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The Rise of 3D Printing in China

2013-12-16 Back to list

The recent high-profile media coverage on 3D printing has put the technology under spotlight across the world. The technology was introduced to the market in the 1980s, but its high cost made it barely affordable for most. But today it is becoming an increasingly mature technology, and the changed business model and industrial chain have made it affordable for many.

3D printing has widely applied

The rapid rise of 3D printing has brought about revolutionary changes in the market. It is widely used in industrial manufacturing, scientific research, aeronautics and astronautics, defense and military industries, biomedical engineering, construction, cultural and creative industries, education, heritage preservation, food processing and the auto industry. Besides, it has also been given full play in industrial design, animation, education and medical services.

3D printing technology is also likely to trigger a competition in the military field. Implementation of this emerging technology can help reduce costs substantially and enhance safety in aerospace and weapons’ manufacturing. And though the cost of eliminating the old technology may be higher than the profit in the short term, the situation will be reversed in the long run, making 3D printing very important for aeronautics, astronautics and weapon manufacturing. 

The rise of 3D printing in China

The Irish Times in its June 4th edition reports on the rise of 3D printing, citing talk about the technology known as additive manufacturing (AM), laser rapid forming or, most popularly, 3D printers, in China these days as the "world's factory" seeks to dominate this fast-growing trend. 

3D printers work by building up objects one layer at a time, with the "ink" put in place using a laser and able to make three-dimensional solid objects from a digital model. While it is a bit ungainly now and mostly used for prototypes or models, the technology will eventually reduce costs and speed up production.

Luo Jun, chief executive of the Asian Manufacturing Association (AMA), believes China will likely surpass the US and lead the global 3D printing market within three years, with output rising to 10 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) in that time. The annual growth rate will double as long as more and more traditional manufacturers in the aerospace, motor, and biomedical industries move toward such technology.

In aviation, 3D printing was used in the development of China's first home-grown commercial airliner, its first aircraft-based jet fighter, its multirole fighter and bomber, its first home-made stealth jet fighter and its mid-sized, fifth-generation jet fighter, the J-31.

HGLASER steps ahead in 3D printing

3D printing started in China only recently. And though the sector has made certain achievements, the overall level of R&D in 3D printing and commercialization in the country is way below the US’. 

As the leading place of laser manufacturing, HGLASER started to research on 3D printing technology to promote the in industrialization process of 3D printing in China, thinking of “It will take a long time in China as most domestic manufacturers still hold wait-and-see attitudes, but HGLASER has to make a step.”

HGLASER LDS (Laser-Direct-Structuring) special machine is suitable for three-dimensional molded interconnect devices, three-dimensional circuits and three-dimensional marking, etc.