The evolution of 3DP technology has been humungous. Right from the time Charles Hull built the first commercial 3D printer in 1984 to the year 2014; 3D printers have developed from prototyping machines to a life changing technology. Many companies have saved million of dollars by using this technology in their production process. In developed economies like the United States of America, China, Germany, Australia and other European countries 3D printing has found its base in a wide range of industries. Though the technology has entered the Indian market very recently there are many areas where the 3D printing technology can be used to save time as well as reduce the hazards of the existing sector.
In this article we will talk about the various potential uses of 3D printing exclusively in the Indian context.
In other countries 3D printing has helped the aerospace industry to a great extent especially in cutting down the money that was spent by the industry every year on procuring the spare parts. For prototyping of spares the aerospace industry heavily depends on Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Technology. The industry chose this technology over the SLA technology as the parts that are produced by this technology use thermoplastic of a higher performance. On the other hand if flexible fixtures are to be made then PolyJet 3D printing is preferred.
Off late India has started to manufacture 3D printers. So if the aerospace industry can seek help from these 3D printer manufacturers and individuals to develop a 3D printer that could cater to the needs of the industry then it would be a win- win situation for both the parties. It would also boost the economy of India.
Construction and Architecture:
The biggest problem in a big country like India is that of food and shelter. Companies in China, Amsterdam and US have used 3D printing to build fast, cheap as well as durable homes. The homes that were built in China were built in less than 24 hours. If implemented properly 3D printing could be the answer to the governments housing problems in various developing countries like India.
This technology can also be used by architects in order to give their ideas a more realistic touch. PolyJet 3D printing technology produces models that have exceptionally smooth surfaces and great detailing. For parts that need to bear load architects use FDM technology instead. College students as well as professionals can use this technology to flaunt their ideas in a more expressive way!
As Indian economy is getting stronger with each passing day the purchasing index of the people of India is increasing by leaps and bounds. Earlier on the Indian road the cars that were visible were only Ambassador and Maruti but now there are lots of imported cars. Whenever there is a breakdown in the car and there is a requirement for spare parts, these parts have to be imported. Some automobile companies have their factories based in India but most companies are yet to set up their factories. So procuring these parts is difficult and expensive, 3D printing could be helpful to such people. In India there are companies like Imaginarium and ALTEM Technologies which produce prototypes and spare parts according to the needs of the Automotive customers.
In Indian shopping malls, quite often we come across customized mugs, T-shirts and photo frames. This signifies that the consumer market for personalized goods is very strong. 3D printing can play a pivotal role in this new trend of customization. 3D printing gives an idea the speed required to match the brilliance of the concept. With the help of FDM printers, prototypes can be easily built. Transforming an idea into an object which can be touched and felt is a great feeling altogether. In the Indian context, with the dawn of 3D printers in the consumer industry ware houses can be done away with, thus saving a lot of money as well as lowering the rate of wastage.
In US we have seen that 3D printing is being incorporated in the defense mechanism of the country. Right from 3D printing surgical kits to the formation of 3D printing specialized platoons 3D printing is all set to help soldiers in the war front. India is in constant threat of being attacked by its neighboring countries. It could use this technology to give medical aid to the war causalities. 3D printers are also being used used for making customized food for soldiers in the war front. So if Indian soldiers have access to 3D printers like Foodini or ChefJet, this could provide some relief to them.
Indians are stereotyped as being foodies but recently Indians have become very health conscious. So there has been an outburst of gyms and beauty salons all over the country. There has also been a growth in the number of dental labs as well. 3D printing could be used in the dental industry to improve the quality and precision of dental products. Many labs in US have a digital design pattern by which oral scanning, CAD/CAM design and 3D printing of orthodontic appliances can be done with speed and precision.
Education has always been a prime focal point in most Indian families. There is a huge emphasis on good quality education. There are many online as well as offline companies in India that are very keen in imparting knowledge and skill to enthusiastic students interested in 3DP technology. The amalgamation of 3D printing in the education sector with act as a fuel to the talent that is there in India. It would increase the creativity and the thinking capacity of students and help them to think in different ways. Very soon India is expected to be a world power so we need apt leaders with a balanced knowledge of recent developments to lead such a country. So including 3D printing into the curriculum is the best option.
Most of the animation programs that we see on the screen is being made in Bangalore, India. Big production houses such as DreamWorks and Walt Disney get their animations done in Bangalore. But the animators in India haven’t started to use 3D printing in a large scale as compared to other animators residing in other countries. This could prove that India might just lose its crown of being the animation hub if it doesn’t embrace 3D printing. 3D printing provides quick and agile fabrication. You might have seen a3D printed animated character on screen without even realizing it.
Last but not the least the medical industry, 3D printing has contributed the most to this field. It has not only saved lives but has transformed them too. The era of customization in the medical industry has been brought about with the help of this technology especially in the case of prosthetics. 3D printing human tissues, liver, ear, heart, exo-skeleton and many more have been the gift of 3D printing to mankind.
Also Read: Uses of 3D printing in India