It is no secret that India now is the fastest growing economy of the world. This comes from good economic conditions and rising demand in the consumer goods sector, which improves the situation in several industries, such as Food Processing and Electronics. The demand is also helping the Indian Paper Industry to grow, with paper consumption forecasted to further increase by 7.6% per year. The positive development of the Paper Industry helps the Printing Industry as well, as the print publication circulation grew at a CAGR of 5.04% from 2008 to 2016. Within the industry, printing machinery manufacturing has seen an increase of around 20% from 2010-2015. New technologies are also advancing the industry, whereas offset printing in India will further be the most common way of printing as it’s more economical than digital printing. Another striking trend in the Printing Industry is 3D-Printing which is more and more penetrating the sector. The Indian 3D-Printing market is supposed to grow to $79 million in 2021. What is the current stage of 3D-Printing in India and how is it progressing?

3D-Printing in India finds itself at a nascent stage. Most of the 3D-Printing technology comes from countries abroad. Until now, there are some 350 listed 3D-Printing services in India, of which around 100 are positioned in Mumbai. Several industry leaders now would like to change this situation to boost the success story of 3D Printing. Just a few years back, the first large Indian industrial 3D-Printer was developed by several IIT and NIT graduates. It is able to print objects up to 1m³ in size. This shows that India has the capabilities of making its own up-to-date technological products.

Additionally, the demand from various industries is now rising, as 3D-modelling saves costs in the R&D phase and thus, leaves room for greater profit margins. This can be seen in example in the automotive area. There, a traditionally modeled part might cost $40000. Now, with 3D printout, it only costs the manufacturer $3000. As a result the end product for the customer will be cheaper.

3D-Printing is advancing quickly, so that models for various industries are now possible to construct. The technology finds its application for example in the food, medical and toy industries. In the medical field it helps doctors to make decisions for example if a surgery is necessary and if yes, how it could be done best. The real-life model shows the doctors exactly how the organ looks like or where a defect is located whereas MRI, echocardiogram or CT can do that only in a limited way. So this model can help saving lives and avoid unnecessary surgeries, as doctors can better decide what to do in advance. In addition, the surgeons can practice on the model before doing the surgery and plan it accordingly before making any single cut in the human body.

In India, 3D-Printing is emerging in the fields of automotive, aerospace, industrial machines, consumer goods, medical and education sectors. In contrast to the initial stage of 3D-Printing, it now operates on different materials, such as chocolate for modelling products in the Food Industry or synthetics for shoe modelling as used by a sports apparel manufacturer.

Such printers aren’t cheap nor scalable, and in India, high duties, taxes and customs are imposed on it. But 3D-Printing has the advantages of reducing waste and production time of the model, and is advantageous for producing goods that are limited in numbers of output or are customized products. It creates new jobs for designing, maintaining and producing such printers, as well as for its software development. In the long term, whole factories could be operating with such printers, making for example a whole car without human interference. Right now, coexistence with traditional manufacturing methods is mostly the case if 3D-Printers are in use. The prospects for the 3D-Printing industry look very bright as its technology is more and more emerging across industries and gives an addition to traditional printing methods. This makes it a good investment opportunity for foreign companies wanting to enter the Indian Print market in the future, as this new technology is high in demand and will further increase its presence in the markets.

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