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DOST launches two 3D printing research facilities
In its bid to leapfrog ASEAN countries in the additive manufacturing industry, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has launched two 3D printing research facilities in the country.
DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña and other DOST officials recently inaugurated the Additive Manufacturing Research Laboratory (AMREL) at the Bataan Peninsula State University, a state-of-the-art 3D printing research facility equipped with the latest machines on additive manufacturing.
Dela Peña also led the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Additive Manufacturing Center (AMCen) at the Metals Industry Research and Development Center, a facility which aspires to be the country’s leading research center in innovative 3D printing technologies, processes, and materials.
DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) Executive Director Dr. Enrico Paringit expressed optimism over the prospects of additive manufacturing in the country with the opening of the two new facilities.
“We are launching two centers for 3D printing research and development and we, in DOST-PCIEERD, are privileged to be part of this game-changing initiative. The additive manufacturing research industry will open the doors to previously unimaginable possibilities, and every single 3D-printed product will unfold more innovations. Soon, how we create things will be different from what we’re used to,” said Director Paringit.
3D printing, from small parts to big structures, will be used in aerospace, defense, biomedical, healthcare, printed electronics, agricultural machinery, and automotive industries.
AMREL is the first additive manufacturing research laboratory in the Philippines and since July 2, 2018, AMREL has been utilized to conduct research for undergraduate and graduate theses. Prof. John Ryan Dizon, project leader of AMREL, proudly shared these studies on the applications of 3D printing for defense applications and health care. He was also able to do technology demonstration with junior high school students of the Bataan National High School who then successfully created a 3D printed drone.
“These are all blessings for all of us, and for the future generations,” Dr. Gregorio Rodis, president of BPSU expressed his gratitude being the first recipient of a research laboratory that focuses on 3D research and development.
AMREL will be used for the following thrusts: development of new materials; testing and characterization of materials; faculty and student sharing and creating of ideas; rapid prototyping, tooling, and manufacturing; training, education, and empowerment; and designing and analysis of parts and systems.
Meanwhile, two DOST agencies will lead the management of AMCen: the Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI) will develop new materials for additive manufacturing, while DOST-MIRDC will handle the advanced prototyping.
In the groundbreaking ceremony of AMCen, industry representatives from the manufacturing sectors were also present. De la Peña emphasized the importance of partnerships with different agencies—national government organizations, non-government agencies, private companies, and the academe—in optimizing the program objectives.
“With the recent trends in the Industry 4.0, advance additive manufacturing will support our independence from many imported items as well as sustain our development. It will also serve as buffer with regards to the economic effect of importation, inflation, and dollar fluctuation while enhancing the technical support of the government to the industry,” remarked DOST Undersecretary for R&D, Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara.
Furthermore, Undersecretary Guevara encouraged the academe and the industry to collaborate with AMCen to produce new products, substitutes for parts/components, and/or realize other applications of 3D printing.
AMCen is expected to rise after nine months, and will be operational in its second year of implementation. (30)