3D printing in Australia, the Island Continent

Australia, a continent that lies far south, could not resist itself from the lure of 3D printing. With many retailers joining the bandwagon, Australia is all set to mark their position in the global market of 3D printing. Following the footsteps of other retail giants like Staples and Office Depot, Australians companies like Kogan.com and Leading Edge Computers have started selling desktop 3D printers. Leading Computers which has 135 shops throughout Australia has tied up with MakerBot as its official distributor. The electronics store will begin to sell MaketBot 3D printer in two of its stores, Dubbo and Orange. Kogan.com intends to outsmart both Leading edge and the Cube sellers by supplying the “da Vinci 1.0” 3D Printer from XYZ printing. The highlight of the printer is that it is the first 3D printer under $1k to be sold in Australia.

Australians are also making some ground breaking contribution in the field of healthcare. The scientists at the University of Queensland have signed a deal with a US company to create artificial mini kidneys using 3D printing technology. The stem cell researchers at the university are growing tiny organs in a Petri dish which would later be replicated by a bio-printing company named Organovo. This is still a plan which hasn’t been materialized but very soon what can be done in Petri dish, will be done for humans as well. Australia is also making rapid strides in the field of education. Two Australian Universities along with two of the world’s leading research universities in 3D printing of body parts have come together to offer world’s first international masters course in bio-fabrication. This will be a two years degree program which will be offered by four universities, QUT in Queensland, the University of Wollongong in NSW, the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands and the University of Würzburg in Germany. There are many such developments in the healthcare industry that is being made in the 3D printing industry in Australia. Also, a novel initiative was started in Australia recently, known as the CSIRO Titanium Challenge. The Challenge focuses on the university students to help promote their knowledge of 3DP and also titanium.

In order to promote the usage of 3D printers in Australia, companies like Synnex which has become the first major IT distributor that offers 3D personal printers through the reseller channel, after they successfully made a deal with 3D Systems. With this deal on the floor, Synnex will be distributing the third generation Cube 3, which is a personal 3D printer which offers a new compact design, dual color printing and is apt for home use. In addition to this, Sense 3D scanner which is a user friendly and portable scanner that allows its users to scan real world 3D objects in seconds will be distributed by Synnex.

The Australian market is composed of many small businesses, so for 3D printing to flourish it might take some time as well as patience. Since the market is very diverse and small, various companies that want to promote 3D printing are aiming for some light-hearted experiments like dragons for seven year olds and purple titanium horseshoes for Melbourne Cup – which have attracted the attention of many simultaneously it has also provided insight into what else is possible in the 3D printing industry.

The Australian effort of keeping in pace with the rapidly changing 3D space is truly commendable.

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