Recently we updated you on the way companies and governments from the UK and the US are working on putting more 3D printers in schools. The big question following this article was when would governments from all over the world start investing more in 3D printing education, in order to teach a new generation on tomorrow’s mainstream techniques. Well, Japan is surely taking steps, as we got the news that the Japanese economy ministry plans on funding 3D printing education on its universities.
The Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry is about to fund a variety of universities and technical colleges. The idea behind it is to subsidize two-thirds of their purchase expenses. In addition, they plan on also targeting middle and high schools throughout Japan in fiscal 2015. The goal behind the project is to find new uses for 3D printing by using the students’s creative minds. But the government also plans on providing students with skills and experience in the field and make them feel comfortable with these new methods.
It funds the universities with about 200 million yen, which is about 1.95 million dollars, and it will be taken from its budget for research and development at small and medium-sized companies in the supplementary budget for fiscal 2013. The government will fund each school with several million to tens of millions of yen, which they can use to buy 3D printers. Japan will accept candidate schools this month and choose the final schools this summer. Candidate middle and high schools will be chosen next year.
By encouraging companies around the universities to also use the 3D printers, the ministry will try to turn universities into research and development centers. Students will be taught how manufacturing processes work during classes and research, and they will learn how to properly use 3D data.
Credits image: Danny Choo/Culture Japan.