Building DED Metal 3D Printer Domestically Cuts Costs 2-3 Times for Indian Team

RAPID

Share this Article

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jodhpur recently announced that the university has developed a new directed energy deposition (DED) metal printing system. Aside from the machine’s laser, as well as a robotic arm manufactured by Germany-based robotics company KUKA, every component of the machine was made in India.

This is perhaps the most notable example to date of the National Strategy on Additive Manufacturing (NSAM), a program announced by India’s government earlier this year. One of the stated goals of the program is to create “50 Indian [AM] technologies”, including materials, printers, post-processing, and software. Overall, the NSAM is the latest component in Prime Minister Modi’s Atmanirbhar Bharat (“Self-Reliant India”) policy, which his administration has pursued since it began in 2014.

In a press release, one of the engineers who worked on the project, Dr Ravi KR, said, “The small success of this research has given great hope to our team to undertake new endeavors. Moreover, it will further strengthen the trust placed on our team and organization by the funding agencies and industry that are assisting our current research and will be assisting us in the future.” Another member of the team, physicist V Narayanan, noted that the machine can print parts using domestically-sourced metal powders, and explained, “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 [AM] process.”

Dr Ravi KR — who is an associate professor at IIJ Jodphur’s department of metallurgical and materials engineering — also said that the overall cost of the machine could be reduced by two to three times by sourcing all the materials from within India. Although there are already other metal 3D printers manufactured in India, this is the first one designed with the objective of relying almost entirely on domestic supply chains.

The idea is an especially interesting one concerning metal AM, specifically, since the creation of wholly domestic supply chains could eventually be leveraged into optimizing the number of printer parts that can themselves be printed. Obviously any remotely successful attempt at achieving such an objective would take years. However, any nation that accomplishes it will have created a truly self-reliant supply chain.

Additionally, India would be the logical place to do that. As I’ve noted in my coverage of the nation’s AM sector going back to last October, the country seems poised to be the central hub in a plan to create an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. This seems to be increasingly likely, given the G7’s announcement yesterday that the group is planning a $600 billion alternative to Belt and Road.

Images courtesy of IIT Jodhpur

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printing News Unpeeled

Himed and Lithoz Launch Center for Bioceramics 3D Printing



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Slice Engineering and Egyptian NGO Give Amputees Free 3D Printed Prosthetics

Florida-based Slice Engineering believes that additive manufacturing can reshape industries and make a lasting impact on humanity, and so works hard to empower innovators and professionals. The company does this...

3DPOD Episode 197: Ceramics 3D Printing with Johannes Homa, Lithoz CEO

Lithoz is a pioneer in the 3D printing of technical ceramics, initially using a ceramic-loaded stereolithography process and later adopting multiple technologies. Johannes Homa, a researcher turned entrepreneur, discusses his...

AddUp Announces Deputy CEO & Innovations in Medical & Injection Molding AM

Global metal 3D printer OEM AddUp, a joint venture between French tire giant Michelin and Paris-based industrial engineering corporation Fives, appointed Julien Marcilly as its new CEO at the end...

Lithoz Expands Ceramic 3D Printing to Japan via New Network

Lithoz is securing the future of its ceramic 3D printing technology in Japan with the formation of a new coalition with leaders from the country’s ceramics and manufacturing industries. Together...