The Indian Institute of Technology, Jodhpur, has developed an indigenous, made-in-India model of a metal 3D printer for utilisation in the defence, engineering and aerospace industries.
Officials have stated that besides the laser and robotic components, all the printer parts are manufactured domestically to lessen the burden of import prices and costs to attract more users.
Aim Of The Project
The objective of the indigenous 3D printer was to mainly create more demand and diversify the consumer base in India.
Ravi KR, the Associate Professor who teaches in the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering of the institute, said, "Even though metal 3D printing technology started a few years after the launch of Polymer 3D printing, it is yet to experience the tremendous growth that the polymer 3D industry has achieved, especially in India," as reported by the Hindustan Times.
He further elucidated the reasons for low demand, saying that the sky-high costs of the finished product and expensive metal powder used to print are all imported from foreign countries, which have stunted the market for 3D printers.
Benefits Of The New Technology
The printer will help develop materials and fully functional cogs for industries such as aerospace, defence, automobiles, engineering, oil and gas extraction, etc. It can also repair and add material to existing products and parts of a machine.
V Narayanan, another Associate Professor from the Department of Physics who was a part of the team that developed the printer, said, "Our team has developed this machine's tool path planning software and coaxial nozzle. It also has in-situ monitoring technologies which constantly monitor the melt pool temperature and clad thickness during the additive manufacturing process," as cited in NDTV.
He added that the cost of importing metal powders like done before would also stop because the new 3D printer can produce components using made-in-India metallic powder. Furthermore, it uses India's first state-of-the-art variable spot sizer laser optics that do not make concessions on the quality of the laser beam.