The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology invited comments on the Draft National Strategy for Additive Manufacturing
What is additive manufacturing?
Additive manufacturing (AM) is the digital revolution of industrial production that embraces innovation in digital processes, communications, imaging, architecture and engineering to provide digital flexibility and efficiency to manufacturing operations.
Additive manufacturing (popularly known as 3D printing) refers to the construction of a three-dimensional object from a digital 3D model by adding materials layer by layer
Aim of the strategy
The strategy aims at promoting creation of a conducive ecosystem for design, development and deployment, and to overcome technical and economic barriers for local manufacturers to seamlessly adopt Additive Manufacturing. This is also expected to facilitate creation of a support base of domestic manufacturers for setting up of operations with supporting ancillaries in India by foreign companies as well as Global AM leaders.
How Does 3D or Additive Manufacturing Work?
Using computer aided design (CAD) or 3D object scanners, additive manufacturing allows for the creation of objects with precise geometric shapes. These are built layer by layer which is in contrast to traditional manufacturing that often requires machining or other techniques to remove surplus material.
Key challenges to additive manufacturing
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology identifies certain key challenges in the adoption of additive manufacturing. These include:
- High cost of equipment and material due to dependence on import
- Lack of formal industry standards
- Lack of skilled manpower, and
- Uncertainty in the regulatory and legal framework.
Recommendations under the draft strategy
- Promoting additive manufacturing:
- The strategy suggests to that the government to procurement policies should encourage the purchase of additive manufacturing machines, manufactured components , and systems for their operations
- It also recommends to develop a preferential market access policy to support local manufacturers.
- National Additive Manufacturing Centre: It suggests that a A dedicated Centre may be constituted to lead the national initiative for development and adoption of additive manufacturing technologies.
- The Centre may take initiatives such as a study of the sectoral potential for integrating additive manufacturing and development of standards and certifications.
- Centre of excellence: A centre of excellence dedicated to additive manufacturing may be established. The research efforts in the area of additive manufacturing could be supported by an increase in grants-in-aid. Intellectual property developed through government-funded projects should be made accessible.
- It also proposes for the development of manpower for additive manufacturing, engineering curriculum, as well as industry driven apprenticeship programs, should include additive manufacturing.
- It also recommends free online resources, certifications, and diplomas to be provided with training modules for all educational levels.
- The strategy also recommends developing a special curriculum for the training of teachers to acclimatise them with the technology.