Jodhpur: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Jodhpur have developed a metal 3D printer for aerospace, defence and general engineering applications.

All the components of the 3D printer are designed and manufactured in India, except the laser and the robot systems.

“The objective to develop the printer is to reduce the cost of metal 3D printers and attract a broader range of users”, according to the statement by an official.

Despite the fact that metal 3D printing technology started a few years after the launch of Polymer 3D printing, it is yet to experience the tremendous growth that the polymer 3D industry has achieved, especially in India.

Ravi KR, Associate Professor, Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering said

"The high price of the product and the more expensive proprietary metal powders imported from abroad are some of the reasons for the limited growth of metal 3D printers.”

"The printer developed is suitable for repairing and adding additional material to existing components. Hence, it is ideal for printing fully functional parts for a range of industries, like aerospace, defence, automotive, oil and gas, and general engineering, to name a few," he added.

India's first state-of-the-art variable spot size laser optics without compromising on laser beam homogeneity for laser cladding and additive manufacturing process is available in this machine.