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SA’s first 3D metal printers produce the goods at Playford

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SA’s first 3D metal printers produce the goods at Playford
Published 26 July 2018
Just months after opening its doors, local businesses and manufacturers are taking advantage of a new, cutting-edge 3D-printing facility at Edinburgh North.

Just months after opening its doors, local businesses and manufacturers are taking advantage of a new, cutting-edge 3D-printing facility at Edinburgh North.

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The miniature Eiffel Tower may be small, but it shows off the big capabilities of IPAS' 3D printer based at Edinburgh North. Photo: Daniel Schmidt

The three massive printers can quickly turn powdered metals like titanium and steel into solid gadgets and innovative devices with the help of a 1600-degree molten-metal laser.

From car parts to dental implants and even classified army devices, the only limit to these printers, according to project manager at IPAS (Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing) Luis Lima-Marques, is the client’s imagination.

“This is the first time we have 3D printing on an industrial scale in South Australia and there’s a lot of enthusiasm and curiosity across multiple industries knowing they can create really complex parts,” Mr Marques said.

Some of those complex parts, he adds, could have otherwise taken weeks to build, if at all. “You’re able to do things, which in the past, were really impossible. I think it’s really important that local manufacturers learn about the capabilities of 3D printing and how it can supplement their current facilities,” he said.

Luis and his design technician Lijesh Thomas are also on site and available to help turn designs into prototypes and finally, finished products.

City of Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty said these printers represent an exciting new era in advanced and bespoke manufacturing and open up new avenues of development.

“We’re confident these printers will help create jobs, efficiencies and future proof businesses in key industries like defence, health, mining and the rail network,” he said.

The three metal printers at Edinburgh North and one producing plastic products at the Stretton Centre are the brainchild of the University of Adelaide’s IPAS (Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing), the State Government and the City of Playford.

For more information contact the team at IPAS on 8313 0760 or 0413 339 808.