Today (18%) and healthcare component (10%), however there is

Today 3D printing represents only 0.04% of the global manufacturing market. Currently 3D-printed parts are mostly being used for producing independent manufacturing components (29%), prototypes (18%) and healthcare component (10%), however there is a huge scope for 3D printing in other application areas as well. Example, reduction in production waste leading to saving and sustainable business practice. According to estimates by, McKinsey the 3D printing market will grow between $180 billion and $490 billion by 2025. In India, the 3D printing market is still at its nascent stage, however there is a huge potential for growth. According to 6Wresearch, the 3D printer market in India is set to touch USD 79 Million by 2021. Currently, the automotive industry accounts for the highest revenue share in 3D Printing followed by industrial, education, architectural, aerospace and defense related applications. Medical applications are also contributing to the growth in the 3D printer market. However, India being a price sensitive nation, is yet to see rapid adoption of 3D printing on commercial scale. Indian manufacturers still follow the conventional approach of modeling using CNC machines which costs much less than a 3D printer. Additionally, a major transformation needs to be in place in order to increase adoption of 3D Printing including easier design capability, compatibility for mass production and manufacturing of large format objects.1. Raw Material Challenge While manufacturers can use a wide range of raw materials such as plastic, metal, thermoplastic, Nylon, PEEK, PLA, conductive, etc. there still remains the challenge of creating a single object from multiple materials. The printers available in the market today can handle only up to three different materials. Multi-material printing using a single printer is yet not possible which is a major barrier to wide spread adoption of 3D printing. Another challenge related to raw materials is the lack of availability of proper materials. Manufacturers have precise requirements in terms of material characteristics that they need, such as hardness, density, and rigidity. Unavailability of the exact material is also hampering large scale adoption of the technology.2. Regulatory ChallengesThe regulatory framework for 3D printing is still at a nascent stage. There exists an ambiguity regarding the liability of breakage of final product produced using 3D printer – whether it lies with the final consumer, the manufacturer of the 3D printer, the producer of the digital model or the company that used the 3D printer. A suitable insurance scheme might play a significant role to shield against this potential liability and increase large scale adoption.  3. Intellectual Property ChallengeConcerns over piracy and the fear of losing intellectual property rights is another cause for slow adoption of 3D printer. Enhanced data security in 3D printers can mitigate this challenge and improve the adoption rate.  Customized HealthcareCustomized individual healthcare solution significantly enhances the experience and service quality for patient. With the advent of 3D printer, creating an individualized solution is possible at a much larger scale. In dentistry, for example, a 3D Scanner is used to create 3D model of a patient’s teeth to get the exact dental crown replacement for them. Renishaw, a British 3D printing company, produces batches of 200 personalized dental crowns, achieving a faster and cheaper production than its ceramic counterparts. Another company, SOLS creates orthopedic insoles for customers. Customers can scan their feet and SOLS send them a customized 3D printed orthopedic insoles. Surgeons have also started testing 3D-printed components for repacing body parts. By 2019, 3D printing is estimated to be a critical tool in individualized healthcare with over 35% surgical procedures requiring prosthetic and implant devices in and around body.Aerospace and Defence Industry From designing cabin interiors to complex engine parts, Aerospace and Defence companies are turning to 3D printing to produce better commercial aircraft/spacecraft. Using 3D printing, aerospace and defence companies can leverage benefits such as reduced material weight, part consolidation and improved part performance. GKN, a tier one supplier of aerospace and automotive parts to leading firms, has extensively used 3D printing in its products. For Saab Automobile, it developed 3D-printed parts using metal powder bed technology and adopted these parts for Saab Aircraft as well. GKN also used 3D printing to produce Ariane 6 nozzle for Airbus Safran Launchers.  DOD is using 3D printing machines across all its military services. 3D printed components are also being used aboard the USS Essex, a U.S. Navy assault ship. Few 3D-printed components have also been approaved by Federal Aviation Administration to be used on aircraft or spacecraft. Electronics IndustryIn Electronics Industry, 3D printing can help reduce prototyping times. In a study done by Ernst and Young, 3D printing in electronics helps in lowering prototyping time by 63%. Printing prototypes using 3D printing is 10 to 15 times faster than previous models. In addition, it improves quality by providing faster design validation and facilitating more frequent redesigns. 3D-printed metamaterial unit cells can be used to manipulate microwave radiation more powerfully than any natural material. 3D printing also helps in creating electronic circuits in very small spaces. Technology such as mobile phones can benefit from this as it vastly reduce the assembly process and the overall weight of the device.Spare Parts Market3D printing solution can completely disrupt the Spare Parts market. Today, millions of spare parts get wasted as they are rarely used. The actual share of excess spare parts inventories sometimes exceed 20% for a company. Using 3D printing, companies can produce on demand thus rejecting the need for them to store any spare parts in their warehouse. To resolve backlogs in spare parts delivery, Mercedes-Benz Trucks, now allows its customers to 3D print more than 30 different spare parts of its cargo trucks. Adidas, in its speed factories uses 3D printing and automation to create custom shoes for consumers which are assembled and delivered closer to the point of purchase. 3D printing can also be used in end-of runway logistics to improve repair operations. Replacement parts can be printed and delivered immidiately, reducing lead times and improving customer satisfaction.With more and more manufacturing companies building their blueprint for Industry 4.0, 3D Printing is poised to take a leap into a golden period. Companies like Hewlett Packard have already recognized the opportunity and are launching their technology earlier than anticipated. Entrepreneurs in this disruptive technology need to come together to create awareness about the technology. Taking a consultative selling approach will not only create familiarization with the technology but also give customers insight into the potential and benefits of using the technology. For mainstream adoption of 3D technology, it is imperative that it becomes a part of the CEO’s digital transformation agenda. Additionally, industry associations in Additive Manufacturing need to work with the government to funnel further research and also develop favorable policy for growth.

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