Indian govt funds 3D printing startup DF3D

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.

Deepak Raj, Founder, DF3D
Deepak Raj, Founder, DF3D

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.

Team_df3d

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.

Novabeans Brings 3D Printed Jewelry Services to India

If you are a jeweler today who has discovered 3D printing, you probably aren’t reading this–as you’re too busy jumping up and down on your bed in glee–wild about the world of opportunities that have suddenly opened as you are able to make your own designs, edit and re-edit to your creative heart’s content, and then have them 3D printed–or if you so choose, purchase your own 3D printer and start churning out designs.

It’s a two-sided gold coin, as well, as designers are able to promote and sell their jewelry more easily–and consumers have many new designs and materials to choose from, allowing for exciting opportunities to customize. What’s most important to many as well is that selections are often much more affordable.

While we have numerous services available in the US and Europe which offer 3D printed jewelry galore now as well as a variety of ways to have designs fabricated, India is just on the tipping point of experiencing what the technology can do for this sector. Now, Novabeans–the leader in 3D printing services in India–is beginning a new venture in their country, with the introduction of 3D printed jewelry and a great program offering access to a select group.

Partnering with two US companies, B9Creations andMadeSolid, they are hoping to capture market share in a country with an impressive, emerging economy for 3D printing which is especially ripe in the jewelry arena.

The Novabeans team and their partners are aware that jewelry has great significance in India–as well as in other developing countries. It represents not just a symbol of wealth and security, but also is of great value in celebrations, individual expression, and of course–relationships. Pointing out that research from AlliedMarketResearch shows that India is slated to grow at a CAGR of 37.4% from 2014 through 2020, Novabeans, B9Creations, and MadeSolid together will most likely be setting a trend many will follow in offering 3D printed jewelry to the population.

n a program meant to introduce select professional designers, jewelers, and students to their 3D printing services, NovaBeans will provide them with free 3D printing (using DLP/SLA technology) of two objects that can be fabricated within a build volume of 30 x 30 x 40 mm. They are offering this introductory service through the end of the year, and only for original pieces–not downloaded files for other 3D models.

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In working with B9Creations, Novabeans, as well as consumers in India, will be rewarded with their expertise in 3D printing and casting jewelry products, using high-resolution printers and quality materials.

We’ve followed all three of these companies previously, noting innovative3D printed designs by B9Creations, and MadeSolid too as they’ve announced countless new resins for 3D printing. We’ve also followed numerous programs via Novabeans, most recently that of their foray into the education system with 3D printed art. Their movement into 3D printed jewelry should prove seamless–and rewarding on all levels–as they continue to advance and expand. Currently, Novabeans has multiple offices in India, as well as a headquarters in Paris. With the largest 3D printing online ecommerce store in the country, they already have the perfect platform for nearly any area of 3D printing they choose to enter.

Along with numerous 3D printing solutions, support, and consulting services, Novabeans also offers 3D printing training workshops. They serve too as the official distributor for all products by Ultimaker, 3D Systems, Pinshape, Creopop, 3Doodler, B9Creations, UAVID 3D, Airwolf, MadeSolid, Flashforge, Littlebits, and more.

Discuss your thoughts on Novabeans’ latest partnerships and their advancement into the 3D printed jewelry arena in Novabeans Brings 3D Printed Jewelry Services to India forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

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Accenture to bring startup innovation hub to India; may bring its 3D printing & internet of things solutions

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).

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.