Adoption of 3D Printing
is today at a critical stage where the number or organizations still contemplating its implementation is going down rapidly. Where 3D Printing was only suitable for prototyping and one-off manufacturing in the early stages, it is now rapidly transforming into a production technology. As it evolves, 3D Printing technology is destined to transform almost every major industry and change the way one lives, works and plays in the future. The global 3D Printing market
size was valued at USD 15.10 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow from 18.33 billion in 2022 to USD 83.90 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 24.3 per cent during the forecast period.
3D Printing Leveraged by Healthcare Sector
It’s not uncommon these days to see headlines about 3D printed implants. 3D Printing shines like a ray of hope in healthcare applications by enabling customized solutions. Whether it is a cast printed from a 3D scan of a child’s forearm, new tissue to repair an injury or entirely new organs manufactured with embedded vascular structure, 3D Printing can handle everything. 3D Printing has come as a breather for cardiologists in understanding the convolutions of heart that often led to a bigger confusion on deciding best treatment possible. Recalling the old days, Mahesh Kappanayil, a doctor in Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS)
said “Over the past few years, I used to study the MRIs, CT scans and build models of heart by my hand using modelling clay, so that I could discuss with my team and understand the three-dimensional heart structure”.
However, the introduction of 3D Printing in the field of cardiology has not only put an end to the crude way of understanding the anatomy of various hearts, but has also increased the comfort levels of surgeons in dealing with various complexities.
“There is no doubt that 3D Printing technology is a valuable lifeline for healthcare sector and in the long run, it has the potential to sprawl its reach and penetrate the market of Indian healthcare more deeper. Along with it, 3D Printing can help trainees to work with printed anatomical models that thoroughly emulate a particular disease or diagnosis, making them more prepared than ever. It can carve some of the best medical practitioners of the country in a relatively shorter span of time. Therefore, it can be said that 3D Printing technology has instilled new life in India’s healthcare sector and it will further grow multi-fold in the coming years”, says Firoza Kothari, Co-founder of Anatomiz3D
Benefits of 3D Printing in Automotive Industry
Printing solutions for the automotive industry provide benefits that can be easily evaluated in terms of performance characteristics. 3D Printing can replace expensive and long lead time CNC production.
3D printed plastic parts are cheaper and their production time in-house is shorter and this means reduction in production costs, especially when dealing with the manufacturing of complex bodies. 3D printer assisted design in the automotive industry allows designers to try multiple options of the same detail and iterations during the stages of new model development. It brings flexibility, which results in efficient designs and flexibility in making changes in design throughout the process of model evaluation. This, in turn, helps automobile manufacturers stay up to date with market needs and be ahead of the field. In the last five years, big automobile brands like Ford and BMW have started using metal 3D Printing to drive the automotive factory of the future.
Even, Rolls Royce has recently showcased the capabilities of 3D printing for brackets. The company showed off the large batch of DfAM-optimised and 3D printed automotive metal parts, many of which look to be brackets.
“3D Printing technology can be utilised at high precision and high speed for direct production and mass production of various parts and components in the automotive sector. This technology is finding applications in prototyping, custom and personalized part manufacturing, intricate part and tools and spare parts for classic vehicles. In fact, many new OEMs are looking towards 3D Printing technologies to manufacture parts and tools on-demand, resulting in lower inventory. We can expect the application of 3D Printing technology for mass production to grow at a higher pace in the next five years”, says Som Kapoor, Management Consultant, Ernst & Young Global Consulting Services.
Solutions introduced by 3D Printing in Construction Industry
As the construction industry facing increasing pressure to meet tight schedules and budgets, companies are looking to new innovations to help fill the gaps. 3D Printing in construction offers a significant potential to increase efficiency in the building sector.
One of the great things about 3D Printing is the design freedom that it offers. Architects are able to build complex designs that are otherwise unattainable, too expensive or labour intensive to create by conventional construction means. This can allow for a lot more innovation and creativity in the commercial construction space. Four years ago, Chennai startup Tvasta Manufacturing Solutions showcased a 500 square feet house that had been built with a 3D printer in just 21 days with the same amount of money taken in traditional construction.
“Generally it is seen that the traditional construction faces a lot of challenges and most of the construction practices are outdated. 3D Printing technology emerged as a ray of hope which can be useful for constructing small buildings or facilities in rough terrain with the minimum number of labours, hence helps in cost saving. Traditional house building techniques faces a lot of challenges whereas this technology can help in building homes at much faster rate than traditional methods. It can introduce new designs and provide optimized and efficient solutions”, says Vidyashankar C, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at Tvasta Manufacturing Solutions.
By the end of this decade, 3D Printing will not only have matured into a technology that integrates into existing manufacturing workflows but also the technology to revolutionise the way one develops, creates and source goods. Increasing applications of 3D Printing will play a huge role in driving its growth in the future. These applications will be supported by startups and organisations of all sizes.