3D printers – machines that can create objects from digital files – are gaining popularity around the world with people using them to create everything from everyday objects like jewellery and stationery to musical instruments and even guns. If you’re in Mumbai this weekend, you can catch one such made-in-India 3D printer called Brahma3 at an exhibition organised at Godrej campus in Vikhroli on Saturday.
The duo behind the printer, friends and co-founders of Bangalore start-up Brahma3 – Nikhil Velpanur and Arvind Nadig – knew they wanted to create a 3D printer when they first learnt about the magical concept.
“When it printed – to see a digital file become a physical object on your desktop – it was witchcraft.
It was sorcery, some kind of magic. That was when the penny dropped.” said Velpanur.
The printer, that was indigenously built in a short period of three months, has already been used to create objects like sunglasses, bracelets, earrings and shoes from plastic, nylon and wood.
Here’s how it works. Once you have a digital image of an object you want to print, you feed it to the printer and watch as it creates the object by melting the source material (plastic or nylon) and squeezing it out, layer by layer, on a heated bed.
“This ensures the layers fuse and become a solid object,” explains Velpanur who says that 3D printers were not available in India before this and it was too expensive to import one.
Internationally, 3D printers are available for purchase at stores and are even being used by children to create accessories and toys.
Besides, researchers and scientists are now using 3D printers to print layers of synthetic skin and even a new liver. In fact, the world’s smallest 3D-printed human liver, which can survive for 40 days and functions like the real organ, was developed in November this year.
The Brahma3 is your average printer size and can print objects as big as the size of a football. It costs around Rs1 lakh and the Bangalore-based start-up already has 50 pre-orders. The company hopes to complete the delivery by March.
To see the 3D printer in action, visit the Vikhroli Skin event by India Culture Lab this Saturday between 11am and 6pm.
What: Watch a made-in-India 3D printer
Where: Godrej campus, Vikhroli
When: Saturday (11am to 6pm