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Rajiv Bajaj

Managing Director – India & SEA

Stratasys

1 Rating

POTENTIAL FOR 3D PRINTING IN MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY 3D Printing adoption has accelerated in a big way

Dec 22, 2021

...says Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director – India & SEA, Stratasys (a global pioneer and 3D Printing company in India), in this conversation with Juili Eklahare. He points out the biggest misconceptions in 3D Printing, the challenges and industries showing potential for the technology. Excerpts…

How do you view the adoption of 3D Printing in general, especially during the COVID times?

In the COVID-19 times, from a manufacturing point of view, people started looking at the concept of manufacturing transformation very seriously. Companies realised that it is time that they started building in-house capabilities. Besides, people realised the power they can unleash with the 3D printer. For example, companies like Volkswagen, Hero MotoCorp, etc started using the same 3D printers that were being used for medical devices. To sum it up, I would say the adoption has accelerated in a big way and as the markets are opening now, people are realising that certain key capabilities, which were critical, are an essential part of the function now.

Are there any misconceptions in the 3D Printing industry that you would like to demystify?

The biggest misconception is that Additive Manufacturing is here to destroy conventional manufacturing. 3D Printing has its own functionalities. In fact, the best use of 3D Printing comes when one is able to harness the power of additive along with conventional manufacturing.

What do you think are the key challenges around manufacturing-on-demand that 3D Printing can help manufacturing professionals solve?

On-demand manufacturing itself is by default something that 3D Printing addresses. The biggest challenge it addresses is that the part complexity is completely alienated from the cost. For example, if one has a very complex part, then he/she may have to invest a lot of money in making the conventional tooling for that. But since 3D Printing is a direct manufacturing process, it will just print parts layer by layer in any complex shape one would want it to print. Another challenge solved is that of hyper-personalisation; one can actually make every product coming out of the printer on the same plate, different from the previous one.

What needs to happen for end-customers and precision-machine shops to trust Additive Manufacturing for quality-assured production?

I believe it’s already happened. There are airplanes like Airbus today that are flying with almost 300 3D printed parts. In such a case, the degree of confidence is huge because aerospace is an industry that is not only process-centric but also very detailed about every single element of design & manufacturing that goes into making parts that are put on the airplane.

Which are the industry sectors that show a big potential for 3D Printing technology adoption? How is Stratasys positioned to address demands from these sectors?

In the consumer goods segment, we have seen a huge adoption, where the requirements went higher even during the pandemic. In the medical area, anatomy modelling & complex studies, like COVID lung, can be built very nicely with 3D Printing. Plus, in the dental market that we cover, people were looking at giving a better cosmetic feel to their teeth. They were happily wearing their aligners under their masks and got the treatments done when the first lockdown was lifted. In mobility, along with our traditional automotive, we have unmanned aerial vehicles, drones, etc, which have huge potential.

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