The State of Manufacturing today: Where Industrial 3D Printing Fits-in

Anand Prakasam, Country Manager, EOS IndiaWith the current pace in evolving technology, there has been an increase in new and improved industrial applications as well, leading to many sectors witnessing progress in their methodology and functioning. This progress has been fueled by multiple new innovations in the industry over time.

Industrial 3D printing has numerous applications spread across industries, of which manufacturing is one of the prime sectors that has come to benefit from these advances while additionally being aided by the support from the local government. This technology has enabled a more sustainable and efficient process of manufacturing, encouraging the government to also pay more attention to this sector. The Government has set a goal of increasing the contribution of manufacturing revenue to the national GDP to as much as 25 percent from the current level of 16 percent. These efforts bring the question of indigenous production to the forefront and also highlight the direction that the country must take. We must aim to work towards transforming from merely being a cheap production base to becoming an important value based manufacturing hub that is moving towards more local production.

3D Printing Redefining Design-driven Manufacturing

Companies in this industry are striving to deliver cutting edge, natively sourced products globally. Traditionally, 3D technology was restricted to a space where it was utilized just to create prototypes of potential products that can be tested in simulated environments. This technology can be taken one step further through the physical rendering of the prototype that can be tested in real world conditions. The outcome of this adoption of industrial 3D printing is the increased importance given to design during the initial phases of manufacturing. The focus is shifting from merely building mass products to building customizable and design driven equipment to catalyse this process.

Once the design qualifications are met, industrial 3D printing also allows for the mass production of the actual product with all its minute details, reducing the need to calibrate existing manufacturing tools to correspond
with the model. Depending on the application and the goal a company wants to achieve, this process enables industry players to cut down lead time, cost, enable the manufacturing of complex or light weight products and increase the compatibility for batch/mass production.

This technology is changing the way products are being produced and delivered, by enabling companies to produce innovative and high quality products using layer-by-layer technologies. It provides the manufacturer the freedom and flexibility to design according to the product. It works around the limitations of conventional production processes and supports design-driven processes.

The scope for innovation is immense and has led to the creation of revolutionary technology with the potential to change the way the industry functions

Real World Applications & the Status Today

There are several industries that are already benefiting from Additive Manufacturing such as aerospace, defense, automotive, tooling and medical. The dynamic nature of the needs in these industries showcases that, depending on the application AM enables functionally integrated parts as well as customized or lightweight structures to name a few. As such, the technology provides alternative solutions to many issues that have plagued the manufacturing industry thus enabling the evolution of the industry.

The ability of the manufacturing industry to build products to scale, from the largest of aviation parts to the smallest valves of the heart, forms a key feature in its future growth. Smart Manufacturing, with automation and monitoring at its core represents one path for this future growth. The next level of adopters are from the sectors such as dental, robotic applications and gas turbines.

Industrial 3D printing is already on the cusp of transformation and acceptance but is still in its early stages in India. The space today is occupied by global companies who specialize in direct sales and distribution and are equipping India to complete globally. According to a 6Wresearch report, India’s 3D printer market is projected to cross $79 million by 2021, representing a large potential market for this technology, making larger companies also realize the potential in such a market. Once implemented, this technology will not only aid in the production of spare parts but also in the production of newer models.


The scope for innovation is immense and has led to the creation of revolutionary technology with the potential to change the way the industry functions. The hurdles that need to be passed are awareness, acceptance and regulation. In India, manufacturing will help generate the required revenue to aid in the country’s progress. The major roadblocks that lie on the path to this progress has been a lack of logistical organization and the inability to extend the benefits of the sector to the majorly rural population of the country. These issues, however, are currently being resolved with the help of government policies that donate greater focus to the indigenous manufacturing industry. With the help of better planning and a roadmap of investment and implementation, the manufacturing industry in the country is set to boost its growth story as per its idealized objective.