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How Australia Can Lead The Way For 3d Printing

By Author: Stuart-Ting
Total Articles: 14

The world of 3D printing has achieved commendable feats ever since this technology was realized that could print anything from prosthetic limbs to simple household items. Many industries now deploy this technology to create accessories faster and cheaper. This includes the building industry, though it still uses 3D printing technology in its experimental stage.

Melbourne, being undoubtedly among the more cultural areas of the Southern Hemisphere, has been privy to a variety of influences. It is rich in history in terms of sport and innovation, and also has an inclination towards class. This is the setting that has bred in it the spirit to stand out and raise itself for the advancement of society, while also consciously encouraging sustainability. There is a plethora of ways in which the technology of 3D printers in Melbourne is helping the city grow.

The aspect that stands out while discussing Melbourne is sport, since the city hosts prestigious events such as Australian Grand Prix, the Melbourne Cup and The Australian Open. Even as the core of these events is not likely to transform much, it is undoubted that the equipment used in them will. Near the end of 2014 there was an Italian technology company that worked with a couple of students to produce the prototype of a racquet incorporating futuristic grip. This benefited the player’s performance by improving aerodynamics and absorbing shock. Even though this is still in early development stage, it is the kind of innovation that top national players can use. The added advantage is that this can be produced close to the players in the city itself.

The next Grand Prix has an expected turnover of more than 300,000 people. This makes it the largest event incorporating the use of 3D printers in Australia. Local institution and companies have been steadily becoming more involved in the production and design process, thereby helping expand the skill set of the cities.

Formula 1 adopted the 3D printing technology pretty early, thus benefitting extensively from it. Although at the moment the technology is used only on race cars for specific parts such as heat exchangers, majority of the functional and wind tunnel testing done incorporates the use of parts that are printed with 3D printers as this practice saves a lot of money and time as compared to traditional methods.

Another arena the city of Melbourne is popular for is transport. The images of bicycles and trams come to mind in this regard. Infamous for its cycles, it even has a company that is well known for producing high performance bicycles with the use of 3D printed titanium components. Carbon Fiber tubes are used to connect 3D printed joins that help create a bike that is light and strong. There are other companies too that create bikes with 3D printed lugs. Unknown to most people, Melbourne is becoming a pioneer in the technology of 3D bicycle printing.

It is quite challenging for blind or visually impaired people to navigate a city. Traveling through a city without the gift of vision is indeed confusing. This is why a team from Melbourne has created maps that are 3D printed so that the streets are presented in the form of protrusions that make it easy for people to feel tram stops. The concept is pretty amazing and can be extended for bars, cafes, leisure centers, landmarks etc., for visitors and tourists.

Another area that Melbourne is dipping its feet in is metal printing, involving processes such as Selective Laser Melting and Direct Laser Melting. Complex and Expensive, Lab 22 of CSIRO invested in these for helping local and country-wide businesses have access to them.


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