Why We Love 3D Printing (And You Should, Too!) - Common Sense Living Newsletter
 
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Why We Love 3D Printing (And You Should, Too!)

Entrepreneurship
Nov 01, 2016

Why We Love 3D Printing (And You Should, Too!) 

I watched, mesmerized, as a tiny little desktop machine created a miniature bookshelf.

'Is this the sort of design you're looking for your room?' my architect asked me, holding out the two-inch bookshelf.

I couldn't answer. What? I asked instead, looking at the machine on his table as though it had just pulled a coin out from behind my ear. What on earth is that?

That, it turns out, was a 3D printer. A 3D printer is an extraordinary thing. Instead of printing in 2D, on paper, it prints actual solid objects.

Like the mini bookshelf. Architects have begun using 3D printing to create models of their designs. Whereas before they had to arduously hand carve or otherwise fabricate small-scaled models of what they wanted to construct, spending inordinate amounts of time, energy, and skill creating models that were often simply rejected, or unable to replicate the complexity of their designs, now they simply input their designs into these machines and a few hours of 'printing' later, there lies the object. Case in point, this 3D model of a castle.

Image Source: 3Ding

And it's not just architects. In the field of medicine, 3D printing has potentially life-saving potential. Doctors have created ears and noses out of living tissue, and are working on kidneys and other organs that can be used in transplants.

A community of volunteers from around the world who have 3D printers, the e-NABLE Community have come together to create free 3D printed prosthetic hands and arms for those in need. These hands only cost a couple thousand rupees to print and thousands have been made for people around the world.

Image Source: enablingthefuture.org

Car makers who are redesigning car parts (like the new Renault's new headlights). Any manufacturer who needs to build prototypes for their research and development work, such as new bottles for squeezing out Fevicol, can use it. Engineers who need parts for their machines can just print them out.

In the fashion industry, designers are using it to customise clothes, shoes, and to create unique pieces of jewellery worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, which can be delivered to customers within hours and require no labour. This engagement ring came out of a printer.

One of the pioneers of 3D printing technology in India is Surendranath Reddy, founder of Redd Robotics and 3Ding.in. They own half the market share of 3D printers in India and are influential in spreading the word about this rapidly expanding field.

When Reddy lost his job a couple years ago he was skeptical about applying for larger companies since he didn't have a degree in hand. He thought about doing some freelance work while he decided on what to do next. A robotics project came his way and he realised that was the answer. To start his own robotics company. Ten days later, Redd Robotics was born.

    For the first robotic project we came by, we wanted ways to prototype our project. That's when we bought a 3D printer. Over the next few months, we found ourselves using it extensively for our internal R&D projects. I felt there's a tremendous potential in it. It's like you think of a concept, you design it and 3d print: it's there in front of you. It's just like Magic. Looking into the way it can change innovation and creativity, we also found there was a supply-demand gap. That's exactly when we jumped into the market.

Reddy believes the field has enormous business potential in India. '3D printers today are like computers twenty years ago. Computers enabled entrepreneurs to bring forward the digital revolution. 3D printers will help do that for the physical world.' He travels across the country conducting educational workshops (you can check them out here).

3D printing is the future. In every industry, in some way or the other, 3D printing is becoming relevant. While getting into a hardware business is challenging, and the learning curve is significant, the rewards of entering this business now will be well worth the effort.

PS - So what can you do with this opportunity? If you are interested in learning more about the steps you need to take advantage of 3D printing as a business opportunity read more about it in our Creating Wealth issue. If you are not a subscriber, you can learn about this and many other business opportunities in our Wealth Builders Club. To learn more about the Club, click here.

Image Source: American Pearl via Forbes.

 
 

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1 Responses to "Why We Love 3D Printing (And You Should, Too!)"

Rajesh

10 Nov, 2016

The article is fantastic. You could have provided costing aspect of 3D printers and its availability. Thanks.

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