3D Printing

3D Printing

This article deals with ‘ 3D Printing – UPSC.’ This is part of our series on ‘Science and Technology’ which is an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For the whole syllabus of Science and Technology, you can click here.

What is 3D Printing?

3D printing or additive manufacturing is a manufacturing technique. It involves

  1. making three-dimensional objects
  2. from a digital design
  3. by adding one layer at a time. 
3D Printing


  1. Architecture and Construction: Countries around the world are using large 3D printers to construct multi-storied houses layer by layer. In 2021, IIT Madras has constructed India’s first house using 3D printing in just 5 days.
  2. Medicine: Bioprinting of artificial organs like the Liver, Pancreas etc.  
  3. Manufacturing: Parts of cars and aeroplanes are being built using 3D printing. 
  4. Repairing Damaged Cultural Sites: Aleppo in Syria was re-created using 3D Printing after it was completely destroyed by ISIS.
  5. Prototypes: Prototypes can be made very cheaply.

Any object can be made. Just make a digital design on PC, add material in the 3D Printer and it will make it.

Applications of 3D Printing

Side Topic: Bio Ink

Printing the Body Organs


  • No Wastage: It is an additive process, in which an object is manufactured by adding layers in contrast to present manufacturing techniques which are reduction processes. Hence, there will be no wastage of material and the cost of production will reduce dramatically. 
  • Manufacturing Decentralisation: In contrast to centralisation i.e. making products in centralised manufacturing units, it will usher revolution of decentralised manufacturing, creating business opportunities.
  • Customised Products: Presently companies make standard products because the mould they use is the same. But using 3 D Printing, customised products according to the need of the person can be made without any increase in the cost of production. 
  • Breaking manufacturing Boundaries: Using this technique, we can manufacture things that were impossible to manufacture using ordinary manufacturing techniques. Eg: Body Organs.
  • Saves Time: This technique does the job accurately and in less time.


  • Job Losses: Single 3 D printer can make products that were earlier made by hundreds of workers.
  • Security challenge: Even weapons can be made at home.

Steps taken by Government

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MEITY) has released ‘National Strategy for Additive Manufacturing‘ to tap the potential of 3D printing in India.

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