As the year 2021 ends, we bring you the highlights of the Indian 3D printing industry this year. This year saw several firsts, multiple partnerships and collaborations, new product introductions and several steps towards expanding the reach of 3D printing in all sectors especially in the healthcare sector.
This article will highlight the exemplary work done by the Indian 3D printing industry as a whole and showcase the individual strides taken by promising Startups and established industry leaders.
The year 2021 started brightly for the Indian 3D Printing Industry as Intech Additive Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (Intech), India’s first Metal 3D printer manufacturer, announced the launch of iFusion LF series’ – a large format range of Metal 3D Printers with a high build rate for cost effective manufacturing. This marked an expansion of its range of metal 3D printers.
The ‘iFusion LF series’, entirely developed and built at Intech’s facility at Bengaluru, has a range that starts with a single 500W laser printer and is upgradeable to a quad laser configuration with 700W and 1000W lasers if required. The LF series of machines require the lowest initial investment to procure and install, compared to other similar-sized metal 3D printers, along with locally available spares and support.
The ‘iFusion LF series’ of large format 3D printers has a build volume of 450x450x450mm, and is tightly integrated with Intech’s software suite for Metal Additive Manufacturing. With this launch, it aims to deliver robustness and productivity at a competitive MHR and lowest cost per part (CPP).
Wipro 3D, the metal additive manufacturing (AM) business of Wipro Infrastructure Engineering (WIN), and the Engine Division of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) announced that their collaboration resulted in the manufacture of a metal 3D printed aircraft engine component.
Wipro3D revealed that, “The Nozzle Guide Vane (also called the Inner Ring), 3D printed in a high-temperature resilient steel A286, has been awarded Airworthiness certification by Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC), the regulatory body of Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). The Wipro3D manufactured components shall be installed in HAL manufactured helicopter engines.”
This collaboration will work towards development, manufacturing and airworthiness certification of a critical aero-engine component operating in the hot zone.
A significant achievement for theIndian 3D Printing Industry came in February 2021 when Divide By Zero, India’s largest home-grown 3D printer manufacturer, secured a US patent for its new Advanced Fusion Plastic Modeling™ (AFPM) 3D printing technology. AFPM is comparatively superior and reliable 3D printing technology than the conventional Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) and other 3D printing technologies available and used across the globe.
Advanced Fusion Plastic Modeling™ (AFPM) helps control temperature and material flow in variable layers of 3D printing which in turn results in improved material control. It delivers a print strength that is similar to the superior kind expected from Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printers but at much lower rates.
Divide By Zero Technologies continued its growth story by dispatching its first-ever high-speed 3D printer order to Houston, Texas. This marks a significant milestone in the Indian 3D printing industry as DBZ became the first-ever Indian company to export its 3D printers to the US.
Swapnil Sansare, CEO & Founder of Divide By Zero expressed his excitement as saying, “This is just the beginning. We are ramping up our production infrastructure to dispatch many more such high-speed 3D printers to the United States and the world at large.”
He expressed his company’s growth-policies in 4 words, “Innovation – Application – Assurance – Service.”
In March this year, Divide By Zero Technologies unveiled its all-new Intelligent Auto-Switchover Servo Controlled System for its FFF 3D printers. This is now a default feature on all its professional and industrial 3D printers henceforth.
The Intelligent Auto-Switchover Servo Controlled System reduces 3D printer downtime by more than 95% and increases the reliability of the printers by over 200%.
The Intelligent Auto-Switchover System is a servo-controlled system that aims to eliminate downtime occurring due to nozzle clogging. Nozzle clogging is a significant issue in FFF 3D printing and can not only waste a lot of time but also ruin the on-going print. To solve this frequent issue, DBZ came up with this innovative solution.
The Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone (AMTZ), India’s first medical device park, inaugurated its 3D Bioprinting facility to develop artificial organs through 3D Bioprinting under the Bio Harmonised Aids for Rehabilitation and Treatment (BHARAT) programme to boost diagnostics and therapy.
