Current Status of 3D Printing Technology Abroad

Developed countries in Europe and America have also formulated national strategies and plans to develop and promote 3D printing technology, which has received widespread attention from governments, research institutions, enterprises, and media. In March 2012, the White House announced new measures to revitalize the US manufacturing industry, investing $1 billion to reform the US manufacturing system. Among them, the White House proposed three major background technologies to implement this plan, including 3D printing, emphasizing the achievement of innovative design in small batch, low-cost digital manufacturing by improving 3D printing materials, equipment, and standards. In August 2012, the 3D Printing Innovation Institute was established in the United States, collaborating with 14 universities, over 40 businesses, 11 non-profit organizations, and professional associations in western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, and western Virginia.

The UK government has been continuously increasing research and development funding for 3D printing technology since 2011. Previously, there was only one 3D printing research center at Loughborough University. Now, the University of Nottingham, the University of Sheffield, the University of Exeter and the University of Manchester have established 3D printing research centers. The UK Engineering and Physical Science Research Council has established a 3D Printing Research Center within its five committees, with participating institutions including the University of Loughborough, the University of Birmingham, the UK National Laboratory of Physics, Boeing, and German EOS, among other 15 well-known universities, research institutions, and enterprises.

In addition to the UK and the US, some other developed countries are also actively taking measures to promote the development of 3D printing technology. Germany has established a direct manufacturing research center, mainly researching and promoting the application of 3D printing technology in structural lightweight in the aerospace field; The French 3D Printing Association is committed to the research of 3D printing technology standards. With government funding, Spain has launched a special project to develop 3D printing, which includes four aspects: common 3D printing technologies, materials, technology exchange, and business models; The Australian government announced in February 2012 its support for a revolutionary project in the aerospace industry called “Micro Engine 3D Printing Technology”, which uses 3D printing technology to manufacture micro engine components in the aerospace industry. The Japanese government also attaches great importance to the development of 3D printing technology, and through preferential policies and a large amount of funding, encourages the close integration of industry, academia, research, and application, effectively promoting the application of 3D printing technology in aerospace and other fields.

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