It is now well established that 3-D Printing has significantly gained prominence and relevance in both the consumer as well as the industrial space. Its advantages are seen in the form of allowing a reduction in production cycles and in bringing down the costs of rapid prototyping and mould-making along with tooling during the initial development phases. Besides this, it also allows for a whole deal of creativity and flexibility in design. The whole mismatch or gap between an idea and a final product can be near-eliminated. The customisation that this offers is also extremely versatile, and allows one to produce single pieces or small quantities of products, which would either be not possible or extremely cost-ineffective with conventional processes.
While the technology supports a host of materials, a lot of the 3-D Printing happening today is with the usage of polymeric materials. Therein also lies an opportunity for the polymer producers to support this industry and grow with it. A forward integration into filament extrusion to provide supporting materials is something that polymer producers and compounders alike can consider.
We, at Popular Plastics and Packaging and Colour Publications, alongwith our sister concern CNT, have now been spearheading efforts to promote and broaden the knowledge base and community building for this segment through our various efforts. Over the last 3-4 years, we have created the first-ever 3-D Printing Exhibition in India, Inside 3D Printing India, which has now become the premier event of its kind in India. We have also allowed 3-D Printing to be showcased as a technology at other industry fora, be it our own or other third-party events, straddling segments like Automotive, Engineering, Toys, Design, Medical, etc.
We have also created the first online platform for this industry in the form of Indian 3D Printing Network (I3DPn), to allow the industry to stay updated with latest news, insights, case studies and market research. Through these initiatives, we have been able to map the input supply chain right from machines to materials, and from software to services.
The 4th edition of the Inside 3D Printing Exhibition will take place at Mumbai on 19-20 December, and promises to be a true showcase of the potential of this technology across a host of application segments and technology streams.
We invite the Industry to be a part of this, and use this opportunity to reiterate our commitment to ensuring that 3D Printing as a discipline and technology is honestly showcased to the entire user community, allowing it to grow in a healthy and sustainable manner, in mutual benefit to both sides of the supply chain.