Business / Technology

3D printing making inroads in China

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-09-24 11:28

A promising sector that baffles many

Xu Jianhui, vice president of the China 3D Printing Technology Industry Alliance, was one of the earliest enthusiasts of the technology.

According to Xu, the 3D printing market generated $3 billion worth of revenue globally in 2013. China accounted for about 10 percent of the market share, said Xu.

"Anyone underestimating the potential of 3D printing technology will be proved wrong," said Xu.

However, the technology is still a novelty for many people.

"As a new technology, 3D printing is still at a stage of trailblazing," Luo Jun, secretary of the World 3D Printing Technology Industry Alliance. "Most people do not understand how the technology is applied and how to employ the technology."

Yang Fei, a technician with Changchun-based 3D printing specialist Ming Wei Technology, said some still worry about the safety of the 3D printed products. He quickly corrected the notion, saying the material used by 3D printers are the same as traditional manufacturing methods.

According to Luo, some people even misinterpret the technology as capable of printing anything.

Lack of qualified talent is another obstacle for the industry's growth in China. There are only about 50 people in the country who can be regarded as 3D printing experts, according to Li Dichen, a professor with Xi'an Jiaotong University.

With three major cities jockeying to build 3D printing innovation centers, more talent is in high demand.

Analysts believe that while innovation in 3D technology and materials are urgent for the nation, efforts should be also made to nurture the market, including carrying out related educational and training programs.

3D printing making inroads in China

3D printing making inroads in China

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