INDIAN SCENARIO

An Overview of 3D Printing in India

3D printing in India
3D printing in India
Above: A 3D printed replica of the Taj Mahal/Image Credit: Thingiverse

3D printing is making news in India. Right from manufacturing to healthcare, 3D printing is being adopted across different industries in India. The country’s 3D printing industry is largely dominated by startups who offer a variety of 3D printing services that range from manufacturing of 3D printers, to manufacturing materials used in 3D printing. Read on to gain an overview of 3D printing in India.

The 3D Printing Industry of India

The 3D printing industry of India is poised to grow big in the coming years. For example, the Indian 3D printing industry is set to reach $79 million by 2022.[1] India is also being considered a key player in terms of large scale adoption of additive manufacturing in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. It has also been pegged to become a major beneficiary of the additive manufacturing industry of the APAC region. The additive manufacturing industry in the APAC region is estimated to reach $5.56 billion by 2025.[2]

Also Read: 3D Printer Price in India

Major Players in 3D Printing

India is an attractive hub for foreign investments in the 3D printing technology. Several foreign firms operating in the 3D printing industry have set up or are looking to establish or expand their bases in the country. In fact, some have already established their base in India. Some of the major foreign players that have established their base in India include Stratasys – one of the largest 3D printing companies in the world. The other foreign players in the country include the UK-based Renishaw Plc and EOS. A global leader in the field of industrial 3D printing, EOS has recently announced its expansion plans in India.[3]

3D printing in India
Above: The Corporate Office of Stratasys India Pvt Ltd. in Bangalore, India/Image Credit: Freedom of Design

As far as the domestic players are concerned, the 3D printing market of India is largely dominated by startups. Some of the well-known startups that have recently made news and became the cynosure of the industry include the Bangalore-based Ethereal Machines whose Halo 3D printer was named as 2018 best of Innovation Awards Honoree by CES.

3D printing in India
Above: Ethereal Machines’ Award Winning Halo 3D Printer displayed at CES 2018/Image Credit: Ethereal Machines

There are other domestic players who have been innovating lately and taking the 3D printing technology across different sectors of the country. In fact, companies such as 3Dexter and Aha3D Innovations have already taken 3D printing into the education sector of India. For example, Aha3D, a Jaipur-based 3D printing start-up recently  signed a MoU with the Bhartiya Skills Development University (BSDU). As a part of the MoU students will be taught how to manufacture 3D printers.

3D printing in India
Above: The Bhartiya Skill Development University (BSDU) Campus in Jaipur, India/Image Credit: BSDU

The Road Ahead

3D printing in India is still emerging and just like the 3D printing technology, it is catching up fast. However, the country’s 3D printing industry is still at a nascent stage when compared with other countries of North America and Europe. 3D printing in India will grow into a full-fledged industry only when the technology will increase its share in the manufacturing sector. The manufacturing sector of the country is one of the fastest growing sectors. In fact, it was worth $311.6 billion in 2016-2017 and has the potential to to reach a whopping $1 trillion by 2025.[4]

3D printing in India

In addition to gaining an increased share of the manufacturing sector, the growth of 3D printing in India will also depend on how other industries of the country embrace 3D printing technology in the coming years. For example, to reap the full benefits of the additive manufacturing technology, the other sectors on India will have to increase their readiness for the adoption of the technology. Currently, the levels of readiness towards approaching new technology is low. For example, in its 2018 assessment for the readiness for the future of product (FOP), the World Economic Forum (WEF) included India in the list of “legacy countries”. Legacy countries are those countries that have a strong structure of production but display a low level of readiness for future production.[5]

Hence, to increase the use of additive manufacturing in the country, companies across various sectors of the country need to take a more proactive role and invest heavily in emerging technologies such as additive manufacturing. For example, the same report revealed that India ranked 28th in the list of company investments in emerging technologies which included additive manufacturing apart from other emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Ubiquitous linked sensors, Virtual and Augmented Realities, Blockchain and distributed ledger technology, Advanced materials and Nanomaterials, Biotechnologies and others.

Despite the advantages that the 3D printing technology offers to companies, company investment in 3D printing technology in the country is low when compared with other countries such as China. For example, India is behind its neighbour China (which ranked 25th in the list of company investments in emerging technologies) when it comes to company investments in emerging technologies. Thus, to increase the use of 3D printing in the country, companies across different sectors need to invest heavily  in the technology and reap the advantages that the 3D printing technology offers.

It is worth noting that a variety of efforts to increase the adoption of 3D printing technology in the country are being undertaken. For example, the WEF has identified India as a strategic partner and is planning to open a center for Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) with Reliance Industries in Mumbai.[6] Apart from this, the Indian government’s “Make in India’ campaign is also said to give a boost to the country’s 3D printing industry in the coming years. However, what the country is lacking is a specific action plan directed towards and supporting the 3D printing sector.

Last year, the Chinese government announced an action plan to research and develop the use of 3D printing technology in ship building, aviation, vehicle manufacturing, medical, cultural and educational fields. It is time that India too develops an Action Plan specifically directed towards supporting the 3D printing sector so as to explore potential and the numerous advantages that this technology offers to companies in particular and the manufacturing sector in general.

REFERENCES

1. 6WResearch. (2015, April). Make in India Campaign and Emergence of Domestic Players to Boost India 3D Printer Market; Market to Reach $79 Million by 2021 – 6Wresearch. Retrieved from: http://www.6wresearch.com/press-releases/india-3d-printer-market-2015-2021-share-news-forecasts-size.html  

2. Frost & Sullivan: Global Additive Manufacturing Market, Forecast to 2025. May 2016.

3. EOS. (2018, February 9). EOS announces leadership movements and expansions in Asia-Pacific. Retrieved from: https://www.eos.info/press/eos-announces-leadership-movements-and-expansions-in-asia-pacific

4. Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF). (2018, January). Manufacturing sector in India. IBEF. Retrieved from:  https://www.ibef.org/industry/manufacturing-sector-india.aspx

5. World Economic Forum. (2018) Readiness for the future of production report. WEF. Retrieved from: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/FOP_Readiness_Report_2018.pdf

6. Business Standard. (2018, January 23). WEF partners with RIL to open center for fourth industrial revolutions. Business Standard. Retrieved from: http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/wef-partners-with-ril-to-open-center-for-fourth-industrial-revolution-118012301511_1.html

About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is the first online 3D printing magazine in India. We offer 3D printing news in India, analysis and insights from the 3D printing world of India.

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