A metal-lamination factory that opened last April is ramping up the development of new products using its three-dimensional metal printers while collaborating with local small and midsize companies to drive innovation.

Operated by Nihon Michelin Tire, which conducts research and development in Ota, Gunma Prefecture, along with other firms, the new facility named Michelin AM Atelier combines 3D metal printers with unique additive manufacturing (AM) technology by which objects are created through a process of layering material.

The Japanese unit of the French tire manufacturer expects to contribute to manufacturing technology advances which will, in turn, lead to the development of a network of new and complementary businesses in the area.