Hamburg launching 3D network
Hamburg’s senate and the Chamber of Commerce launched Thursday (February 15, 2018) a 3D network to promote the technology among firms and research institutes.
Commenting during the presentation in the Chamber of Commerce’s Innovation Campus, Frank Horch, Senator for Economics, recalled: “Schopenhauer once said: ‘Everyone thinks the limits of their own field of vision are those of the world.’ We must overcome these boundaries. That’s why we are here today. We want to clarify what Industry 4.0 and 3D printing mean for our industrial production. What does this technology do for companies and is it only for big companies? SMEs in particular stand to benefit from 3D technology, Horch noted.
Building on innovative lead
The new network will form an exchange platform and competence forum for 3D printing in Hamburg. Knowledge and applications in companies will be built up based on an exchange about methods, solutions and collaborative projects with science. Horch noted: “We have the Laserzentrum Nord and ZAL in Hamburg that have achieved an innovative lead on which we really should build.”
Last year, a survey by the Chamber of Commerce found that two-thirds of companies are still reluctant to use 3D printing technology as the purchasing costs are high and know-how is lacking in companies. Tobias Bergmann, Chamber of Commerce President, said: “We want 3D printers to enter companies. So we have to help companies acquire the tools.”
Expanding skills to other materials
So far, scientific know-how e.g. at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT) in Hamburg has focused mainly on 3D metal printing. Horch stressed: “Hamburg must achieve more in relation to 3D printing other materials especially synthetics. To this end, research, technological development and applications in 3D printing other materials and in other sectors will be promoted.”