MITians’ 3D printing indian startup raises $3million

Their desktop 3D printing firm was started with a prize money of just Rs 5 lakh at Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT). But the two engineering graduates have raised $3 million in just two years. 

Rohit Asil and Vijay Raghav Varada, both MIT students, founded Fracktal Works after they won the prize in ‘Provenance’, a state-level B-plan competition organized by Manipal University Technology Business Incubator (MUTBI), two years ago. The main objective of this competition is to encourage future technological entrepreneurs. 

Chasing their dreams in three-dimensional printing (3D), the duo launched their startup at MUTBI while they were still studying. This centre assisted them by providing logistical support during the incubation period of 18-36 months. Vijay is a B Tech in Mechatronic Engineering and Rohit, in Instrumentation and Control from MIT. 

Speaking to TOI, the duo who moved out of MUTBI a year ago, said Manipal University gave them an opportunity to chase their dreams. They have tied up with MNCs and the firm’s net worth has risen to nearly $3 billion. The idea of creating the 3D printer was triggered when they were into inter-collegiate competitions. 

“Initially, we were interested in robotic technology but later switched to the 3D printing project, which we thought was a fluke but was recognized by MIT,” they said. 

After incubation at MUTBI for a year, Fracktal Works shifted base to Bengaluru to continue developing and manufacturing their own brand of 3D printers ‘Julia’ and providing customized services to different clients, including Cisco, Toshiba and L&T. Their USP has been competitive pricing in 3D printing. 

Currently, Fracktal employs a dozen people. Vijay says that imported basic 3D printing costs Rs 4-5 lakh, while they sell it only for one-third the cost. 

They plan to use all the funding to expand the team and strengthen their product development capabilities by hiring industrial designers and embedded system programmers. “Two years of bootstrapping have taught us how to utilize funds frugally and we will continue to do so,” added Rohit.

How 3D Printing Is Revolutionizing Healthcare

In the last couple of years, we have heard a lot about endless possibilities of what 3D printing has actually to offer. From custom-designed shoes to prescription drugs to match your DNA, the future seems to be knocking right at our doors now.

We got a glimpse of the same at the recent Autodesk University event. The most promising breakthroughs are currently happening in the field of medicine and healthcare. Only recently, we heard about a new 3D printed pill that can control epileptic seizures; it has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and we have also been hearing how this technology can help treat Type 1 Diabetes.

Even Autodesk is quite excited about the possibilities that exist in the bio-nano technology sphere. In the past, we have been hearing about 3D organ printing and we are just about scratched the surface in this sphere. However, if we could have virus-fighting medicines that are custom made to match our DNA, then the implications of the same could be huge. What we are necessarily getting at is that the drug made using our DNA, and will be looking at affecting only the affected cells and not impact the healthy cells in any way.

While speaking to Gizmodo India, Amar Hanspal, Senior Vice-President of the IPG Product group Autodesk that he is almost as excited and intrigued at the potential that exists in the health and medical sphere.

Hanspal says, “This will be a very targeted approach and we are still in the stages of early exploration as far as things go.”