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3D Printing

The process of building three-dimensional solid objects from a digital design using additive methods has been making steady in-roads into the industry.

What is 3D Printing?

3D Printing one of the listed technologies within Additive manufacturing (AM) – is a technology that “prints” or assembles a three dimensional object layer by layer, where each layer is like a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the objects being made. An energy source like laser or electron beam is used with materials such as metal, polymer or resin in a regulated environment to convert a 3Ddesign into object, one micron layer at a time.

Why 3D

The traditional methods of manufacturing are based on subtractive manufacturing, which entails cutting out and hollowing out a piece of metal or polymer, and are, therefore, restricted by the tools available, while a 3D printer has the flexibility of manufacturing several types of designs. The technology gives flexibility and ability to make complex geometry that allows designers to keep experimenting with designs till they have the most optimized version.

The Big Boy’s?

Technology majors such as Siemens, Wipro and HP Inc. among others have spotted the opportunity in this space in India. HP launched its 3D printing solution in the country earlier this year, whereas, Wipro3D launched its state of the art solution and experience center for metal 3D printing in Bengaluru in March.

Startups too, have entered the market, primarily offering 3D Printing services such as designing, prototyping and other related services. These companies are catering to several industries like healthcare, jewellery, automotive and consumer products.

Road Ahead?

Market research company 6W research has projected Indian 3D printer market to be worth $79Million (INR 535Crore) by 2021, driven by domestic production, low cost manufacturing, and increasing penetration across various applications, along with “Make-In-India” initiatives.

The global market for 3D printing is seen growing to $20billion, which will still be only a fraction of the entire tooling market at time. As per McKinsey, the overall economic impact created by Additive Manufacturing (AM) could be reaching $100Bn to 250Bn by 2025, if adoption across industries continues at today’s rate.

Most potential will come from the aerospace and defense, automotive, medical and consumer goods industries.

Source: Secondary and Published data.