The AMTZ is a flagship project of the Andhra Pradesh government to manufacture indigenous medical technology products in the country and make healthcare more accessible to the general public. Think3D, one of India’s largest 3D printing service providers, is one of the MedTech zone’s standout companies. Think3D has a 17,500 square foot facility in the AMTZ that primarily focuses on medical devices but also serves many other industries such as aerospace, maritime, automotive, architecture, prototyping, and so on.
April saw an impressive sales order for Intech Additive Solutions. It bagged multiple orders worth US$ 2 Million from four clients combined for its iFusion’ series of Metal AM systems. This was one of the biggest orders heard in theIndian 3D printing industry this year.
Intech’s multiple orders worth US$ 2 million includes the sale of a combined total of six Metal AM Systems, iFusion SF1, and iFusion LF1, configured with Pre-build software AMBuilder to five organisations, as below:
Indo-MIM, Pandit Deendayal Energy University (PDEU), Poeir Jets and two other industry leading organizations from India.
According to Sridhar Balaram, CEO of Intech, “We have focused on a steady and sustainable growth path despite the challenges of COVID and enforced lockdowns. It is exciting to see that our home grown iFusion series Metal AM systems, AM software suite AMBuilder and AMOptoMet has been well accepted and garnering increasing acclaim day by day as a better alternative to extremely expensive imported AM systems. Our target industry segments are growing, and our investment strategy has kept up with the increased demand with the support of our strong team of experts in-house. We are also diversifying our team by adding innovative young professionals.”
Indian 3D printing industry witnessed a significant milestone with the virtually inauguration of India’s First 3D printed house in Chennai by Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Govt. of India, Tvasta Manufacturing Solutions, an IIT Madras Alumni Startup, created, designed, and 3D printed the house.
The 3D printed house is a proof-of-concept structure designed to introduce and highlight the technology for use in the construction industry. The 3D printed house was constructed on the campus of IIT Madras.
Tvasta began as the 3D Printing Club of IIT Madras in the Centre For Innovation (CFI) to build innovative products using 3D Printing and to raise awareness about this technology by three students at the time, Adithya, Vidyashankar, and Parivarthan. Following their graduation in 2016, Tvasta was founded as a company capable of delivering world-class industrial 3D printing solutions.
Divide By Zero Technologies unveiled the addition of Polypropylene in their 3D printing material arsenal. Divide By Zero customers are now be able to 3D print polypropylene (PP) in the patented AEQON & AION Series of FDM 3D printers which offer 5X faster and high-performance 3D printing.
Speaking on this, CEO & Founder Swapnil Sansare said, “This light-weight high strength material will prove beneficial in the medical, food and packaging industry with incredible results needing mass customisations.”
Objectify Technologies announced a collaboration with Air Works Group, India’s largest and most diverse independent MRO, in May of this year to help deliver 3D Printing for Aviation MRO. Air Works is a well-known company with a strong presence in India.
The collaboration aims to develop a variety of complex, new generation compounds and 3D printing polymers with unique properties that allow for extensive customization in product design, such as printing and production of parts/sub-parts and even entire assemblies that are either difficult, prohibitively expensive, or cannot be manufactured using traditional manufacturing processes.
Shree Rapid Technologies announced three partnerships with leading companies including GOM (a Zeiss company), Fronius the global leader in Innovation and Technology, to provide its large-scale Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) technology and 3DCeram, a French company specializing in 3D ceramic processes and materials. The introduction of three global players in the Indian 3D printing industry certainly builds a healthy competition and gives customers new options.
Partnership with GOM enables SRT to introduce the latest in optical metrology and bringing the best of 3D Scanning technology to the country.
Partnership with Fronius is developed with an aim to build the Indian manufacturing industry and making it Atmanirbhar through innovative technology such as WAAM.
Partnership with3DCeram enables SRT to strengthen the foothold of the company and advance 3D Printed Ceramics in the Indian market. The partnership will aid in pooling both companies’ additive manufacturing expertise in India.
