Can 3D Printing Disrupt These #9 Sectors?
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There was a time when people thought that the art of making objects out of thin air, just by imagining it, is witchcraft. Fast forwarding to 10 years: A miraculous technology came that concretizes your creative juices and is ready to disrupt the Indian economy and the sectors it withholds.
The miraculous technology is christened as 3D printing. In the words of Amitabh Kant, CEO, NitiAayog, “Technologies like 3D printing, robotics are being used to help the millennials gain real and practical insight about things through technology.” We, being arguably clairvoyant, are shelling out the sectors that can make best use of 3D printing. Decide for yourself if it is voodoo enough for you!
1.Construction and Architecture: China has built numerous houses via 3D printing, cutting cost and time on the construction. iKix, an organization helping various sectors with 3D printing, is aggressively focusing on engineering and designing of infrastructure. “I was in Amsterdam when our parent company, iSolve, called us to explain some design challenges, which was frustrating. I thought why don’t we have copies of the 3D models of the building to enhance better communication.”
2.Medical and Dentistry: It was one of the most important day for Dr. Anand, when he decided to implant a 3D printed spine in his patient: the first surgery of its kind, in India. Dr. Anand recalls, “The patient was nervous. But just asked me about the consequences, and we said that we were not sure because it was the first time someone in India was trying their hands on the technology for a surgery.” Healthcare is going to contribute to 15 per cent of the total 3D printer market by 2021.
3. Automotive: Automotive sector is one sector that can use 3D printing to its highest potential. With a whopping 21.2 per cent of the total market share in the 3D printing business, automotive industry could reach its peak. Huge market players like TATA, Mahindra and Ford have already started using 3D printing in their cars.
4. Education: From interactive classes to using robotics, Indian classrooms have come a long way. Companies are coming up with action plans and packages for students to try their hands on the technology. “Children need to have their hands set on such futuristic technologies,” says Shantanu Kwatra, Co-founder, 3Dexter.
5. Textile Industry: 3D printing would be a blessing for the textile industry in another two-three years. Purani Sanjeevirajan, a freelance designer and a final year student of FDDI, has found an innovative way to design the embellishments of her clothes.She uses a 3D printer to make plastic embellishments for her designs. Sanjeevirajan recalls, “Even my models were shocked when I gave them these dresses to wear. I had to explain it to them by showing the in-theprocess videos of the making of these embellishments. It did take some time though, but people today like something new and fresh.”
6.Footwear Industry: From a job seeker to an athlete, everyone needs a shoe that fits their size, suits their style and is comfortable. The astounding technology has stepped in the footwear industry as well. Adidas launched its ‘Futurecraft 3D’ in October 2015, a 3D printed athlete shoe and are willing to go forth with a large scale manufacturing. Clearly, even the footwear giants are bitten by the 3D printing bug.
7. Aerospace: It has been used in aerospace and aviation since a couple of years for prototyping and sometimes for making actual parts for aircrafts. Reliance Defense Limited has signed an MoU with a UAE based company, Strata, to manufacture Carbon Fibre Composites, Aerostructures, Prepegs as well as 3D printing of aerospace components and airframe panels. Rajesh K Dhingra, President, Reliance Defence & Aerospace, says, “India’s composites industry is at a nascent stage and projected to reach four lac metric tons by 2020.”
8. Design and Engineering: Viraj Kalyani, Founder of Kalyani Studio, a design and engineering studio, says, “The designing process will be much more easy and more flexible and we would have a fair idea about what we are getting into.” While talking about customer experience, Kalyani also spilled the beans on how he had made a table-top prototype and his client was astonished by the technology.
9. Jewelry: Metal carving is a difficult task that shoots up the cost and time for making a single piece. Bluestone, an online jewelry store, housing more than 4,000 jewelry designs, ventured into this technology two years ago. “There are certain designs that are reserved only for 3D printing because not all designs could be made in the traditional ways,” says Gaurav Kushwaha, Founder, Bluestone. While he talks about time and cost cutting benefits of the technology, he also quips that the technology is in its evolution stage and for the jewelry sector at least, it needs more work on the ‘finishing’ area of the product.
(This article was first published in the September 2017 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)