Kirsten Van Praet July 12, 2017

With competition increasing, patents expiring and big players entering the Additive Manufacturing industry, this market is growing exponentially. Especially the interest in Metal AM is rising. But what can 3D printing technology bring to India? Materialise and Renishaw answered this question during their ‘Industrialization of Additive Manufacturing’ seminar in Pune, India, at Renishaw’s AM Solutions Centre. For this seminar, more than 40 people from different industries - aerospace, automotive, engineering, medical, oil and gas etc. - gathered from all over India.

Attendees at the Metal AM seminar

Design for Metal 3D Printing

While the media hype of 3D Printing is over, the technology continues to develop and gain in popularity. But it is more than a trend – it is about using 3D Printing for applications that make sense. When is 3D printing a part in metal the best option? There are different factors to consider, such as:

  • How complex is the part (e.g. spider bracket)?
  • What is the size of the part?
  • What is the desired lead time?
  • Does the weight matter (e.g. Atos insert)?
  • Is it built up of several components (e.g. hydraulic valve)?
  • What is the production size?
  • Do I need localized production?
  • Is it preferable to produce on demand?
  • Is customization required?


With regard to production size for instance, it is better to apply 3D Printing when making small series. Compared to molding technologies, the investment is lower, there are no stock issues and the parts contain fewer components. So from 50 up to 5,000 parts, Additive Manufacturing is likely to be more advantageous than traditional manufacturing.

For more information about useful applications of Metal AM, you can download our free application guide.

Functional Integration and Lightweight Design

We presented the participants with a few key drivers of Metal 3D Printing, such as functional integration and lightweight design. With 3D Printing, it is possible to create 3D models that have a specific functionality. This reduces assembly steps, saves time and helps optimize the reliability of the model. In addition, you can mimic shapes from nature (bionic design), adapt the topology of a model or create lattice structures to reduce weight. The freedom of design is unlimited.

Image courtesy of Altair, Materialise and Renishaw

Materialise has decades of experience in providing all-round 3D printing software and services. Participate in our Metal Academy in India or contact us for training in your region if you are wondering what Metal 3D Printing can mean to your business.

Also, keep an eye on our blog channel, where we will soon explain how the orientation of your metal parts can counter the impact of the recoater in your 3D printing machine!