The Indian Government is formulating a plan to improve its manufacturing output from the current level of 16% to 25% of GDP. The project places advanced manufacturing at the center of this goal. The ‘National Policy for Advanced Manufacturing’ is designed to advance India’s position as global competitor in terms of manufacturing. The policy also evaluates the threat that ‘smart manufacturing’ could pose through loss of jobs. The outcome could be significant, given that India is the 6th largest global manufacture according to data published by the UN.
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Secretary Ramesh Abhishek explained the purpose of the new policy as to improve but also to be aware of potential problems:
“There are a lot of concerns, lot of opportunities, there are also threats particularly on jobs so how to make our policies, how to tailor our industry, how to get ready for this in a manner that the transition is seamless and our people are skilled enough, may be to relocate to other areas.”
As with any plan for the future of manufacturing, industry 4.0 was of course also on the agenda. In the announcement it was explained that the policy is part of India’s plans for the introduction of Industry 4.0 and the Department of Heavy Industry Secretary Girish Shankar spoke about importance of this plan, Is Industry 4.0 and advanced manufacturing one of the most important applications of 3D printing? You can make your nomination for the enterprises and people involved in this area by following this link to the 1st Annual 3D Printing Industry Awards.
The Mahindra Group, one of India’s largest multinational conglomerate holding companies, has just launched its newest pilot project: a specialized 3D printing program for semi-urban and rural schools in India.
Mahindra will donate 3D printers to the schools, beginning with the B.M. Pawar School in Chakan, as part of a comprehensive training program that educates teachers and students in the many applications of additive manufacturing technology.
We see 3D printing as the future of technology and a potent tool to help bridge the tech divide between urban and rural India. Through this project, we seek to inspire young minds to think creatively and open up a whole world of possibilities for themselves and their community,” said Mahindra Group President (IT Sector) and Chief Technology Officer Ulhas Yargop. “While this is still a proof of concept, we hope it will ultimately reach more schools and offer potential employment opportunities in design and prototyping.”
Currently two teachers from the B.M. Pawar School have been trained in 3D printing tech, who will then teach Std. XI students (ages 15-18) as part of a three-month certified course. The program seeks to enable students to gain proficiency in 3D printing, including both the design process and ideation.
Students will also be encouraged to create prototypes of their ideas, as part of developing an overall mindset towards design, innovation, and computational thinking. The program will culminate in a design challenge where students can showcase their work.
Guest faculty will also feature strongly in the student training, including Dr. S. Venugopal of Mahindra Research Valley and professors from Indian Institute of Technology Madras and the National Institute of Design. According to a press release, this initiative aims to culminate in “the creation of an eco-system which will enable experimentation and creativity while providing the students with the basic skills required to use this technology to its full potential.”
Although much 3D printing development comes out of Europe and North America, The Mahindra Group is keen to bring these advantages to India, as “developing economies can also harness the potential of this affordable and possibly life-saving technology to help them leapfrog highly capital intensive manufacturing.”
Mahindra’s rural education initiative comes as part of India’s ballooning involvement in the additive manufacturing industry. This summer it was reported that India’s 3D printing prototyping and materials market is expected to reach $62 million by the year 2022. As the logical next step, increased investment in 3D printing education resources will prove key to that economic growth. If successful, initiatives like Mahindra’s pilot program may continue to grow.
While most startups gain their first boost through large amounts of VC funding, DF3D stands out. The Bengaluru-based ‘design factory for 3D printing’, launched in February 2014, was among the thirty startups which were showcased at TechSparks 2014. A year later, DF3D has a unique tale to tell the world – one which is backed by the Union government itself.
Although 3D printing – which started as additive printing in the US before 24 years – was not entirely a new concept in India, the people had not yet warmed up to the concept. Deepak Raj, founder, says that his entrepreneurial venture, which began as India’s first marketplace for B2C, shifted to B2B after six months of its inception for more revenue.
With about 22 years’ experience in software and sales, Deepak, an ex-employee of GE, was clear that printing is gradually becoming a commodity. “There are at least 25 players in India in 3D printing, concentrating more on production and mechatronics. We wanted to concentrate on designing and software for making prototypes and customised products,” says Deepak. However, there was no external funding; but within a few months since they converted to B2B, they started generating enough revenue to fund themselves.
It was then that DF3D launched Osteo3d, to provide 3D printing for surgical planning. It got some much attention that in March 2015, DF3D got funded by the Government of India: the Department of Biotechnology sanctioned a grant of Rs. 50 lakh.
Osteo3d has already had 38 cases, in cranial, orthopaedic, and maxillofacial surgical procedures. For instance, for surgical fixing of jaw bones, an exact piece is designed and printed by Osteo3D, and is placed in position by a surgical expert.
