DOST takes lead in 3D printing research with new facility

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said it is set to unveil the country’s first Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMCen) which aspires to be the leading research center in 3D printing technologies, processes, and materials.

Eric Paringit, executive director of the DOST’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), expressed optimism on the prospects of “additive manufacturing”, more popularly known as 3D printing, in the country as it move towards Industry 4.0.

“Additive manufacturing has limitless potentials — from aircrafts and automobile to medical and fashion applications — it is possible to create products for the same or lower cost without compromising quality.  We are hopeful that with the establishment of AMCen we can see more researches geared towards this cutting-edge technology,” he said.

Additive manufacturing allows rapid fabrication of various three-dimensional objects ranging from small parts and components, to three-dimensional structures such as cars, houses, and bridges. AMCen aims not only to have a user access facility but also to enhance R&D activities with the industry and academia.

This facility is seen to harness, strengthen, and expand the country’s capabilities in 3D printing and advanced design and manufacturing in the following areas:

  • Aerospace and defense
  • Biomedical/healthcare
  • Printed electronics
  • Agricultural machinery
  • Automotive

Balik Scientist and Case Western Reserve University professor Dr. Rigoberto Advincula said that AMCen presents a unique position for the Philippines as it will be one of the first government-led centers in the Asean region that aspires to be a game-changer leading to Industry 4.0 goals.

Advincula will be leading the development of the center together with  researchers from the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) and the Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC).

The AMCen will be featuring two state-of-the-art research facilities that are seen to spur interest in additive manufacturing research, namely: Multiple Materials Platform for Additive Manufacturing (MATDEV) and the Research on Advanced Prototyping for Product Innovation and Development using Additive Manufacturing Technologies (RAPPID-ADMATEC).

 The MATDEV will be the laboratory-scale facility for design, materials development, and testing for additive manufacturing prototyping wherein materials such as ceramics, polymers, nanomaterials, and any combination of two or more of these materials will be developed and optimized. The facility guarantees reduction in material cost, lead time, importation, and wastage.

Materials development for additive manufacturing application shall be coupled with the recommendation or adoption of applicable standards particularly those critical applications of the technology.

On the other other hand, RAPPID-ADMATEC will provide the technology needed to create more innovative designs and speed up prototyping by reducing fabrication and processing time of components and products.

Moreover, it will focus on the development and production of complex metal-based parts and materials using metal powders, cater to the production or localization of obsolete parts or repair and replacement of components to increase availability and reliability of existing equipment, as well as to improve manufacturing strategies and product quality through R&D, product development, consultancy and training services.

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