Melbourne’s metal 3D printing capabilities world class: expert

Australia has a strong foundation in metal additive manufacturing and Melbourne in particular has world class capabilities, according to 3D printing authority Terry Wohlers.

Wohlers, the founder of leading consultancy Wohlers Associates – which publishes the closely-watched annual Wohlers Report – visited Australia for the Inside 3D Printing conference in Melbourne last month.

“The Melbourne area, alone, may well have the highest mix of metal AM systems in the world (in an area of this size), with nine direct metal AM systems. Among them are machines from Arcam, Concept Laser, EOS, Optomec, SLM Solutions, and Trumpf,” the veteran industry analyst wrote on his Wohlers Talk blog this week.

Australia had a strong foundation in additive manufacturing, he wrote, commenting on the announcement of the Innovative Manufacturing CRC (heavily concerned with AM) and the official opening of the CSIRO’s Lab 22. Both are based in Melbourne.

“The adoption of the technology in the private sector may not be as great as it is in some advanced countries, but the pieces are coming together for it to close the gap,” Wohlers wrote.

Australia has a small share of the world’s metal additive manufacturing systems – 21 according to a Stefan Ritt of SLM Solutions. The country has been slow to adopt metal AM for commercial purposes, with the IMCRC and Lab 22 among efforts to remedy this situation.

To read a recent interview with Wohlers in Manufacturers’ Monthly, click here.