HP has opened a new 3D printing research center on Thursday in Sant Cugat, in the outskirts of Barcelona, becoming the largest 3D producer in the world. The nearly 15,000 m² center has various research units focusing on different specialties and some 100 metal and plastic 3D printers that already produce pieces for the health, automotive and aerospace sectors.

Ramon Pastor, HP’s vice president and global 3D business director general, said that “the 21stcentury’s industrial future is being written” at the new Sant Cugat center that has become a global research reference. Pastor also described 3D printing as working towards a paradigm shift in production as 3D production “will take place close to the demand [rather than centralized in Asia] and only what is needed is made when it is needed.”

The Barcelona area already debuted an important 3D printing incubator in February as part of the DFactory 4.0 project. Located in Barcelona’s Zona Franca, it is part of a larger 3D printing and robotics project that is set to be built in 2020 and will be housed in the former Seat factory. This incubator provides services to some 30 firms in the health, logistics and mobility sectors and has received finance from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).