Manufactur3D, India’s First and Leading Online Media Organization on 3D Printing, launched AM Health magazine – India’s First Dedicated Magazine on 3D Printing in Healthcare, its first magazine in a series of 3D printing applications-focused magazines, with the goal of raising awareness and assisting 3D printing companies in reaching their target audience. AM HEALTH focuses on stories, accomplishments, case studies, insights, applications and ecosystem from the rapidly expanding medical and healthcare 3D printing sector.
The first-of-its-kind magazine for the Indian market featured exclusive stories and accomplishments from Indian and global companies such as Incredible AM, Materialise, PPPrint, Markforged, Monotech Systems, and others.
Incredible AM, one of India’s leading medical 3D printing companies, announced the achievement of a new milestone: the delivery of 600+ 3D-printed Patent Specific Implants (PSIs).
Mahesh Dhoka, Director of Incredible AM Pvt. Ltd., emphasized the importance of building a state-of-the-art 3D printing facility for Incredible that complied with Indian FDA regulations. This ISO certified facility, clubbed with world-class AM systems, domain experts and its visionary leader culminated in the company achieving the milestone.
“Our first focus was always on the fact that we wanted to do business which improves people’s lives or creates a positive Impact on the society and medical business. Also, we could see the huge impact and improvement it (am) could do in the lives of the patients, the patient’s family, the surgeons and hospitals.”
Mahesh Dhoka, Director of Incredible AM Pvt. Ltd.
PPprint, the German materials manufacturer specialising in 3D printing of polypropylene, has announced the introduction of its biologically safe and skin-friendly polypropylene material in the Indian market.
The P-filament enables the production of industrial products with exceptional property profiles. It is compatible with all major 3D printers, has low warpage and shrinkage, and is chemical and moisture resistant. It also includes ‘P-support 279,’ the first breakaway support material specifically developed for polypropylene.
Other medical application possibilities for polypropylene include standing or sitting assistance devices, as well as communication aid fixtures. The material used in all of these applications is extremely important. PPprint’s products are not only best-in-class, but also extremely dependable in a wide range of medical applications.
Tata Technologies, a global engineering and product development digital services company, announced a partnership with Stratasys, one of the world’s leading additive manufacturing companies based in India, to provide advanced 3D printing solutions to the Indian manufacturing ecosystem.
Furthermore, the collaboration will combine Stratasys’ full capabilities and offerings in the polymer space, including products designed to yield multi-colour functional prototypes, machines best suited for manufacturing tooling components, and systems focused on mass production applications, with deep manufacturing domain knowledge and Tata Technologies’ robust presence in the manufacturing sector, to deliver end-to-end 3D printing solutions from concept to product.
“Our partnership with Tata Technologies further strengthens Stratasys’ commitment to driving additive manufacturing adoption in the Indian industry. We welcome Tata Technologies, one of the most trusted brands in India, to our ecosystem. We are confident that this partnership will accelerate technological transformation in Indian industry and academia with best-in-class Stratasys technology.”
Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Stratasys India and SEA
Tvasta Manufacturing Solutions (Tvasta), a Bangalore-based tech startup founded by IIT Madras alumni, announced a collaboration with Saint-Gobain, a French multinational corporation, to develop a 3D printed doffing unit. Two such 3D printed doffing units have been installed in hospitals in Kancheepuram and Chennai.
A doffing unit is used for the efficient and safe removal and disposal of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, which are now widely used in pandemic situations.
Hon. Ma. Subramanian, Minister of Health and Family Welfare in Tamil Nadu, dedicated one unit each at the government headquarters hospital in Kancheepuram and the Government Medical College Hospital in Omandurar Estate, Chennai. Along with this, the Thiruvalluvar Government Medical College and Hospital laid the groundwork for the third.
Amace Solutions Pvt. Ltd., an Ace Micromatic Group company based in Bangalore, India, and a provider of metal AM solutions, introduced the ALM-400 metal 3D printer. The powder bed fusion metal 3D printer is designed and developed for serial production applications rather than just prototyping.
The build volume of the ALM-400 metal 3D printer is 410mm x 410mm x 450mm, allowing for the printing of large parts. The machine is equipped with a dual laser system that includes two high-powered 1kW lasers that cover the entire scan field. Because of the dual lasers, it can print faster, making it ideal for serial production applications. The printer is capable of printing parts with layer thicknesses ranging from 30 to 120 microns.
TP Sridhar, CEO & Director, Ace Designers Ltd. expressed, “The ALM-400 has been designed with high productivity (serial production) in mind,” says. With some of the machine’s unique features, the ALM-400 will meet and exceed additive machine users’ expectations. The machine is easy to use and troubleshoot thanks to an improved user experience and intuitive feedback.”
AgniKul Cosmos, one of India’s leading space-tech companies, announced a collaboration with EOS India, a leading supplier of responsible manufacturing solutions based on industrial 3D printing technology, to accelerate in-house rocket engine 3D printing. The company plans to 3D print its own rocket engines, such as the Agnite and Agnilet engines.
EOS will be more than just a technology provider; it will also assist in educating the industry about the widespread adoption of 3D printing as a mainstream manufacturing technique for space technology.
Both organizations will work to strengthen their synergies in the fields of 3D printing (for AgniKul) and subsystems, according to the terms of the agreement (for EOS). EOS’ Additive minds will assist AgniKul in advancing 3D printing of rocket engines all the way to space qualification.
EOS would also help and support AgniKul by offering training, process know-how, and best practices for qualifying hardware that has previously worked successfully on the ground for spaceflight.
Scientists from the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) revealed that they successfully managed to repair aero-engine components using 3D printing technology called Directed Energy Deposition (DED). The research team discovered that the technology significantly reduced repair costs and overhaul time.
The powders for the DED 3D printing process were created by the scientists on their own.
The press release shared by ARCI mentioned that, “A team of scientists from the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials indigenously developed powders suitable for additive manufacturing using inert gas atomiser available at the ARCI by melting unused scrap material. Utilising this, the ARCI is developing the Laser-DED 3D printing process for the repair of aero-engine components made of Ni-based superalloy.”
The team of an ARCI, an autonomous R&D Centre of the Department of Science and Technology, developed a technology to refurbish pinion housing assemblies, which are critical components in helicopters used for power transmission to the main fan, by machining out the damaged layer and rebuilding it using laser DED 3D printing followed by final machining. A patent application has been submitted for the same.
STPL3D, a Surat-based 3D printing company that specializes in rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing, announced the launch of its new Indomake INSL series of SLA 3D printers in India.
Mr. Dhiraj Kumar Vasoya, Managing Director of STPL, unveiled the industrial-grade SLA 3D printer series at the company’s headquarters in Surat, Gujarat.
Last week, STPL3D launched its industrial-grade Indomake SLA 3D printer series in India, boasting a slew of high-quality features that elevate it to the ranks of India’s most advanced SLA 3D printers. To accommodate all types of users, the series includes four different 3D printers, each with a premium design, high-quality output, and build volume. The smallest measures 300 x 300 x 300 mm, while the largest measures 1100 x 600 x 550 mm.
To deliver industrial-grade parts, the sizes are carefully designed to cater to a wide range of customers, including Automobile, Aerospace, Healthcare & Medical, Robotics, R&D labs, and so on.
“Additive manufacturing is expecting a huge adaptation in the Indian manufacturing industries. In coming years it will be widely accepted as the foremost manufacturing technique in the small-scale production of different fields of the casting industries, shoes industries, art & craft industry, plastic industry, and automobile industry of electric vehicles. 3D printing will reduce the production & testing time of critical components and speed up the industrial revolution.”
Kuntesh Radadiya, Manager, STPL3D
VIT Chennai, a leading Tamil Nadu university, collaborated with Sedaxis Advanced Materials, a Navi Mumbai-based technology company, to establish an Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence to help accelerate the adoption of 3D printing in industries such as automotive, aerospace, defense, manufacturing, consumer goods, education, service bureaus, healthcare, construction, and others.
Dr. Kanchana Bhaaskaran, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of VIT, Chennai, attended the inauguration event, and after the MoU signing ceremony, members of both the VIT Chennai and Sedaxis teams took a tour of the upcoming CoE facility, as well as a campus tour to review VIT’s advanced infrastructure and facilities.
The VIT-Sedaxis Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence will be located on the VIT Chennai campus. In keeping with the Centre’s vision of making 3D printing accessible to a wide range of users, it will be outfitted with cutting-edge professional-grade 3D printers in a variety of technologies that can be used by all SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) in the region.
Meltio, a manufacturer of disruptive laser metal deposition technology, announced its partnership with Monotech Systems Ltd., an Indian distributor of 3D printing systems, to expand its presence in the Indian additive manufacturing market. As an official sales partner, Monotech Systems will play an important role in the distribution and support of the Meltio multi-metal 3D printing solution in India.
Monotech Systems will work with technology centers, tooling machine companies, robotic integrators, academia, and industry to create a supportive ecosystem for Meltio’s multi-metal 3D printing solution in the Indian territory.
XJet Ltd. signed a deal with Monotech to represent XJet in India. Monotech, which has a wealth of experience selling diverse 3D printing technologies, will assist XJet in its continued drive to grow in sectors ranging from automotive to healthcare, manufacturing to energy.
“We are looking forward to bringing the capabilities of XJet to the Indian market. Technical ceramics show huge potential in the region, and alumina and zirconia are particularly useful materials. XJet’s NanoParticle Jetting™ technology takes additive manufacturing and especially ceramic manufacturing to another level, delivering density that matches non-AM materials, superfine details, smooth surface, accuracies like never before and geometric freedom.”
– TP Jain, Managing Director at Monotech Systems Ltd.
Monotech Systems introduced two new partners in the Indian 3D printing industry. Monotech, which has 450 employees and 15 offices across India, will provide XJet with sales of AM systems and materials, installation, training, and after-sales service in India. In the first half of 2022, the company will also install a Carmel 1400 in India.
Indian 3D printing industry needs to ensure that technology reaches in its premier technical institutes. Towards the end of the year, IIT Ropar, a premier technical university in Rupnagar, Punjab, and one of the eight new IITs established by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India, installed an EOS M 290 metal 3D printer in its facility. It’s one-of-a-kind facility in northern India uses additive manufacturing technology known as selective laser melting to create complex geometrical featured products from various metals and alloys.
EOS is a global technology leader in industrial 3D printing of metals and plastics. They are pioneers and innovators in additive manufacturing integrated solutions. Their portfolio encompasses the entire additive manufacturing ecosystem, including systems, materials, software, and process parameters.
On December 13th, the metal 3D printer was installed in the IIT Ropar R&D Centre. At the center for next-generation metal additive manufacturing technologies, the metal 3D printer will be used for research and development. This technology is unique in its ability to address existing issues in the conventional powder bed fusion process such as thermal management and slow build rate.
According to The Print, Primaeam Solutions Pvt. Ltd., an additive parts manufacturing company based in Tamil Nadu, inaugurated a 10,000 sq. ft. new Additive Manufacturing Customer Experience Centre, Innovation & Incubation Centre for Healthcare in the state’s capital city of Chennai.
Pankaj Kumar Bansal – IAS, Chairman & Managing Director of TIDCOS, Dr. S. Christopher, Former Chairman – DRDO, Dr. N. Vivek, MDS, Dean – SRM Dental College, and Dr. Rita Christopher, Dean – NIMHANS, inaugurated the new center.
The 10,000-square-foot facility, built at a cost of 20 crore INR, will allow the company to strengthen its position as a technology leader in additive manufacturing service bureau, with technologies such as Electron Beam Melting (EBM), Selective Laser Sintering (SLM), Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), Stereolithography (SLA), Multi Jet Fusion (MJF), and Continuous Filament Fabrication with Fiber reinforcement (CFF). The software will be made available through Primaeam’s Innovation & Incubation Centre, and the design will be given physical form through the company’s in-house world-class Additive Manufacturing facility.