Jun 15, 2016

Zhuhai CTC Electronic Co., Ltd (CTC), a Chinese 3D printer manufacturer, has signed a technical cooperation agreement with ROKIT, South Korea's largest 3D printing enterprise, to jointly develop a next-generation desktop SLA 3D bio-printer that will use CTC Electronic's RiverOS operating system.

Thanks to strong domestic hardware development and manufacturing capabilities, China's 3D printing industry is rarely limited by its printer hardware. Software, on the other hand, has long been its Achilles Heel.

In the past, most Chinese 3D printing companies have used open source FDM 3D printers, modifying them but failing to create complex laser exposure algorithms. This inability to drastically improve software is the reason why most Chinese 3D printing enterprises have tended to gravitate toward the lower end of FDM 3D printing.

In November 2015, Zhuhai CTC Electronic sought to change that by releasing its self-developed operating system, RiverOS, which aims to make 3D printing easier for hobbyists. The company then introduced its 'Walnut' SLM 3D printer range, becoming the first manufacturer in China to build a dot-scan 3D operating system without imported components.

ROKIT was founded in 2012. Until 2015, the company had sold nearly ten thousand units of 3DISON 3D printers, with overseas distributors in more than 20 countries. It has become South Korea's largest 3D printer manufacturer and exporter, with a seventy percent domestic market share, as well as one of the biggest 3D printer manufacturers in Asia. The company has also been granted over 30 3D printing patents.

At the end of 2015, ROKIT announced that it had been awarded $3 million in research funding from the South Korean government to develop a 3D bio-printer. The research project also involved the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Seoul National University Bounding Hospital (SNUBH), and the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (KIMM). It is expected to be completed within the next three years.

According to official sources for the project, ROKIT has successfully developed a biocompatible photosensitive resin which has passed US security certification. Using a CTC Electronic 3D printer, which uses a 405nm wavelength laser, the material can be cured into 3D shapes for use in burn treatment, plastic surgery, and other medical fields.

Once ready, the 3D bio-printer will initially be sold in South Korea and the United States, according to the terms of the agreement. A decision on a potential Chinese release will be made afterwards.



Posted in 3D Printer



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