The CSIRO’s $6 million innovation centre, Lab 22, has been officially opened by Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher Pyne.
The centre is giving Australian companies more affordable access to emerging 3D printing technologies, and promises increased efficiency and productivity gains for the nation’s manufacturing sector.
Since May, Lab 22 has taken on nine Australian businesses as industry partners, offering them access to advanced technologies such as 3D printers that use titanium, aluminium and even sand.
Mr Pyne said initiatives such as Lab 22 were central to boosting innovation among Australian manufacturers.
“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.”
Products created recently with the help of Lab 22 recently have included a mouthguard for treating sleep apnoea and titanium heel bone and rib implants.
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 – together with a strategic industry partnership with Siemens Australia – to be based at Clayton, Victoria.
Chair of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, Andrew Stevens, said the facility would foster links between business and the science and research sector to encourage innovation.