Deepak says that while such products cost Rs.1,20,000 outside, Osteo3d do it for Rs.30, 000 and are planning to reduce the price again. He claims that Osteo3D is the world’s first ecommerce marketplace for skulls and bones.
“Based on live patient data, how will you get a skull for a particular defect? We have 150 different models for this,” says Deepak. One in 2000 children are born with skull not properly formed, affecting brain development and causing behavioural disabilities. In such cases, Osteo3d’s 3D printed helmet exerts pressure in the right parts so that skull grows in the right direction.
But lack of awareness is still a problem. Even among doctors, Deepak says, there was certain reluctance as, in India, we rarely do normal reconstruction. But they are definitely warming up to the idea. Osteo3d has three doctors in advisory board, and has partnered with 25 doctors including from AIIMS.
While he plans to make Osteo3D a brand of its own in the long run, Deepak is content about DF3D’s progress. He believes that 3D printing of the future can revolutionise e-commerce and logistics altogether. For an order from abroad, the file is digitally manufactured and sent to the printer online; there is no question of shipping and associated charges. “Products get manufactured after you place the order; hence there is no need for an inventory. In that sense, 3D printing is a threat to courier companies. Even for orders from US, we send them the design, they manufacture it in US itself,” says Deepak.
In 3D printing, you get an online 3D view of the product you ordered, and can customise it and do transactions. DF3D provides software plugins used by 3D printing companies, as well as algorithm to calculate the pricing.
DF3D launched its own app – Extrud3it – 3 months ago. It gives a pricing quote, first app in the world to do so for 3D printing. DF3D currently has 8 members in its team, and customers from all over the world.
With the expiry of key patents, increasing awareness, and advancement in material research, 3D printing is finally taking off. In 2014, US-based Autodesk (3D design and engineering software firm) launched $100 million fund to encourage 3D printing technology. According to a study by 6WResearch consulting firm, the 3D printer market in India is expected to cross $79 million by 2021. Global players such as 3D Systems and Optomec have already made their entry in India. Indian startups are not lagging behind as well. Mumbai-based MaherSoft, Jaipur-based aha!3D, Bengaluru-based Fracktal and Global 3D Labs, are among the pioneers in the field.
Aakash, a gold medallist of MNIT Jaipur 2002 batch got a taste of entrepreneurship when he joined Vihaan Networks in 2005. Before that, he had two smaller stints with C-DOT and Mentor Graphics. A curious mind, Aakash always had pet projects he’d work on. While working on his projects, he became aware of the limitations of conventional mechanical prototyping. Around 2009, he came across the RepRap project which had begun as an initiative to develop a 3D printer that can print most of its own components and be a low-cost 3D printer. This really spiked his interest and in 2010, he decided to start his own company AHA Gadgets which was later rebranded to aha!3D.
The idea was to develop indigenous 3D printers dedicated to the needs of Indian market. “Our first product Reality 3D, which also became India’s first indigenous 3D printer, was appreciated a lot at various platforms. The scope in this field motivated us to take this as full time work,” says Aakash. Aha!3D specialises in industrial 3D printers with a focus on reliability, repeatability, and ruggedness. The company also provides 3D printing services to customers wherein people can send their designs to get them prototyped.
Aha!3D has two products in the market, one catering to the desktop 3D printing segment and another to large-build volume shop-floor 3D printing segment. Their ProtoCentre 999 is the desktop 3D printer with a build volume of 9x9x9 cubic inches. It is a desktop model and comes with all features to provide an industrial quality output. “It comes with all metal chassis, closed chamber heated bed assembly with dual extruders. It has a printable range of materials including ABS, PC, HIPS, PLA, PETT and Nylon, apart from newer special materials like brassFill, woodFill, and other composite materials,” says Aakash.
And the ProtoCentre 1M alpha was introduced as a pilot product with selected technical partners (build volume of 30x20x40 inches cube, quad water cooled extruder and state of the art control software). “There are various low cost 3D printer available in market but they have too many limitations which are not acceptable in professional grade machines. Our entire research is dedicated to provide viable industrial grade machines, offering unparalleled return on investment,” says Aakash.
All aha!3D parts are made in India and the team follows a “soft inventory” concept where they keep digital designs for 5% parts which are 3D printed just-in-time when needed.
Completely bootstrapped, aha!3D is proud to call itself “customer funded”. Adobe India bought Reality3D, the first version of their 3D printer when Adobe was in the process to develop a postscript equivalent for 3D printers. ISRO’s team which worked on the Mangalyaan also bought a PC999. They use it for making prototypes to test and validate their designs of the mechanical components. DRDO’s MTRDC Bangalore lab, which researches on microwaves, also bought PC 999 from aha!3D. “Our customers have graciously given us problems to solve and trusted our team to come up with the right solution,” says Akash. The desktop printer comes with a price tag of Rs 2,00,000. The industrial version is a custom made printer which is designed according to the demand of customers. Apart from selling 3D printers, the company also makes money from the 3D printing services it provides.
