A BENDIGO company using new technology to print three dimensional objects has received a $141,700 state government grant to increase productivity.
BPM 3D Technologies, a subsidiary of Keech Australia, uses one 3D printer to create a range of products.
It will invest a further $500,000 into the technology, with plans to have three printers running by Christmas.
Keech chief executive Herbert Hermens said the printers would allow objects to be created quickly and cheaply with greater customisation.
“We’re an international company,” he said.
“We’re exporting around the world.
“It means we can deal and grow faster than we originally planned.
“Certainly making patterns is a long, arduous job.
“With 3D printing that will be reduced in time.
“That will allow us to be more flexible and adapt to the demands of the market.
“The company is exporting more and more of its production every day which is exciting and exciting for Bendigo.” The technology works by making solid 3D objects designed in a computer program by building layers of material.
The printers can been used to create car parts, aeroplanes, prosthetic hands and even guns.
Mr Hermens said 3D printing, which is also known as additive manufacturing and digital manufacturing, was a revolution in the industry.
“Some people are saying this is almost an industrial revolution that people aren’t really appreciating just yet,” he said.
“Already today they print in steel, they print in all sorts of nylons and plastic and they’re in fact printing with human cells already.
“The imagination is amazing about what’s possible.”
State minister for manufacturing David Hodgett said the $141,700 grant would help the company grow.
“That’s going to increase pattern making productivity by about 90 per cent,” he said.
He said the state government had funding available to support manufacturing innovation and productivity.