Chinese Academy of Engineering Academician Lu Bingheng: 3D Printing Industrialization Needs Capital to Help
Open the "Product Center" menu on the official website of the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Center, a set of white background with blue edges, with a display, controller of electronic equipment into view: metal fusion wire additive and subtractive material integrated manufacturing equipment, metal laser melting printer, desktop DLP light-curing molding equipment ... ...These self-developed 3D printing equipment, some have been put into production, printing out plastic or metal parts.
Lu Bingheng, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and professor of Xi'an Jiaotong University, is the head of the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Center. He leads hundreds of researchers in research and development to grasp the direction of the technology. Academician Lu Bingheng said, "The industrialization of 3D printing technology requires strategic financial support."
China's 3D printing "pioneer"
In 1992, Lu Bingheng went to the United States for exchange study. In a visit to the automotive mold enterprises, a 3D printing equipment caught his attention: "As long as the CAD data of the product into, you can make the prototype out." Lu Bingheng immediately decided to include 3D printing in the research object. Lu Bingheng said that Chinese enterprises have a strong production capacity, but the product development capacity is insufficient and the development speed is slow, this technology can help enterprises to achieve new product development quickly and at low cost. Lu Bingheng initially wanted to introduce 3D printing equipment, but at that time a core component laser to sell 30,000 U.S. dollars. Lu Bingheng decided to build one himself. At the end of 1997, the first 3D printing prototype developed by China was born, and in 2000, "some key technologies of additive manufacturing and its equipment", which was completed by Lu Bingheng, won the National Science and Technology Progress Award. Second Prize.
In December 2016, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Center was established in Xi'an. The institution is jointly established by Xi'an Jiaotong University, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Northwestern Polytechnic University, Tsinghua University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology and 13 related enterprises with a registered capital of 135 million yuan. Lu Bingheng introduced that the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Center has developed various types of additive manufacturing processes and more than 10 major additive manufacturing equipment driven by energy such as laser, electron beam, ion beam, electric arc and electric heat; applied for 387 national patents, including 29 invention patents; and presided over or participated in the development of more than 40 industry standards.
3D printing technology is similar to the swallow mud nest, material little by little accumulation, to create three-dimensional objects, also known as additive manufacturing. 3D printing in new product development, the first manufacturing, etc., can significantly simplify the process, shorten the cycle and reduce costs. The 3D printing is used in a wide range of applications and will have great potential in the future. Lu Bingheng revealed that most of the domestic 3D printing orders are personalized, multi-variety, small batch, technically complex products, it is difficult to produce significant economic benefits and return on investment for a while. At present, 3D printing lacks capital support, which is not conducive to the long-term development of the industry.
"Some investors are more interested in making quick money, for some technically difficult, large investment or longer return period of technology or products, lack of willingness to invest." Lu Bingheng said. A new technology, from research and development to application promotion to experience a longer period of time. Applied to the aviation and medical field of 3D printing products, for example, aviation components must meet the airworthiness conditions, including materials, processes, testing, strength, high and low temperature, which requires a lot of experimental data for verification. 3D printing medical products are approved for clinical applications before, shall collect a large number of experimental data, during which can not be charged to patients, which means that the amount of money spent on research and development is larger.
"The 3D printing industry still has a long way to go, and we hope that more private capital with strategic vision will participate in the development and industrialization of 3D printing technology." Lu Bingheng said.