IIT Jodhpur

IIT Jodhpur researchers develop indigenous metal 3D Printer

Our Correspondent
Our Correspondent
Posted on 20 Jun 2022
14:15 PM
IIT Jodhpur officials with the metal 3D printer

IIT Jodhpur officials with the metal 3D printer Source: IIT Jodhpur

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Summary
Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering has developed a Direct Energy Deposition (DED) technology-based Metal 3D printer
This printer is suitable for printing fully-functional parts for industries, such as aerospace, defence, automotive, oil, gas and general engineering

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jodhpur researchers have indigenously developed a metal 3D printer based on the Direct Energy Deposition (DED) technology. All the components of this metal 3D printer, except the laser and robot systems, are designed and manufactured in India. The project's main objective is to reduce the cost of metal 3D printers and attract a broader range of users.

Despite the fact that metal 3D printing technology started a few years after the launch of polymer 3D printing, it is yet to experience the tremendous growth that the polymer 3D industry has achieved, especially in India. The high price of the product and the more expensive proprietary metal powders imported from abroad are some of the reasons for the limited growth of metal 3D printers.

The printer developed is suitable for repairing and adding additional material to existing components. Hence, it is ideal for printing fully-functional parts for a range of industries, like aerospace, defence, automotive, oil and gas, and general engineering, to name a few.

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This machine can print 3D parts with metal powders made in India. In addition, India's first state-of-the-art variable spot size laser optics, without compromising on laser beam homogeneity for laser cladding and additive manufacturing process, is available in this machine. The team at IIT Jodhpur has developed this machine's tool path planning software and coaxial nozzle. It also has in-situ monitoring technologies which constantly monitor the melt pool temperature and clad thickness during the additive manufacturing process.

The research team from IIT Jodhpur involved in this project are Ravi KR, associate professor, Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering; V Narayanan, associate professor, Department of Physics; Abir Bhattacharyya, assistant professor, Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering; Sumit Kalra, assistant professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering; Rahul Chhibber, associate professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Hardik Kothadia, assistant professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Talking about this indigenously developed 3D printer, Ravi K, said, "The small success of this research has given great hope to our team to undertake new endeavours. Moreover, it will further strengthen the trust placed on our team and organization by the funding agencies and industry that are assisting our current research and will be assisting us in the future."

He added, "Our study results show that if all the parts needed to make a metal printing machine could be manufactured indigenously, the cost of a metal 3D printing machine could be reduced by two to three times. Moreover, such an initiative would further strengthen the policy decisions of the Government of India under the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' initiative."

The project has been funded by the Technology Development & Transfer (TDT) Division, Department of Science & Technology (DST). Other academic and industrial collaborating partners are PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore; PSG Industrial Institute, Coimbatore and VectraForm Engineering Solutions, Coimbatore.

Metal 3D printing technology, which has been slowly advancing over the past three decades, is poised to grow rapidly over the next decade due to the astounding progress that has taken place recently in sensors, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) technologies. The future scope of this research will be to transform the current metal 3D printing machine into a "smart metal 3D printer" by creating the infrastructure, expertise, team, etc., needed to participate in this race.

Last updated on 20 Jun 2022
14:15 PM
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