3D Printing factory opens in Melbourne

3D Central Advanced Manufacturing Centre, a manufacturing plant that uses only 3D printing in the production process, has opened in the Melbourne suburb of Carrum Downs.

The SMH reports that the $7m plant, which is owned by Objective 3D, employs 15 3D printers valued at between $10,000 and $800,000 each.

The facility's state-of-the-art 3D printer is a Objet500 Connex3, made by Stratasys. The machine prints ultra-thin layers of acrylic liquid resin that are just 0.016mm thick.

The plant will produce parts for industries including mining, defence, construction, automotive and biomedical.

The company’s range of clients is broad. It includes medical and architecture firms, as well as well-known companies like Holden, Ford, Boeing, BHP, Sunbeam and Breville.

Managing director Matt Minio told the ABC that the 3D printing process can make high value products for niche markets. However, he added that it it won't replace high volume industries like car making and canning.

However, according to Minio, the potential applications for 3D Printing are virtually unlimited.

"It's almost a case of what wouldn't you print," he told the ABC.

"We can print medical devices that are lower volume manufacturing that are used in hospitals to hook up to patients.

"In the mining industry we can make equipment and unique tooling applications."

Image: Stratasys