing technology at Nanyang Technological University (NTU; Singapore).
The new Additive Manufacturing Centre (NAMC) at NTU, supported by Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB), will have the latest 3D printing machines, such as bioprinters able to print human tissues and organs, and laser-aided machines for building metal parts and objects for industry.
Additive manufacturing includes processes that can create 3D products from computer-aided design models by adding materials in a layer-by-layer fashion, much like how current printers print ink on paper. As opposed to conventional manufacturing processes such as machining, casting, and moulding, this modern fabrication process can handle complex designs and changes easily without incurring additional costs.
The 300-sq.-m. center, which will employ around 100 researchers and scientists, will work closely with the manufacturing industry on R&D projects to develop new materials, software, and processes leading to commercial applications.
As its first initiative to spark interest in 3D printing in students and the public, the center will host Singapore’s first international 3D printing competition, with top prizes worth $10,000 each. The competition is now open for both local and international submissions and will close on November 1, 2013.
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