February 21, 2024

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Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health, Dr Lam Pin Min, talks 3D printing aka Impactful Additive Manufacturing

When 3D printing –  aka Impactful additive manufacturing – first came out, everyone was buzzing about the myriad of possibilities the technology could do. From the noble medical use cases for replacing organs, to the more indulgent fancies of dinosaur-shaped pasta shells. 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is here to stay.

The verticals which could benefit from the technology are diverse. Biomedical, maritime, construction and precision engineering, and transport, the list is endless, testament to the huge potential additive manufacturing has to revolutionise many industries.

Gracing the 6th Global Additive Manufacturing Summit held at the Singapore EXPO, was Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health. His opening address elucidated the opportunities additive manufacturing has for industry and how the technology has blossomed in Singapore.

Industrial Transformation with 3D Printing

“3D printing has disrupted existing business models by challenging the traditional methods of mass assembly and distribution,” said Dr Lam.

Unlike methods of production in the past, additive manufacturing permits on-site and on-demand production. Companies can get their hands on necessary parts, rendering obsolete waiting time for a supplier’s delivery. Lead times for market entry whittles down, enabling suppliers to become more responsive to market trends. Additionally, since production facilities can be brought closer to the buyer, waiting time for buyers are slashed.

Another opportunity from the disruption is the ability to customised products in smaller batches and thus at lower costs. Products which require a great deal of careful details in production can be materialised in ease. Expensive moulds or skilled craftsmen can be bypassed as long as a digital file of the desired image is available.

Dr Lam provided examples of how additive manufacturing has already been ground-breaking in the healthcare and maritime sectors.

In healthcare, 3D printing can improve the accuracy of diagnosis. A local startup offers 3D printed models of medical images such as X-rays and MRI scans. This aids doctors to examine organs or body parts at scale. Dr Lam says, “Not only does it help doctors analyse complex medical conditions more effectively, it also provides patients with a clearer understanding of their anatomy.”

Secondly, 3D printing organs hold much promise for medical progress and patient treatment. For example, bio-printed skin tissues offer a more ethical approach to drug and cosmetic testing compared to the use of animal skins. The same tissue can be printed based on a patient’s cells, resulting in a tailored medical treatment for effective outcomes.

Within the maritime industry, 3D printing is used to produce spare parts on-demand. These parts can be customised regardless of where and when the ship is. Dr Lam says, “This can prolong asset lifespans, reduce inventory and lower the cost of maintenance.”

3D Printing in Singapore

In line with Industry 4.0 preparedness, the Singapore Government is committed to growing additive manufacturing, said Dr Lam. The presence of several MNC’s regional centres of excellence for additive manufacturing in Singapore is testament.

There appears to be more interest by private sector companies to plant their centres of excellence in Singapore. Dr Lam announced in his speech that the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster will be ASTM International’s strategic partner for their Global Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence in Asia. The partners will work towards advancing standards, research and commercialisation of additive manufacturing technologies across various strategic sectors. Dr Lam said the partnership is a boost to Singapore’s position as a regional leader in additive manufacturing.

Overall, he was hopeful that more could be done in the Republic for additive manufacturing. Public-private partnerships should be one way forward. This will secure Singapore’s reputation and help its businesses hedge a relatively nascent market.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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