The wonders of 3D printing explained

3D printing has added more functionality to products, and it has allowed for greater depth in designing parts.

This is according to Marius Vermeulen, Project Manager for Additive Manufacturing at Aerosud Innovation and Training Centre.

It allows us to produce parts with much less raw material, and we can produce very complex shapes because you print layer by layer

Marius Vermeulen, Project Manager for Additive Manufacturing at Aerosud Innovation and Training Centre

South Africa is one of the countries which have taken to 3D printing.

This process has contributed to breakthroughs in healthcare in the country, and has also made design processes more accurate.

Its a very expensive process, but its got high value in low volume markets

Marius Vermeulen, Project Manager for Additive Manufacturing at Aerosud Innovation and Training Centre

Speaking to #NightTalk's Gugs Mhlungu, Vermeulen says that although 3D printing is expensive, it is very valuable in fields such as the medical and aviation industries.

He says that 3D printing is quickly expanding the number of materials that can be produced.

It can take up to days to produce a component

Marius Vermeulen, Project Manager for Additive Manufacturing at Aerosud Innovation and Training Centre

Vermeulen says that although the process of 3D printing is relatively slow, it is still much faster than the traditional manufacturing methods, which take can up to months to produce a component.

We have quite a vibrant community at universities, and at industry. We have a project between the CSIR and Aerosud, where we have built the world's largest and fastest 3D metal printer

Marius Vermeulen, Project Manager for Additive Manufacturing at Aerosud Innovation and Training Centre

Vermeulen says that South African has contributed to some important developments in 3D printing.

Through Aerosud's collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa can now boast to producing the world's largest 3D metal printer, which makes the process of manufacturing metal much faster.

Vermeulen says that 3D printing has also resulted in important innovations in creative arts in South Africa, and in the healthcare sector which has seen 3D printed prosthetic hand being developed in the country.

Listen to the conversation below:

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