3D printing SA is a sector our country is actively participating in because internationally-renowned 3D printer manufacturers and suppliers have set up a base engaging several local South African companies in their reseller programs and distributorship deals.
Of course, there are drawbacks to consider before diving into 3D printing, however, we will do our best to help guide your selection process and cover the advantages, disadvantages, and trends of the industry.
3D Printing SA And How It’s Used
South Africa is well-developed which means we have a desire for advanced technology. Therefore, it has been relatively simple to establish the 3D printing SA landscape. In 2014, South African doctors successfully completed jawbone replacement surgery using 3D printed titanium bones and at that time it was the second time such an exercise was done anywhere in the world.
Better yet, through the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in partnership with Aerusud, an aviation manufacturing company has built one of the world’s biggest printers under a project dubbed Aeroswift. The printer can print tiny items for large, customised parts as tall as 2m. 3D printing SA can achieve amazing things, for example, using titanium powder allows parts to be used for aerospace.
Not to mention, 3D printing SA led to the creation of South Africa’s very own 3D printer: the Robobeast. This is a 3D printer made in South Africa by South Africans and a world-class homegrown solution.
Therefore, we were ecstatic to hop onto the 3D printing SA trend and be a part of the 3D printing ecosystem which is a thriving community of enthusiasts, designers, engineers, and manufacturers.
Essentially, 3D printing SA services are hugely important, particularly for customising spare parts and prototyping. Find out more about our prototyping services. We are excited to help businesses and manufacturers create whatever their hearts desire without worrying about spare or unusual parts.
How Fast Is 3D Printing SA Growing?
The global 3D printing market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 20.8% from 2022 to 2030 to reach USD 76.17 billion by 2028. Interestingly, the metal segment led the global 3D printing market and accounted for more than 50.6% share of the global revenue in 2021.
Over the past seven years, we have seen local initiatives and companies harnessing the power of ‘additive manufacturing’ to cultivate new business ventures for enterprising entrepreneurs. 3D printing SA has also augmented existing industries and sped up the creation process for projects.
Growing Trends In 3D Printing SA
Our future is bright, and technology is here. Job creation and entrepreneurial support are of paramount importance in Africa and 3D printing SA is slowly making an impact with small initiatives and start-ups appearing using 3D printing SA services.
Let us examine the growing trends in the industry.
1. Additive Manufacturing
You may or may not have heard this term before, however, it is the correct way to describe the process of building 3D objects, layer by layer, by ‘printing’ those layers on top of one another to form a three-dimensional object.
In the early days, plastic was the go-to material to do this, but in the years since 3D printing, SA first emerged the technology has been adapted to use all kinds of materials, including metals and ceramics.
This method is also a popular addition to the various tech hubs that have popped up around the country, giving their surrounding communities the ability to experiment with 3D object creation using CAD programs and the like.
In other words, the possibilities are limitless with 3D printing SA.
Object by object, we are changing the world for the better.
2. Project Aeroswift
Pretoria hosts one of the biggest 3D printers in the world built through a partnership between our own Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and a Centurion-based aviation manufacturing solutions company called Aerusud.
This project is called Aeroswift and resulted in a massive 3D printer that uses titanium powder to build custom objects for the aerospace industry. This was revolutionary for 3D printing SA and has built parts for companies like Advanced High-performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft (AHRLAC).
The machine displays how we can use 3D printing to build custom parts for customers for a wide range of applications in different industries.
3D printing is over-designed to allow engineers to make anything possible for manufacturers.
3. Infinite Applications
3D printing SA is valuable to more industries than just aviation. In fact, 3D printing allows rapid prototyping for companies keen to iterate on their product designs quickly which is what we specialise in.
Better yet, the technology helps us build cheap but strong prosthetics and personalised medical implants as well as fast and cheap part replacements. This is beneficial for South Africa, as it helps local companies get around the fact that our country is extremely far from European distribution hubs.
The possibilities with 3D printing SA are truly becoming endless. We can print parts that were impossible to manufacture in the past and even make us of Just In Time (JIT) production whilst on demand.
We foresee the manufacturing space to be exciting and innovative, from supply chain through to cash flow which will help us reinvent how manufacturing runs entirely.
4. The Robobeast
We thought we would also mention the invention of the popular 3D printer for desktops that was invented in South Africa.
It’s called the Robobeast.
You see, being South African means, we need to be resilient and learn to adapt quickly, and never give up. We need to work harder and do our best because to succeed in the global market we must be better than the rest and sharper than the best.
And that’s what Aumic Engineering does. We provide local 3D printing SA fabrication and prototyping services that compete with the best. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with anything the rest of the world has to offer.
5. A Booming Community
3D printing SA has built a booming community and now we are constantly pushing the boundaries of what can be created.
Focusing on features devoted to the art of ‘making,’ and stories on local creators who have 3D-printed all kinds of objects from videogames and movies with a variety of 3D printers.
The community itself is made up of smart, enthusiastic people committed to designing and manufacturing cool objects. This, in turn, inspires others to follow them.
3D printing in South Africa is a growing industry and one that is aiming for the stars.
What’s Next With 3D Printing SA?
There is no doubt that South Africa is enthusiastic about 3D design and the ability to 3D-print almost anything inside our borders. We are certain that we have a very prosperous future for the 3D printing SA.
Also, more large companies are getting involved in the technology and are specialising in 3D printing while developing their own ability in building unique solutions.
With Global Manufacturing partnerships and technologies that are starting to produce the lowest cost per part in full colour at a fraction of the time, we believe the adoption rate will increase and be quicker than anyone could have imagined.
Looking To The Future
It does not matter how you look at 3D printing SA, technology is the future which means a world of opportunity for businesses.
Aumic Engineering is making magic happen in aiding various industries with prototype manufacturing all the way from concept drawings, designing, and 3D Printing to manufacturing and Injection Moulding.