Daily Answer Writing And Mentorship Program
Q: Additive manufacturing has many advantages over subtractive manufacturing. Discuss the uses of additive
manufacturing in different fields. Mention the issues related to Additive manufacturing in India.
(15 Marks, 250 Words)
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Additive manufacturing is the process of making 3D objects from a digital file, so this process is famously
known as 3D printing too. In an additive process a 3D object is created by laying down successive layers of material
until the object is created.
· Subtractive manufacturing is the conventional method of manufacturing which is cutting out or hollowing
out a piece of metal or plastic with for instance a milling machine.
Advantages of Additive Manufacturing over Subtractive Manufacturing:
· Accelerated prototyping: Additive manufacturing (AM) expedites product development by enabling the
creation of many varying prototypes that can be produced faster and cheaper in comparison to lengthy
· Energy savings: AM uses fewer resources by requiring less ancillary equipment, reducing waste material
compared to conventional manufacturing processes with higher energy needs.
· Environment benefits: Additive manufacturing (AM) reduces waste and saves energy, making it an
environmentally friendly choice for businesses improving manufacturing sustainability.
· Material waste reduction: AM starts from scratch, adding material to create parts, reducing waste by using
only the necessary substance, unlike conventional manufacturing that involves removing material from larger
Uses of Additive Manufacturing (AM) in Different Fields:
· Aerospace: AM is used to produce lightweight aircraft components, such as turbine blades, fuel nozzles,
brackets, and structural parts, allowing for improved performance and fuel efficiency.
Ø For instance, Airbus has employed 3D printing to produce parts such as brackets, hinges, and fuselage
· Automotive: AM enables the production of complex geometries and customized parts, including prototypes,
interior components, engine components, and lightweight structures.
Ø For instance, Grippers can be 3D printed with intricate shapes and patterns to achieve optimal grasping
and manipulation of objects in manufacturing and assembly processes.
· Healthcare: AM is used to produce patient-specific medical implants, prosthetics, surgical guides, anatomical
models, and dental aligners, leading to improved patient outcomes and personalized care.
Ø For example, 3D printing is used to create implants such as cranial plates, hip and knee implants, spinal
cages, and dental implants.
· Education and Research: AM is used in educational institutions and research labs for teaching design and
engineering principles, prototyping, and conducting experiments in various fields.
· Electronics: AM is employed in the production of electronic components like circuit boards, antennas,
sensors, and customized casings, enabling miniaturization, prototyping, and functional integration.
- Energy: AM is used in the energy sector for producing components for renewable energy systems, such as
wind turbine blades, solar panels, and fuel cells, enhancing energy efficiency and sustainability.
Issues related to Additive Manufacturing:
· High cost of equipment and material due to dependence on import: Building a 3D printer can be costly, and
resource companies are reluctant to use 3D printed parts without warranty coverage.
· Lack of formal industry standards: Since 3D printing is a very niche and new domain, there are no global
qualifications and certification norms.
· Risk of Job Losses: In the initial meetings on the subject, there was a lot of resistance on whether this
technology would eat into the jobs of highly skilled workers in the medical equipment or aerospace technology
· Lack of skilled manpower.
· Uncertainty in the regulatory and legal framework
Government of India has launched ‘National Strategy for Additive Manufacturing (NSAM)’ to address the above
concerns and to develop domestic capabilities and to reskill professionals which will reduce cost and improve
adoption. This strategy aims to capture 5% of Global market share of 3D printing and add $ 1 billion to GDP by 2025.