NEW DELHI: In a sign of how important 3D printing technology is expected to become in the next stage of industrial value chains (Industry 4.0), home-grown IT giant Wipro’s 3D printing arm—Wipro3D—on Wednesday unveiled a first-of-its-kind metal 3D printing solution centre in Bengaluru.
Inaugurated by company chairman Azim Premji the 12,000 square feet centre boasts “all capabilities, including leading edge build technology, post-processing, research, characterization and validation facilities,” according to Wipro. The centre is India’s largest fully integrated Metal Additive Manufacturing facility.
The centre is just the start of the plans Wipro has for Wipro3D. “Based on the confidence developed from our India operations, we are planning to take Wipro3D global,” said Pratik Kumar, CEO, Wipro Infrastructure Engineering. Currently, the arm offers standard and customised additive manufacturing solutions, products and services to industries, including aerospace, space, industrial, automotive, health care, oil and gas, and heavy engineering.
Several research studies and experts have rated 3D or additive manufacturing as a major disruptive technology, with Metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) seeing a steady rise in adoption during the last decade. Initially regarded as a pure prototyping tool, AM technology has evolved into a tool for production, with companies beginning to adopt AM systems to “reduce time to market, improve product performance and reduce product lifecycle cost”, Wipro pointed out.
“We see (this) as a critical component in the digital manufacturing and future-proofing strategy of any enterprise.” noted Ajay Parikh, Business Head, Wipro3D.
Wipro is not the first firm to begin capitalising on the growing market for 3D printing. While large scale 3D printing is becoming a more viable option for manufacturers, the overall market for 3D printers is also expected to explode.
Reports estimate that the 3D printer market is expected to reach an estimated $4.2 billion by 2022, and it is forecast to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 12.8 per cent up to then.
Wipro3D has already begun making inroads in the market, according to the firm. Parikh pointed out that India’s first functional metal AM component in space was built by Wipro3D.