Taiwan to inaugurate 3D printing program

Taiwan's Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Taiwan plans to kick off  a 3D printing development program this May. Under the three-year program initiated by the MOST, the ministry will spend about $2.33 million annually in research and development of 3D printing technology and its applications.

Taiwan has its eyes set on becoming a leader in 3D printing.

MOST reports that additive manufacturing technology is currently facing challenges such as limited build volume, poor production efficiency and unsatisfactory print quality. In the initial year of the program, MOST ministry will push for efforts to cultivate talent in both the academic and industrial arenas, in a bid to bridge the gap between local development and international progress in the 3D printing business.

In early March 2014, Taiwan's new Minister of Science and Technology Chang San-Cheng proposed to increase access to 3D printing for high school students, and Premier Jiang Yi-huah gave immediate approval. Jiang requested that MOST draft a plan and come up with funding within two months, so that all Taiwanese high school and vocational students could have access to the devices.

The three-year program is also aimed at encouraging collaboration between the academic and industrial sectors to set up strategic alliances and work together in 3D printing development.

MOST also reported that the program will assign part of its budget to develop metal molds, 3D printing for digital dentistry, as well as innovative laser heads and print heads.

MOST hopes to take advantage of Taiwan's leading  position in information and communications technology (ICT) to develop indigenous 3D modeling software, and combine cloud technology with 3D printing development, which could further strengthen innovation in the local 3D printing industry.

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