In a bid to manufacture parts of aircraft used by the Indian Air Force, state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has partnered with Wipro 3D, the additive manufacturing (AM) business of India’s tech giant Wipro, to develop 3D-printed components indigenously.
The two entities, leveraging metal 3D-printing technology, will work towards designing, developing, manufacturing, and repairing of components used in aircraft.
Notably, Wipro 3D in a partnership with the Indian Institution of Science (IISc) has recently developed an industry-grade metal additive 3D printing machine, which is also India’s first metal 3D printing machine. According to ET, Wipro 3D will be using this 3D printing machine in improving HAL’s manufacturing and repairing capabilities.
The chief executive of HAL’s Bengaluru office, Shekhar Shrivastava said that the partnership between HAL and Wipro 3D will work towards the acceleration in the adoption of metal additive manufacturing in aerospace in India. “Metal 3D printing has the potential to play a significant role in the success of national aerospace and defence platforms including HAL’s own needs,” he added.
Though this technology seems to be promising, Shrivastava added that the qualification of parts for aerospace is challenging as the parts need to be tested before their implementation. After qualification extensive testing is going be done, which will be followed by certification by regulatory authorities. This may also include flight testing, added Shrivastava.
India’s First Metal 3D Printing Machine
India’s first metal 3D printing machine works on selective electron beam melting technology, according to Wipro 3D. The machine offers better thermal management, higher part density as well as superior mechanical properties, among other features as compared to predecessor 3D metal printing machines.
Currently, metal 3D printing is still in its nascent stage in India. However, Wipro, with finding its application in many sectors such as defence, industrial equipment, among others, has emerged as a key player in this new-age technology.
In addition to this metal additive 3D printing machine, Wipro 3D is also engaged in building components for satellites as well, including a thruster for satellite engines using this new-age technology.