A laboratory accommodating five cutting-edge 3D printers, a never-before-seen collection of Internet of Things (IoT) parts, and a financial technology (fintech) support center. Those futuristic terms and related devices that may be new to most people are being tested and developed at the Gyeonggi Center for Creative Economy & Innovation, a facility that mobile carrier KT opened March 30 along with the local government and other public organizations.
Under the creative economy agenda pushed by the Park Geun-hye administration, conglomerates and major enterprises have joined forces with the government to open a series of innovation centers; the KT center in this technology hub, often compared to Silicon Valley, is the eighth of 17 planned. Ten days after its official opening led by the Blue House and KT, tech reporters were invited for a tour last Friday and to talk to employees and heads of companies that have nestled into the space KT rented after seeing their potential.
Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI) said Thursday it has developed a technology that enables the use of nano element “graphene” for 3D printing for the first time in the world. KERI, a unit under the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, said that the new technology will significantly improve the manufacture of flexible and wearable devices. “The 3D nano printing technology will make it possible to produce 3D objects using various materials, including metal, plastic and graphene, compared to the existing 3D printers that only use plastic as material,” said Seol Seung-kwon, a senior researcher at KERI’s Nano Hybrid Technology Research Center. “This technology can be applied to diverse industrial segments. In particular, it is anticipated to set a new paradigm in the printed electronics segment, which has lacked core technology so far.”
The printed electronics technology is used for manufacturing digital devices such as smartphones, digital cameras and display panels, as well as flexible devices including electronics paper and flexible chemical sensors. Though 3D printing technology has been a feature in the printed electronics segment already, the current technology level remained with producing simple objects and had difficulties in manufacturing sophisticated electronic devices at the nano level.
Choi Yoon-chung (aged 22) has recently decided to undergo bimaxillary operation for her protruding lower jaw. Choi had been hesitant about the surgery as it involves risky procedures such as cutting off the facial bone and repositioning the upper and lower jaw bones. However, she has become resolved to the operation after receiving explanations that the surgery ensures safety using 3D (three-dimensional) printer technology.
3D printers are widely used for medical purposes including riskier plastic surgery, orthodontic movement and artificial hands/ legs. They enable surgeons to perform simulated surgery/ mock operations ahead of actual operations and make subsidiary organs catered to each patent, resulting in higher medical efficiency.
The luxury sportscar brand, Lamborghini utilized 3D printer technology to create a pilot model of the “Aventador.” Prior to the introduction of 3D printer technology, $40,000 and four-month period were required for the production but 3D printing brought down costs and the period to $3,000 and 20 days.