An article in Caijing magazine on 3D printing starts with a rather strong quote:
“The pressure on the 3D printing industry in China comes primarily from a lack of high-end generic technologies. The root cause is domestic enterprises’ weak R&D capabilities.”
According to the reporters of Caijing, the industrialization of 3D printing seems to be budding in Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces. However unlike their Western counterparts, 3D printing enterprises in China usually do not have research and development (R&D) capabilities. In China, only the three universities of Tsinghua University, Xi’an Jiaotong University, and Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and one enterprise, Beijing Long Yuan – Automated Fabrication System (AFS), have R&D capability. However, companies connected to universities usually fail to react quickly enough to market signals.
Also the Chinese central government seems to realize that 3D printing is a technological wave that the Chinese should not miss out on. On Dec. 14, 2012, Su Bo, vice minister of MIIT, said at the 2012 International Additive Manufacturing Forum that China will speed up the development and industrialization of 3D printing technology.
People interested in 3D-printing and automation should also have a look a the following event organized by the BenCham in Shanghai: The rise of 3D printing and robots. This event will take place on January 22nd, 2013.