The VIT-SEDAXIS Centre of Excellence for Additive Manufacturing was formally inaugurated recently, nearly ten months after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed to help make AM mainstream within the Academic, R&D, and SME/Start-up communities. Delegates from academia/research and development, industry, and government attended the inauguration ceremony of the CoE for Additive Manufacturing.
The Centre is the result of a collaboration between a prestigious academic institution such as the Vellore Institute of Technology in Chennai and Sedaxis Advanced Materials, their Industry Partner and a provider of AM Solutions/Services. The centre is located on Vandalur-Kelambakkam Road in Chennai, inside the VIT Chennai campus. The centre will serve to be a significant boost to 3D printing in India.
VIT–SEDAXIS CoE for Additive Manufacturing
The Centre of Excellence for Additive Manufacturing was inaugurated by VIT Chancellor Dr. G. Viswanathan, and the welcome address was delivered by VIT Chennai Pro-Vice Chancellor Dr. V. Kanchana Bhaaskaran. Mr. Vishwanath Godavarty, Business Head, SEDAXIS Advanced Materials Pvt. Ltd., briefed the audience on the Centre’s Vision and Mission, as well as its cutting-edge facilities. He also explained how the Centre’s objectives were perfectly aligned with the strategy outcomes envisioned in the Government of India’s National Strategy for Additive Manufacturing, which was released in February 2022.
The Chief Guest, Mr. Hans Raj Verma, Chairman & Managing Director, The Tamilnadu Industrial Investment Corporation, Chennai., spoke about the current economic situation and society’s responsibility to revitalise the industrial sector, and congratulated SEDAXIS on establishing a Centre of Excellence in Chennai, as well as VIT Chennai for establishing a Centre to achieve this goal. He also initiated the Panel Discussion on Industry Academic Ecosystem to support the National Strategy for Additive Manufacturing Policy and Make in India.
The panel members who represented federal, industrial as well as academic views included:
- Dr. Sreenivas Rao, Outstanding Scientist & Director, Naval Science and Technological Laboratory, DRDO, Vishakapatnam,
- Mr. Sivarajah, Mission Director and CEO, Tamil Nadu Startup and Innovation Mission,
- Dr. Nikhil S Tambe, CEO, Energy Consortium, IIT Madras,
- Dr. Devendran, Managing Director, ST Advanced Composites, Chennai and
- Mr. Vishwanath Godavarty, Business Head, SEDAXIS Advanced Materials Pvt. Ltd.
Boosting 3D Printing Technology in India
The members discussed the state of the 3D printing in India, applications, and current research trends in the country, emphasising the importance of expanding the reach of 3D printers even to remote areas of India. Mr. Vishwanath Godavarty of SEDAXIS urged the Tamil Nadu State Government to join the partnership with VIT and SEDAXIS to generate mass awareness and promote mass adoption of 3D Printing among Tamil Nadu’s MSMEs.
Following the panel discussion, Dr. G Viswanathan, Chancellor of VIT and former Member of Parliament, officially opened the Centre in the presence of all dignitaries. Mr. Vishwanath Godavarty, SEDAXIS Business Head, then gave a tour of the Centre and its facilities.
The Centre’s ability to provide low-cost access to skill building, research, and manufacturing to the three key stakeholder communities for 3D Printing – Students, Researchers, and SMEs/Start-ups – is one of its most significant USPs. The Centre will host a series of workshops for stakeholders from industry and academia, with a core theoretical component supported by a mandatory hands-on training component. In addition, the Centre claims to be the most affordable in the region for students and SMEs to use for design, engineering, and manufacturing services.
For researchers, the Centre boasts an array of 3D printers, all of which use open materials and some of which allow complete control of the parameters governing the 3D Printing process, allowing active and unhindered research for India’s burgeoning R&D community. The Centre, which employs full-time experts in design, engineering, and manufacturing/post-processing, has already begun assisting Doctoral Research students from VIT, Chennai with their research projects.
The Centre has also collaborated on projects with leading institutions such as IITs, NITs, and IISc to demonstrate the potential of the Centre’s select hardware and software infrastructure to support their research needs. The Centre will also play an important role in VIT Chennai’s extensive industry outreach initiatives, where current and prospective industry partners will be able to use the Centre’s AM resources for industry projects and services.
The first-of-its-kind in the country, the VIT-SEDAXIS CoE for AM, establishes a benchmark for the realisation of Additive Manufacturing’s true potential and benefit when academia and industry choose to collaborate to accelerate the awareness and adoption of Digital Manufacturing in India.
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