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Materialise teams up with Ulsan Metropolitan City to accelerate AM adoption, business growth in South Korea

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3D printing company Materialise will be working together with one of South Korea’s biggest industrial centers, Ulsan Metropolitan City, to promote and drive forward the adoption of additive manufacturing for the benefit of local manufacturing and business. The Belgium-based 3D printing company says it will collaborate with local manufacturing companies to establish “co-creation campaigns” and to help them discover how AM can impact and benefit their manufacturing process.

The partnership between Materialise and the Ulsan Metropolitan City is just one of the steps that South Korea’s manufacturing industry is taking to further implement and drive additive manufacturing. Not only has the country drawn interest from global AM companies (including Roboze, Nano Dimension, Aurora Labs and more), but its government has also expressed a vested interest in the technology. In 2017, for instance, South Korea’s Science Ministry announced it would spend $37 million over the course of 2017 to promote and advance 3D printing.

As South Korea’s seventh-largest metropolis and home to some of the world’s largest automotive assembly plants, shipyards and oil refineries, Ulsan Metropolitan City has inevitably become a key hub for additive manufacturing. In fact, we even reported on the city’s rise within AM in 2016. At the time, Ulsan City planned to become South Korea’s 3D printing capital, an effort which will now be reinforced through the city government’s partnership with Materialise.

Ulsan Metropolitan
Vice-mayor of Ulsan with Materialise Executive VP Johan Pauwels

The collaboration between the two parties will play into the city’s broader roadmap of growth which aims for the “convergence of digital technologies and manufacturing” with the ultimate goal of establishing “smarter and better connected production processes and factories.” Materialise is being brought in to help out on the additive manufacturing front, as the technology is a key component in digital fabrication.

“Additive Manufacturing is a transformational technology that has the potential to create fundamental changes in the manufacturing process,” said Johan Pauwels, Executive Vice President at Materialise.“With major improvements in speed, quality and materials, additive manufacturing is quickly positioning itself as a complementary or alternative manufacturing technology when solving specific manufacturing challenges.”

In practice, Materialise will be assisting local manufacturing companies in developing applications that drive business growth through optimized manufacturing processes. Specifically, Materialise experts will collaborate on “intensive co-creation projects” that will combine its 3D printing knowledge with the partner company’s industry and product expertise. By working together, the goal is to identify elements in the company’s production process which can be improved and optimized with the integration of AM.

The co-creation projects will ultimately be presented at the Ulsan 3D Printing Tech Festa, held from September 13-15, and will be used as examples for other manufacturing companies to follow in the adoption of additive manufacturing.

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