While a bulk of the 3D printing enthusiasts may be focused on the new innovations coming out of Europe and the United States, the additive manufacturing market in India has been expanding quite rapidly. Having used 3D printing technology to continuously aid the Indian medical industry, and also within the consumer market with customized 3D printed products, the country is also looking to improve their Air Force fighter jets with the help of Mumbai-based 3D printer manufacturers J Group Robotics. The locally based company will be providing India’s National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) with their Dimension Delta XL 3D printer, an all-metal dual nozzle FFF 3D printer priced at $2000.
Though NAL already utilizes a handful of Stratasys 3D printers at their laboratory, the proprietary raw materials for these printers come at a hefty price. NAL is looking to balance their budget out by implementing the locally sourced Dimension Delta into their operations. The J Group Robotics 3D printer will allow researchers to source raw material for as little as $30 per kg, a much more affordable alternative compared to the proprietary material supplied by Stratasys. NAL has used 3D printing technology to speed up prototype production, create spare parts, and also to study the feasibility of using these 3D printed parts to replace components on their fighter jets.
The research with the Dimension Delta 3D printer was requested by the government of India, hoping to upgrade their worn-down stock of French Mirage fighter jets in an affordable fashion. NAL will utilize the Dimension Delta XL’s large build area, which can print parts up to 420mm in diameter and 700mm in height. The printer is able to print at a resolution of up to 50 microns, and is compatible with a handful of materials, including ABS, PLA, Nylon, PVA, PP, and other specialty materials. The build size, wide-range of material options, and high-quality resolution will help NAL continue to innovate with a much cheaper technology, and will give them more material options outside of the proprietary materials offered by Stratasys.
Although the NAL will have their own Dimension Delta XL at their laboratory, this isn’t the first time their researchers have turned to J Group Robotics for 3D printing help. In December of last yet, NAL utilized the Dimension Delta XL printer to 3D print prototypes for the next generation of Indian defense technology, which was displayed at the Bengaluru-based MSME DEFEXPO 2015, a conference and exhibition focused around India’s aerospace, defense, and homeland security. Taking a turn towards a more affordable approach, NAL now hopes to utilize J Group Robotics 3D printing technology to achieve more innovation at a fraction of the cost.