(January 6, 2016) A research group led by Professor SHIRASE Keiichi of the Kobe University Graduate School of Engineering has developed a prototype machine tool that can manufacture metal components and operates like a 3D printer. The prototype was exhibited at Emo Milano 2015, one of the three largest international machine tool trade shows. This development could speed up the manufacture of custom-made products such as dental implants and artificial bones, potentially shortening production times and reducing costs.
The machine tool prototype is a product of Kobe University’s ongoing research into intelligent machine tools. This is one of three Kobe University projects in the category of “Innovative design and manufacturing technologies” selected for the Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP), a project headed by the Japanese Cabinet Office’s Council for Science, Technology and Innovation. In June 2015 Kobe University used funding from this program to establish the 3D Smart Manufacturing Center, which will be used to pursue interdisciplinary research and business-academia collaborations.