3D printing has attracted a lot of attention globally. With over $100 million in funding, Carbon3D is a benchmark company in the space and Shapeways, another upcoming giant in the space raised $30 million in July this year. Back home in India, Fracktal Works raised a round at $3 million valuation, there are other companies like df3d, Global3D, etc., making headway. For aha!3D, it has been an exciting journey. Their team has expanded to 12 members and consists of experts on all aspects of machine design. Talking of the road ahead, Aakash says, “We are introducing a new application of 3D printing for the Indian scenario. We want to be the reason for adoption of 3D printing in mainstream life of India and also get India recognised for fundamental innovation on the global map.”
Accenture is looking at bringing its startup innovation hub concept to India and will continue to work with Indian startups as it expects the country to emerge a source of innovation for the world, a top official said.
“I would say that it is more than a possibility (placing a startup hub in India). Collaboration with Indian startups is something already being done,” Gianfranco Casati, group chief executive – growth markets at Accenture, said.
“Personally, I would say, that I am very optimistic about India becoming a source of innovation for the world. Potentially, even more disruptive than China,” he told ET in an exclusive interaction.
The global consulting and IT giant has innovation hubs centred on new-generation technologies such as internet of things (IoT) in Silicon Valley to work with startups and partners.
Accenture already works with Indian startups in its FinTech Innovation Lab in Hong Kong and has given grants to researchers from IIT-Bombay, IIT-Chennai, BITS-Pilani and IISc-Bangalore for research in natural language programming, cognitive learning systems, and dependable software.
While the innovation boom in India is still in its early stages, mushrooming startups have raised some concerns for some IT companies who now have to compete with startups for talent at campuses and lose high-performing employees to them.
But Accenture looks at this differently, said Rekha Menon, the newly-appointed chairman of Accenture India.
“We are always training our employees — keeping them future-ready and engaged, because the newer generation wants to learn constantly. And we understand that some employees will want to move to startups, and we support that, because that’s the in-built risk in hiring top talent. We have also supported startups started by ex-Accenture employees,” she said.
Menon said the company was training its more than 100,000 strong workforce in India on newer digital technologies, not just to serve global clients, but also to serve the India market.
Accenture is also working on bringing its 3D printing and IoT solutions to India as part of its growth markets strategy.
Despite volatility in markets such as China and Brazil, Accenture logged double-digit growth in revenues its newer markets for its financial year ended August.
John O’Brien, analyst with TechMarket-View, pointed out that Accenture achieved double-digit growth across both consulting and outsourcing services, and across all three main geographies of North America (12 per cent), Europe (10 per cent), and growth markets (11 per cent).
3DCreatR, A company based in India, is expanding its range of courses on 3D printing, extending the courses to all ages.
This is not only to learn but also to dedicate professionally to disitintas opportunities offered by 3D printing in the future: medical, aerospace, manufacturing, and more. The list of options is almost endless career
Based in Mumbai, 3DCreatR is already operating two thriving centers for 3D printing and additive manufacturing. Because of its success, the company has set the goal of a major expansion
"3DCreatR is determined to spread their wings of knowledge to the masses and has plans to open 50 more such centers across India over the next six months"
3DCreatR also offers a wide selection of products and 3D printing materials.
In its centers, as they continue to accelerate and stimulate learning across India, 3DCreatR offer classes designed to "refine and improve" Learning in 3D for Indian citizens at all levels, such as:
Kids 3DC – Introductory course for the young ones
DesignA 3DC – Instruction focusing on product and art design for adults
DesignK 3DC – Instruction in design for kids, including scanning and sculpting
Design+3DC – An extension of the introductory course for adults or kids, offering twelve 3D printing sessions
Sculpt3DC – Introduction for kids to the Sculptris program, where they learn to make a basic 3D model
Jewelry3DC – Any skill level receives instruction on 3D printing a pendant, as well as embellishing it
ChocoMold 3DC – Participants learn to 3D print with chocolate, and produce a chocolate mold as part of the class assignment
Instapro3d.com is a 3D printing service bureau based in New Delhi, and the startup company digitizes objects and does 3D modeling via a group of professional CAD engineers. One of their services is a way to document one of the most important milestones in anyone’s life – the birth of a child, via 3D printed copies of their foot or a hand.
Megha Bhaiya, the Founder and CEO of Instapro3d.com, followed in the footsteps of her sister when she left India to study at Lancaster University for a year. As part of her BBA Business Studies degree at the GD Goenka World Institute, Bhaiya spent her final year there finishing her studies. She says it was an ideal choice for her as an international student as she met people from all over the world.
Bhaiya began Instapro3D to create “a platform to turn your imagination into reality.” She says 3D printing fascinated her as it allows engineers, artists and designers to apply their skills and leverage the power of design “to give birth to amazing creations.”
