Wipro unveils 3D metal additives printing facility

The 3D printing arm of India's third-largest IT services provider, Wipro3D, unveiled its first-of-its-kind metal 3D printing solution centre in Bengaluru.

Wipro chairman Azim Premji inaugurated the 12,000 square feet centre, which isIndia's largest fully integrated metal additive manufacturing facility.

According to Wipro, the facility boasts all capabilities, including leading edge build technology, post-processing, research, characterization and validation facilities. 

The centre is the first step in Wipro's  plans 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, Wipro3D 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.

According to Ajay Parikh, business head, Wipro3D. ''We see (this) as a critical component in the digital manufacturing and future-proofing strategy of any enterprise.''

Wipro is not the first technology company to begin capitalising on the growing market for 3D printing.

Globally, while large scale 3D printing is becoming a more viable option for manufacturers, the overall market for 3D printers is also expected to grow rapidly.

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.

According to Wipro Wipro3D has already begun moving into the market providing services to aerospace, space, industrial, automotive, healthcare, oil and gas and heavy engineering sectors in the country.

According to Parikh, India's first functional metal AM component in space was built by Wipro3D.

Wipro3D was set up in 2012 under the Wipro Infrastructure Engineering, a hydraulic cylinder manufacturing unit of the software major.

The company soon plans to take its 3D printing services across the world, Wipro said in  a statement, without further details

"We see 3D printing as a critical component in the digital manufacturing strategy of any enterprise," said Wipro3D's Business Head Ajay Parikh in the statement.