IIT Jodhpur Develops Indigenous Metal 3D Printer for Aerospace and Defense

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Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Jodhpur have locally developed a metal 3D printer for aerospace, defense and general engineering applications.

According to the officials, all components of the metal 3D printer except the laser and robot systems are designed and manufactured in India.

The main goal of the project is to reduce the cost of metal 3D printers and attract a wider range of users, they said.

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

“High product price and more expensive proprietary metal powders imported from overseas are some of the reasons for the limited growth of metal 3D printers,” said Ravi KR, Associate Professor, Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, IIT, Jodhpur.

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“The developed printer is suitable for repairing and adding additional materials to existing components. It is therefore ideal for printing fully functional parts for a range of industries, such as aerospace, defense, automotive, oil and gas and general engineering, to name a few,” he added.

V Narayanan, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, who is also a member of the team, said this machine can 3D print parts with metal powders made in India. “In addition, India’s first state-of-the-art variable spot size laser optics without compromising the homogeneity of the laser beam for laser coating and additive manufacturing process is available in this machine.

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“Our team developed the tool path planning software and coaxial nozzle for this machine. It also has in-situ monitoring technologies that continuously monitor the melt temperature and coating thickness during the additive manufacturing process,” he said.


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