The Department and Science and Technology (DOST) inaugurated last March 15 the Additive Manufacturing Research Laboratory (AMReL) ? the first 3D printing facility in the country — at the Bataan Peninsula State University (BPSU) in Balanga City in Bataan.
The unveiling came a day before the DOST held a groundbreaking ceremony for its own 3D lab ? dubbed AMCen or Advanced Manufacturing Center ? at MIRDC compound in Taguig City.
The Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) funded the establishment of the laboratory under its Infrastructure Development Program (IDP) in the amount of P7,060,800.
The facility has 18 machines including a 3D printer and 3D scanner. It is envisioned to be the Regional Center for developing new materials and technologies related to 3D printing.
Additive manufacturing is a layer-by-layer adding of material to form part commonly known as 3D printing. Additive manufacturing allows rapid fabrication of various 3D objects ranging from small parts and components, to 3D structures such as cars, houses, and bridges.
It has been hailed as a cutting-edge technology that it has limitless potentials to create various products — from aircrafts and automobile to medical and fashion applications — for the same or lower cost without compromising quality.
John Ryan Dizon, AMReL Project leader, said the additive research laboratory will initially focus on rapid tooling, manufacturing, and prototyping of 3D products.
He said AMReL will serve as a facility to test materials for the academe and industry and a venue for students to do research, share and create ideas, essentially serving as a playground for generating new products and world-class research projects.
BPSU officials said the facility will soon be opened to the business community, local government units, and various government and non-government institutions for training and education to enhance their R&D initiatives.
One of the projects on display in the lab is the Smartphone-Controlled Hand and Arm Exoskeleton for persons with one-arm disability or SCHAX developed by J-Rynelle Diego, a BPSU BS Mechanical Engineering student.
Diego said he wanted to create an automatic and comfortable exoskeletal prosthesis for his brother who has one-arm muscular disability. He made use of an Android application called Hand Actuator to control the device.
Diego said that additive manufacturing is cost-effective yet durable, adding that it is beneficial to his project because the design can be tweaked for every user to create a more personal and comfortable device.
All the parts of the device are 3D printed, he said. As he is still in the process of improving the device, Diego said that technological advancement to additive manufacturing can also improve his device.
In the same event, DOST also turned over to BPSU two coaches of the Automated Guideway Transit (AGT), which will be utilized as instructional medium (visual model) for the engineering and architectural students of the BPSU.
The school is also developing an academic program in railway engineering to provide the human resource the country needs in the transportation sector.]]>