From key chains to bike models; from hair-clips to screwdrivers; from an upside-down bottle to an imaginary helicopter design, Bhaiya says 3D printing sets designers free to create products and their work is restricted only to the limits of their imagination
“If you have broken a piece of machinery, you can just get it replicated here,” she says. “You can make quick models of your product before a presentation – even design your own jewelery.”
She also says this latest offering from her new company includes one element of inestimable value.
“We believe that birth of a child is a very emotional and memorable time for parents, and freezing a part of this memory for them would be priceless,” she says. “Thanks to 3D printing, doing this is absolutely simplified.”
The company says their engineers and developers take on all aspects of machine design, embedded firmware, application software, core electronics, and mechatronics. They add that they also have a network of outside consultants who handle design for optimum manufacturing, ergonomics, and human factors of their machines.
ProtoCentre 1M can build objects up to 1 meter in height, makes use of a water cooled quad-extruder print head, and includes a long list of user-friendly features. Aha 3D Innovations says it’s their PrintProtect feature which is critical to the device’s filament management, filament jam prevention, and monitoring of power outages.
He says “intelligent diagnostics software” can also remind users of the need for periodic maintenance tasks and regularly monitors all functions of the device. The company says standard interfaces like a touch screen, WiFi, and remote monitoring come standard with the ProtoCentre 1M.
Lord Ganesha is a widely worshipped deity in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India and Nepal. Ganesha is widely revered as the god of beginnings, the deva of intellect and wisdom and honored at the start of rituals and ceremonies. Citizens of Bangaluru, India can treat themselves to a very distinctive display of Lord Ganesha. For the first time in India, a 3D Printed Ganesha idols are being displayed at M.G Road Metro Station’s “Rangoli – Metro Art Centre”. Today is the last day of the display – 7th Sept 2014.
The 3D printed Ganesha consists of 8 idols, inspired by temples in Maharashtra, like Ashtavinayak, Siddivinayak etc. All the idols were created exclusively through professional 3D printers, which are capable of capturing every intricate detail in the idol. The Ganesha models are created by 3D scanning the idols & then printed in Stratasys FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) & Polyjet technology based 3D Printers. The project is initiated by Bangalore based Altem Technologies, a pioneer in professional 3D printers in India and a strategic vision partner of Stratasys. It was also awarded the India SME 100 Award for 2013-14 in the IT/ITES segment.
Mr. Prasad Rodagi, Founder Director of ALTEM Technologies said, “Lord Ganesha is widely revered as the remover of obstacles, and as the god of intellect and wisdom. Being the god of beginnings, he is worshiped at the start of rituals and ceremonies. 3D Printing is a technology used right in the beginning of the engineering design cycle to overcome flaws in design & development of new products. Invariably, any product takes 3D Printed form before taking its commercial avatar. Additionally, an idol of Ganesha is one of the most intricate idols in India, which can give the viewer can excellent idea about the possibilities of 3D Printing. Hence, Lord Ganesha is being 3D Printed in this scale for the first time in the country.”
There are actually many desktop 3D printers rising on the market, however most of them have terribly little build volume that limits the sort of elements that may be 3d printed. Earlier, Makerbot has found a technique or a way to build an object larger than the build volume of a 3D printer, and filed a patent. However another company, the Indian startup Centre for Computational Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (CCTech), a CAD and CAM development company, has come back up with a replacement application “3DPrintTech” that helps the maker to create objects larger than the build volume of any 3D printer.
3DPrintTech is a free app and works as CAD plugin with Autodesk discoverer 2014, AutoCAD 2014 and SolidWorks 2014. 3DPrintTech is meant to print larger objects on a desktop 3D printer quickly. The application will divide the style of enormous object into little connectable parts, in a jiffy. The App additionally provides the user, a choice to manage the cylindrical connectors as per his demand. User will outline the connective in terms of radius, length and taper angle. User additionally manages the space between the connectors, distance between connective and object surface.
The 3DPrintTech app additionally provides the practicality to pack little objects in one print batch. 3DPrintTech app features a feature referred to as ‘3D Packing’ that collects those little parts and packs them in a given build volume. “In our benchmark testing, we found that for several cases our 3D packing technology helped to scale back the 3D printing batches from ten to one. This is positively aiming to facilitate manufacturers to print a lot of objects in less time and by investing lesser cash.” notes the team.
In addition, the app additionally provides associate interface to feature your custom printer and lots of utility functions like exportation processed objects to 3D printable STL file, Explode objects for fast examination, scaling the item for unit conversion or fitting into printer.
Sandip Jadhav, (Co-Founder & Business Executive, CCTech) says, “3DPrintTech was built to facilitate Makerbot ‘s to boost productivity by a nice degree. It’ll additionally facilitate the 3D print club to push the envelope by creating massive 3D objects.”