When it comes to 3D printing, South Korea has recently become quite the country to watch in terms of growth and innovation. As validation of its industry’s development, the South Korean government announced Wednesday that it plans to draw up a 10-year blueprint to promote the country’s 3D printing market, and to help transform the manufacturing sector.
Under the blueprint, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy will devise detailed plans for the local 3D printing market by October.
“The 3D printing industry is a new growth engine to bring about innovation in the manufacturing realm,” said Lee Kwan-seok, an official from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. “It is anticipated to take a key role in the country’s creative economy drive by converging with the ICT sector.”
The statement added that a roadmap spearheaded by the government was necessary to better coordinate research efforts currently being conducted in silos at the various universities and institutions. According to the Yonhap News Agency, the ministry in June said it planned to deploy 3D printers at 227 libraries and 5,885 schools across the country by 2017, and is targeting for 10 million South Koreans to use 3D printers by 2020.
As previously reported in Bits & Pieces, demand for 3D printing is projected to rise more than 20% per year, ultimately hitting $5 billion in 2017. While professional uses such as design and prototyping will continue to account for the majority of demand, the most rapid growth will be seen in production and consumer applications.