3D printing enables on-demand solutions for a wide spectrum of needs ranging from personal protection equipment to medical devices, isolation wards aerospace and automotive. This versatile technology is suited to address supply–demand imbalances caused by socio-economic trends and disruptions in supply chains.
The global uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic has plunged the world into a crisis that is still unfolding. Logistical challenges owing to disruptions in manufacturing and transportation, together with pushbacks against globalization and free trade, have constrained supply chains, resulting in critical shortages of essential goods.
There is a need for factories to manufacture, on demand, materials and devices for a range of essential and non-essential services, in particular for healthcare. In this context, a resilient advanced manufacturing network enabled by a distribution of 3D-printing factories has great potential.
In South Africa Additive Manufacturing (AM) / Rapid prototyping (RP) has been active for 21 years now, and the market has grown from a single 3D Systems SLA 250 in 1991, to approximately 5700 machines in 2018.
Local expertise and the main opportunities in South Africa are identified in the following sectors:
Aerospace industry; Medical and Dental and Traditional Manufacturing and Tooling
SA is also the 2nd largest global producer of Titanium minerals with a share of 23 % of the world deposits SA can play key role in the TI industry value chain.
The digital roundtable will gather major industry players to address the main issues the industry is facing in the current volatile and uncertain scenario, devising concrete opportunity for business cooperation between South African and Italian players. The event is organized in partnership between the Italian South African Chamber of Trade and Industries, and Unioncamere, supported by the South African Department of Science and Innovation and the Italian Embassy of Pretoria.