The newly-opened $6 million CSIRO Lab 22 Innovation Centre will provide Australian companies with access to 3D printing technologies, promising increased efficiency and productivity gains for the manufacturing sector.
The centre, at Clayton, Victoria, has brought on nine Australian businesses as industry partners since May, offering them unique access to advanced technologies, including 3D printers that use titanium, aluminium and even sand.
Industry Minister Christopher Pyne, said initiatives like Lab 22 were central to boosting innovation in Australia’s manufacturing industry.
“Manufacturing remains a key driver in our economy, but as the industrial landscape changes, the sector needs to transition to more innovative and economically viable technology,” Mr Pyne said.
“Emerging technologies such as metal 3D printing offer huge productivity gains and have the potential to turn Australia's manufacturing industry on its head. The centre will enable manufacturers to innovate with less capital investment risk – one of the major barriers in adopting 3D metal printing.”
Mr Pyne said Lab 22 would build on CSIRO’s strong track record of creating innovative 3D printed products with industry partners.
Products created recently include a mouthguard for treating sleep apnoea (with dental company Oventus), customised lugs (with bike manufacturer Flying Machine) and titanium heel bone and rib implants (with biomedical device manufacturer Anatomics).
He said the new additive manufacturing technology would offer huge advantages over traditional manufacturing methods.
“This technology centre will enable for product customisation and the ability to make complex metal parts, speeding up the development while also reducing waste and bringing down labour costs,” Mr Pyne said.
The centre’s launch was also used to announce a new advanced manufacturing collaboration hub to be based at the Clayton centre.
Chair of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, Andrew Stevens, said the facility would foster links that are critical to the country’s future success, bringing business together with the science and research sector to encourage innovation.
“The additive manufacturing hub will be centred on Lab 22, strengthening and leveraging existing collaborative relationships and helping Australian industry capitalise on emerging technologies.”