GE has announced a 5-year agreement with the University of Sydney to provide training and machines for 3D printing to the university’s Darlington campus. Darlington is part of the Sydney Manufacturing Hub, which can now train people in additive manufacturing skills and serve as a business incubator. The agreement follows a memorandum of understanding between GE and the university as well as agreements with the New South Wales government to bring 3D printing capabilities to the region. Stakeholders believe that the collaborations will improve Australia’s advanced manufacturing industry because the campus will have access to GE’s production-grade additive technologies and training for powder handling, qualification, application development, certification, and actual production. The lack of these skillsets is currently a bottleneck in the 3D printing industry, so improving in these areas would be an advantage in Australia to allow the technology to be used in more applications across the country.
Australia sees 3D printing as an important outlet for natural resources available in the region, including metals. Access to the training also won’t be limited to larger businesses so that small- and medium-sized operations can also have access to the technology and skills required for 3D printing. The collaborators hope to use the new manufacturing capabilities to improve space programs, military programs, and advanced manufacturing applications while providing higher-value jobs to workers.
GE is a large multinational conglomerate with headquarters in the US. The company currently has additive manufacturing facilities in Cincinnati, OH; Montreal, QC; Munich, Germany; Lichtenfels, Germany; and Mölndal, Sweden.