It’s been determined by several data’s and researches that the defense industry will expand it’s arms towards 3D printing in varied varies in the next 10 years. 3D printing is already changing the Dynamics of the defense industry and is giving new dimensions to this industry. 3D printing not just reduces material cost for the defense industry but also reduces the waste produce. As the making of defense products requires costly raw materials such as titanium, so when these raw materials are wasted the amount of money that goes in vain hampers the budget of the company. Old school methods of manufacturing defense products are not at affordable for majority of the companies but additive manufacturing definitely saves quite some amount of expenses.
Application of 3D printing in defense industry-
- The Indian defense system has been using several forms of 3D printers for creating prototype products for scientific investigations. Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) are the two major companies in aeronautics in India. These two companies have been the best and the most established companies in the field of aeronautics, digging a deeper hole into the working and production of goods in this company, it is very evidently seen that additive manufacturing technology has a very integral role to play in these industries and in the Indian A&D sector.
- Being the only company which produces parts and machineries of aircrafts, HAL strongly says that they use direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) technique in order to produce, in order to print parts of the engines. HAL is one step ahead in using 3D printing technology in their upcoming projects.
- In comparison to traditional methods of manufacturing, additive manufacturing eliminates the cost of tooling and setup. This makes the entire process way more economic and feasible. One more point that we must ponder upon is that not only does additive manufacturing makes the production cheaper but it also saves ample of time.
Advantages of 3D printing in defense industry-
- Free to design- there’s quite some scope to create customized designs as using additive manufacturing some need not worry about the weight of the model thus saving material cost and production time.
- On site production- defense professionals work under a ton of pressure but additive manufacturing surely makes it a little easier for them. As the professionals can directly make the products or the equipments directly on the battlefields without waiting for any reinforcements.
- Metal 3D printing- metal 3D printing makes it possible for the defense industry to produce Hardy equipments in a short span of time.
- Reduction of waste- making the equipments of the defense industry requires a ton of titanium in each and every part, when such costly raw materials like titanium are wasted a lot of money gets wasted but using additive manufacturing reduces both the possibilities.
- Old designs and spares- many equipments in the defense sector have become old so finding the spare parts of such equipments becomes really hard as OEMs of those designs are no more available, in this crisis 3D printing comes as a savior, as with the help of 3D printing one can easily produce old or outdated spare parts or products.
Soldiers from the remote areas can also use 3D printing in order to produce goods and equipment related to defense and the reason behind this is the low cost nature and usability of 3D printing. Reduced warehousing costs, higher customization and feasibility is what makes 3D printing the best fit for the defense industry.
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