Was fortunate to be able to visit the Hong Kong Productivity Council’s 3D Printing One Centre and here’s a quick look at their centre and what they do to support 3d printing activities there! Great thanks to Chris from 3D Printing One for the tour!
The centre is located in the Lower Ground level of the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC)’s building in Kowloon Tong and is an open concept area which housing a large range of 3d printers. These range from the typical consumer grade FDM ones to industrial grade SLS 3d printers and even metal 3d printers
In a corner of the space, there is a workshop/crafting zone where they post-process some of the prints and are even in the midst of working on new 3d printers (more on that later)
Taking a closer look at each of the printers, they come in all form factors have have samples of their 3d prints in front of each of them.
The sample 3d prints give visitors a good sense of the various machines’ quality and some even do work with the 3D Printing One to get their designs 3d printed out.
One example of such was this piece by Martin Domes on display – a honorable mention awardee for NASA’s Centennial Challenges: 3-D Printed Habitat for Mars! The model was 3d printed out with the help of the folks at 3D Printing One.
On one of the large central platforms, there were a sampling of 3d printed models to help visitors and also participants of events at the space get acquainted and physically feel the 3d printed stuff. Largely these were the FDM 3d prints of different colours but some had a tad of post-processing done. A couple of large models were also on display to give a sense of what size prints can go up to.
There were a couple of Mcor machine 3d models produced by Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM) method. Don’t really consider this 3D printing but hey, close enough.
Along another wall, there were 4 display cases showcasing the 4 main manufacturing options when it comes to 3D printing. The first and most colourful section being the Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM) models.
Next up were the SLA produced 3d prints, mostly from the Stratasys Objet line of printers. Very nice details as is expected from such 3d printers though they tended to be a little smaller prints.
Next portion showcased the very much more common Fused Deposition of Materials (FDM) 3d printed models. Here you can see the size of things are much larger than the previous 2 showcases. These are printed on the more industrial grade FDM machines too.
In the last display compartment are the really cool 3d prints which have come out of the centre’s metal SLS 3d printer. The centrepiece of which has to be the 3d printed bust of Mr CY Leung, Chief Executive of HKSAR, whom they scanned during the centre’s opening ceremony.
Due to the higher cost of metal 3d printing, most of the projects 3d printed in metal tends to be mould or protoypes for applications which can economically justify the cost. These 3d prints can easily run into the thousands of dollars.
Coming around to the other corner of the centre is where the crafting zone is located. It’s kind of simliar to our post-processing zone so definitely felt an affinity for it! Off limits to public for saftey reasons, this is where the 3d prints which have been done on the machines have their support structures removed or undergo an top coating for a smoother finish.
Beyond just the 3d printing of models, we learnt that 3D Printing One also helps with 3d Design projects and working together with individual or companies looking to use 3d printed to achieve a certain application.
One of the cool things the staff here are also working on is a chocolate (or basically any paste material) printer, which you can see here with the air compressor sitting below the bench.
And here are some of the food 3d prints from the printer!
Nearing the end bit of things, there were also a few consumer level 3d scanners which are on display for folks to see and explore with. For some of the higher resolution 3d scanning work, the centre also uses Artecs and industrial grade systems to get objects 3d scanned.
All in all, it was tremendously great to have been able to visit 3D Printing One, learnt more about what 3D Printing is like in Hong Kong and of course, we had some good discussions too about the future!
Once again, many thanks to Chris for hosting! 🙂