3D printing is still at its nascent stages in India compared to the West. With recent developments and awareness among Indians, 3D printing could explode and thrive any time in the near future. The possibilities and innovations through 3D printing are limitless. A user can ideate, design and print anything under the sun for their personal or professional use.
REALiz3D is a 3D printing service provider and among the early movers in this segment in India. They currently provide professional-quality 3D models to architects, engineers, designers and medical professionals.
REALiz3D - How it began
Prajnay R Boddepalli, Founder of REALiz3D, felt that there was (still is) a void in the prototyping space amongst SMEs/startups/architectural studios/design studios.
There were a few industrial-grade suppliers but they were both inaccessible and very expensive.
He spoke extensively to a number of designers and architects before he went ahead with the decision to bring down their first machine. He learnt that there was a need for a more flexible establishment to aid and support them in 3D design and 3D printing of scaled models and customised parts, since prototyping is an important phase in any manufacturing process.
He has been an innovator and maker since his college days. Back in college (RVCE, 2006 -2010) he had headed a team of 8 and they had designed and built a super-mileage car and also represented the country at the Shell Eco-Marathon in Malaysia in 2010. He then pursued a Master's degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. 3D printing/rapid prototyping is core to him and falls under his domain knowledge.
With this technical background he thought his skill set coupled with the first-mover advantage would provide an edge. He decided to bring a printer down from the US and start catering to the above mentioned market.
The team behind REALiz3D
At present, they have a two-member core team. Prajnay is the Founder and Atin Angrish is the Design Head.
Atin is a Mechanical Engineer from BITS Pilani (2008- 2012) and comes with extensive theoretical 3D printing knowledge and even has his own blog on 3D design and 3D Printing. The team is looking out for a full-time product designer at the moment.
Starting up and Scaling
Speed and quality are among the USPs of REALiz3D. In just one year, they have grown from one printer, no office space to two best-in-class 3D printers, an office space in Indiranagar and a rapidly growing client base.
The possible reasons for this are their focus on quality and time. Today, time is money and they strongly believe that anyone should be able to walk into their office in the morning with an idea/design and should walk out with the model by that very evening. They engineer the designs and make sure they are 3D printable in all aspects. They also specialise in parts and assemblies larger than their build volume.
3D printing scenario in India and the US
“Well, like most other tech-related things, 3D printing in India is far behind the US and even China when it comes to IP as well as services. Most guys in Bangalore for example, build open-source machines that do not print professional-quality products. They are meant mainly for hobbyists. This, I say from a Services standpoint. I cannot sell a model/part printed out of a rep-rap/open-source printer. So in that aspect, we have a lot of catching up to do,” says Prajnay.
He feels that a lot of focus needs to be placed on the MakerSpace and FabLab concepts as India excels in the front-end segment of designing with a plethora of industrial/product/interior/fashion designers. However, India is far behind when it comes to design execution and that is what we need to work on.
But, in a broader sense of things, India is catching up slowly and steadily. For REALiz3D, the biggest challenge is in creating a market before serving it. There is huge potential out there but a lot of people need to be educated about 3D printing and the scale it has reached so that the market opens up a little more.
They say pictures speak a thousand words. Here are a few pictures of their products :
A 3d printed scaled model of an over-bridge for the Dept. of Highways, TN (left) and a scaled-down model of a club house for a premium architectural firm (right).
You can check out more of their work under the "Portfolio" section on their website here .
New Products and releases
REALiz3D is planning to enter the medical and dental field by modelling and 3D printing (in plastic) anatomical parts from CT and MRI scans. They can now import a scan, model it on the system, export it as a 3D printable (STL) file and then print a scaled model of it. This will revolutionise the medical and surgical sector. Surgeons, as of now, use these scans (2D) to decide their surgery procedure. What REALiz3D wants to introduce, for the first time ever, is making to-scale models of these scans by first modelling them and then 3D printing them. Doctors would rather hold a scaled model of a damaged skull or broken thigh bone than just a scan to decide further surgery procedure.
Another thing they are looking into is a partnership model with schools and colleges where they provide a service or the machine itself for a nominal monthly fee as the team feels that this is an important revolution and that it needs to be included in the curriculum itself.
You can check out their website here and reach out to them in case you have any queries.