Business / Technology

Catching up fast in 3D printing

By Wang Ying (China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-25 07:25

Catching up fast in 3D printing

A staffer looks at a 3D-printed object at the studio in Harbin city, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, March 30, 2016. [Photo/VCG]

"But 3D printing is not suitable for every sector, only for creating unique products with special designs rather than mass production," said Zeng.

Lu Bingheng, head of mechanical and engineering department at Xi'an Jiaotong University, told the Economic Information Daily that 3D printing is reshaping even productivity and social life, and may experience a blowout in coming years.

For, modern manufacturing is marked by mass production and standardization. But it faces increasing challenge to satisfy more individual requirements from clients. The demand for tailor-made products thus makes 3D printing popular, said Lu.

According to Airbus SAS, this innovation could even shape the future of aircraft component manufacturing and design. It represents a new alternative to production processes such as milling, melting, casting and precision forging, producing only 5 percent waste material instead of up to 95 percent from current machining.

In 2015, Honeywell became the first company to produce an aerospace component using the electron beam melting system as part of an experimental design for an existing tube used on the Honeywell HTF7000 jet engine.

Honeywell plans to use 3D printing to produce non-life-critical or non-rotating components. It is currently at a stage of getting regulatory bodies, the industry and customers comfortable with 3D printing, according to Godfrey.

Lin from Tsinghua University said his team is working on developing a 3D printing technology for cell structures. The team started using the technology in the biomedical sector in the early 2000s. In December 2015, it built a model of totipotent stem cell with a survival rate of 95 percent through 3D printing. This development is expected to overcome the problem of cultivating this highly productive but extremely sensitive cell.

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks