3D printing technology is taking the world by storm, but despite the fact that the nuts and bolts of it might be the same the world round, the context can be quite different. India, in particular, faces challenges in regard to healthcare costs and healthcare access, two areas that are challenging many countries. However, Stratasys India GM Rajiv Bajaj also sees the ways in which his country’s interaction with 3D printing are a unique story. In an interview with The Financial Express, he described the unique nature of this relationship:
“In comparison to global markets, India is relatively young in adopting 3D printing technology, but the market is continuously picking up speed in not just 3D printing adoption, but aslo education and awareness, as different sectors see the benefit that 3D printing brings to their world…We see Indian hospitals using 3D printers, not just to produce anatomical models, but also various implants…for advanced examination. Indian manufacturers are using 3D printers to produce end-use parts directly [and] schools are using it to prepare students for their future career where 3D printing shall play an integral part in the design and engineering spectrum.”
To Bajaj’s mind, however, it is about more than just playing catch up to the ways in which other areas of the world are already using 3D printing, but instead offering unique opportunities for local businesses to exercise their creativity and address particular local needs. Some of the local needs served by 3D printing are truly specific due to the technology’s famed ability to provide fully customized prosthetics and other medical devices on a person-by-person basis.
As part of Stratasys’ commitment to the Indian market, they have established a new 3D Printing Experience Center in Bengaluru that gives people the opportunity to see their products at work. Bajaj discussed the reasoning behind the creation of this center:
“As a trusted industry leader, we recognize the importance of bringing the technology closer to where its customers are, to bridge the gap and ensure higher awareness among local populations. In India, we intend to invest in identification of advanced applications (especially direct digital manufacturing systems) for which our printing technologies and versatile materials are developed for. In addition, we seek relevant niche applications where additive manufacturing can provide substantial value, and develop a comprehensive solution to address these opportunities.”
There is every reason to include India in the 3D print revolution not only because of the benefits it can bring to those receiving its end products, but also because of the way in which it can be used as a tool during the creative process.
“3D printing empowers international corporates and local businesses to unleash creativity and streamline product development processes. It addresses the inherent limitations of traditional modeling technologies through its combination of high precision and ability to produce complex geometries in relatively shorter time and lower cost, leading to vast opportunities in rapid prototyping for industries ranging from consumer goods, electronics, education, automotive and machinery as well as tooling.”
And in a country with over one billion people, the democratization of design and production that is brought to bear with these advanced technologies is bound to unleash a creative explosion. What are your thoughts on India’s potential with 3D printing? Discuss in the 3D Printing & India forum over at 3DPB.com.