High-tech ‘backyard shed’ to be Digital Advanced Manufacturing Hub in South Australia


An Adelaide laboratory becomes the first in Australia to turn computer designs and blueprints into solid objects using new groundbreaking technology.

Image courtesy of [Salvatore Vuono] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Science and Information Economy Minister, Tom Kenyon, last week launched the Adelaide Fab Lab, which is set to place South Australia at the forefront of digital advanced manufacturing.

The laboratory is among a network of laboratories started by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that seeks to provide everyone the chance to experiment with 3D printing technology.

“This amazing technology can be used to design and manufacture products in fields as diverse as medical products, architecture, engineering, construction, aerospace and the automotive industry,” Mr Kenyon said.

“It’s been used to make customised hearing aid shells, hip replacements, artificial limbs and dental crowns and has the potential to be used to make all kinds of products like shoes, kitchenware, mobile phones and furniture,” Mr Kenyon added.

The potential applications are endless, Mr Kenyon believes, as the technology is no longer restricted to large corporations.

“The Adelaide Fab Lab will play an important role in promoting and demonstrating the potential benefits of 3D printing for local manufacturers,” Kenyon revealed.

An advanced manufacturing strategy was recently launched by the state government, which will set up advanced manufacturing business clusters.


“We know that we need to compete with other countries by making products that are niche, high-value products, rather than cheap products, made by workers on low wages,” Mr Kenyon said.

Developed as a place where businesses, designers and students can come to learn to use the technology, Mr Kenyon believes this technology is a boon for South Australian designers, artists, researchers and inventors who can try out new products with less risk and expense.

“The future of our State’s prosperity will rely on nurturing a culture of innovation and this means investing in skills which will lead to jobs in the Science Technology, Engineering and Maths fields.

The Fab Lab in Adelaide is a $200,000 State Government initiative, hosted by TAFE SA’s Adelaide College of the Arts in Light Square and managed by the Australian Network of Art and Technology.

The public is welcomed to visit Fab Lab Adelaide, Light Square on Thursdays and Fridays for the next six months.


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