In the first five years of the Korean plan, the government says it will aim to substantially increase the country’s automobile, medical and electronics sectors’ demand for 3D printers. However, it hasn’t yet explained how it specifically plans to increase demand, or how much it may invest to do so.
After the first five years, the government will examine prospects for the worldwide 3D printing market, which seems to mean that it will play more of a supporting role after the industry grows to a self-sustaining size. The government says the target date for this change in emphasis is around 2019.
South Korea plans to help 10 million people become skilled at using 3D printers — a fifth of the population — by 2020, and increase the nation’s global 3D printing market share to 15 percent in the same timeframe.
The Seoul government will also supply 5,800 3D printers to 5,865 schools nationwide by 2017, and will educate 13,000 teachers so they have a better understanding of 3D printing and can pass that on to their pupils. Around the country, 130 3D printing promotion centers will be built to spark interest in the technology.
Three words sum up the problems the government is trying to address here: ‘demand’, ‘awareness’ and ‘education’.