Australia's peak science and research organisation has opened a $6 million research centre aimed at accelerating industry adoption of metal 3D printing.
The new CSIRO lab, dubbed Lab 22, will allow businesses to access advanced additive manufacturing equipment and technical expertise before investing in the technology as part of a "try before you buy" approach.
CSIRO additive manufacturing research leader Alex Kingsbury said companies could use the lab to try out equipment, design and test new products or train their workforce.
“This advanced equipment is in the range of $1 million per unit, but the vast majority of small and medium-sized businesses don’t have that amount of capital on hand to take a leap of faith on a new or emerging technology,” Kingsbury said in a statement.
Startups Made For Me and Keech3D are the first two companies to sign up to the centre, which charges a daily fee for access.
CSIRO said it had partnered with a number of industry players for its Arcam 3D printers, in areas including producing a titanium heel bone implant for a cancer patient and a mouthguard for treating sleep apnoea.
“We’ve already signed up four industry partners and welcome more companies to get on board,” Kingsbury said.