Jul 4, 2019

The Indian automotive, aerospace and defence sectors are making use of the 3D printing technology to develop prototypes as well as to carry out scientific investigations in their respective industries. The Indian market is positive about the growth of the additive manufacturing technology in the near future.

The global additive manufacturing market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 17.7 % during the forecast period 2019 – 2027 and is expected to reach 36.61 billion dollars by the year 2027 from the current 8.4 billion dollars, according to a report by market research firm The Insight Partners Analysis. In this scenario, the Indian 3D printing market alone is expected to be worth 79 million dollars by 2021, mentions Business Today, an India-based business magazine. The Indian market is slowly picking up pace and exploring new opportunities in the additive manufacturing space. Some of the leading sectors that benefit from the 3D printing technology are automobiles, aerospace, and defence.

Advantages of AM

The success of this innovation lies in its numerous advantages including quick production as compared to traditional methods, light in weight, ability to develop complicated designs, and cost effective. Guruprasad Rao, Director, Imaginarium India says, “In India, the manufacturing sectors are quite conservative in adopting new technologies and the market is also price sensitive particularly after globalisation.” 

Target areas

Despite this situation, the Indian automotive industry identified the merits of this rapidly growing technology early on and today the two mighty Indian players – Tata Motors and Maruti are making use of this technology to develop prototypes for their automobiles.

Additive manufacturing has also been explored in the aerospace and defence sectors as well. According to an article by Prakash Panneerselvam titled ‘Additive Manufacturing in Aerospace and Defence Sector: Strategy of India’, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the only aircraft manufacturer in India, is using the AM technology to build numerous components for its indigenous engine programme.

The article further mentions that HAL is using the direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) technique to print components for the indigenously developed Hindustan Turbofan Engine-25 (HTFE-25). This process has helped the company to build a high pressure turbine blade quickly, as generally it takes two years to build the engine using computer numerical control (CNC) machines. Similarly, the Indian defence segment has also been using 3-D printers to build components or prototype models for scientific investigations.

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