The business models of the 3D Printing industry in India are imported primarily from the US and Germany.
Worldwide, additive layer manufacturing (ALM) or 3D-printing is recognized as a disruptive technology which will largely enhance the defence industry’s operations and military capabilities.
Along with several other developments (unmanned and autonomous robotic systems, cyber capabilities, data-mining, directed-energy weapons and human performance modification), ALM is poised to change the warfare
1. Faster development and reactivity
ALM can fundamentally impact the defense industrial base by speeding up the pace of moving from the prototype to the assembly. The rapid production lines and shorter time interval for design updates will confer to the military technologies a strategic advantage in both in and out of the battlefield.
On-demand additive manufacturing improves the supply-chain reactivity and reduces the inventory, the obsolescence risks and overall costs.
Scalability adds up to the reactivity. If a sudden need to double the assembly volume occurs, adding and plugging ALM machines quickly enables the capacity to ramp-up.
2. Suitable for little and customised production
The defense industry features a strong need for little volumes of tailored components and spare parts for the systems damaged in operations.
Small Scale production is cheaper with ALM than with traditional processes. As there are not any economies of scale on the assembly side, standardization is not any longer an important.
Simplicity of design also , is not any longer required to suit the economic constraints. ALM of highly complex parts is possible , faster and wishes less material which stimulates the creativity of engineers and performance of products.
3. Benefits of “near-the-battlefield” production
The on-site military manufacturing is probably going to expand within the future because it opens new approaches to the tactical adaptation of kit .
ALM allows small-batch development of major platforms to be readily available to armed services in the matter of military operations.
If the technology matures more within the fields of multi-material deposition and adaptive material solutions, the parts might be printed in place from available materials. Self-sufficiency is undoubtedly a tactical advantage during military operations (thanks to reduced logistics’ costs).
During wartime, it is sensible to bring ALM closer to the battlefield. This can ensure supremacy of weapons and tools used by the military when engineers and soldiers mix.
ALM can massively help locals and affected people and ease the conduct of disaster relief or reconstruction missions by printing customized parts and maintaining strategic equipment.
4. Combining 3D-printing and printable electronics
Among the military applications, the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – also referred to as “drones” - might benefit the foremost from printable electronics. they're low production volume units, susceptible to be customized to satisfy the missions’ requirements.
It's axiomatic that such investments confine focusses the military and strategic applications of such technology. 3D printing of pistols and guns by private players has been ongoing since 2013 but in 2014 the United States Navy installed 3D printing technology on ships to make spare.
Similarly, the US Air Force and therefore the United States Marine Corps have created policies to explore 3D printing services for his or her own uses.
Concurrently, a road map would wish to be evolved taking under consideration the prevailing adaptive manufacturing capability within the country and the way it should be enhanced.
In doing so, and considering the limited capabilities India has during this field, it might be prudent to leverage our strategic partnerships including the Indo-US Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI). the very fact that additive manufacturing reduces costs and improves battle-readiness should stimulate the policymakers to urge going.