3D Printing Making Progress in China

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President Barack Obama stated in his State of the Nation Address last week that the United States established the first manufacturing innovation institute in Youngstown, Ohio; the institute is equipped with a state-of-the-art laboratory and new workers are currently mastering the 3D printing technology.

3D Printing Making Progress in China

In his speech, President Obama said, “A once-shuttered warehouse is now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything. There’s no reason this can’t happen in other towns…I’m announcing the launch of three more of these manufacturing hubs, where businesses will partner with the Departments of Defense and Energy to turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs. And I ask this Congress to help create a network of fifteen of these hubs and guarantee that the next revolution in manufacturing is Made in America.”

A report from 24/7 Wall St. noted that investors in the United States are enthusiastic regarding the developments announced by President on manufacturing, particularly the 3D Printing. According to the report, the Chinese government has also conducted research on 3D printing for almost two decades now. At present, China has four major research centers and it objective is to bring the technology mainstream.

Chinese researchers are currently working on 3D printing technology to produce large, complicated components for aircrafts, according to a report from Caixin Online. The team of Chinese researches is led by Wang Huaming, a professor in materials science engineering who won the National Award for State Council in Technological Achievement.

Professor Wang said their existing 3D printing technology is can only supplement traditional manufacturing. According to him, “it’s too early to say” if the technology will pave the way to revolutionize manufacturing.

At present, there are publicly traded companies in the United States offering 3D printing products including 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD), Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS), Proto Labs Inc (NYSE:PRLB), and ExOne Co (NASDAQ:XONE), which became public last week.

The shares of ExOne Co (NASDAQ:XONE) surged by 45 percent from its initial public offering (IPO) price of $18 a share. The stock price of the company is up by 6 percent to almost $27 per share as of this writing.

The United States Air Force provided $2.95 million investment to 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) for the development of 3D printing procedures for aircraft component and weapons systems.

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U.S. 3D printer manufacturers account two-thirds of the 3D printing market. The industry expects the sales of 3D printers to increase from $1.7 billion in 2011 to $6.9 billion by end of 2019.

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