Hyderabad: Wipro 3D, the additive manufacturing arm of Wipro Infrastructure Engineering, is focusing on aerospace, defence, space, automotive at present and sees major opportunities in the healthcare space in the coming years.
The 3D printing is the process of making a physical object from a three-dimensional digital model, typically by laying down many thin layers of a material in succession. It started in the 1980s under the name ‘rapid prototyping’ as this was the purpose of the technology- to prototype faster and cheaper.
In the space sector, the company is working on communications, structures and propulsion systems. The components are designed and manufactured by Wipro3D at Peenya, Bengaluru keeping in the mind the specifications defined by the end user.
The company is serving Indian Space and Defence programmes besides several automotive companies. Though the activity is predominantly for the domestic market, the company has also begun exports for Korea and the US, a company official told Telangana Today.
Wipro 3D has a tie up with Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru for a Government of India funded project. The company is working on several new solutions through its research and development on new materials. It also offers additive engineering which involves taking an existing design and improving efficiency. Wipro 3D also offers turnkey solutions for an aerospace customer by setting up a full 3D printing centre along with machines and software and run it for the client.
The company through its consulting services gives roadmap to companies which want to explore 3D for adoption and application in the development of products and manufacturing. The company also has a tool that helps in the assessment of 3D printing technology. “Additive consulting will be relevant to industrial sector such as valve and component manufacturers,” the source added.
Wipro 3D that began operations in Bengaluru 2012 now deals with metal additive manufacturing solutions and services. In March 2018, the company opened its metal 3D printing experience centre at its headquarters. The company is looking at new materials, bigger machines, expanding operations in India and footprint abroad.
On the innovation in the material, Wipro3D is developing certain alloys meeting certain customer expectations. The company develops the processes for printing, identify the material and get the composition and print. “We are looking at heavy nickel alloys and some special steel which are not yet 3D printed. The company is working on custom material in the additive manufacturing space.”
The 3D printing technology also known as additive manufacturing promises to transform the manufacturing sector. Sectors such as defence, aerospace, automotive and metals manufacturing have already seeing the merits of 3D printing technology. Aircraft manufacturer Airbus for instance has drawn plans to create an aircraft from a 3D printer, which will make it a lot lighter and more economical to operate.
Several venture capital firms and research foundations are also keen to channelise financial resources for the development and application of this emerging technology. The 3D printing technology can be adopted by large and small manufacturing firms alike. Governments, innovation labs and manufacturing companies are keen to leverage its inherent strengthens to transform the manufacturing landscape.
Traditional businesses and industries however need a lot of awareness to get into 3D printing to apply it into manufacturing.