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A forecast of $21 billion in 3D printing industry tapped by this Pakistani startup

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Author: Mohammad Ali




The worldwide 3D printing industry is now expected to grow from $3.07B in revenue in 2013 to $12.8B by 2018, and exceed $21B in worldwide revenue by 2020.

Wohler’s report 2014 as published in Forbes



Three major reasons through which 3D printing is made attractive to manufacturing industries, research & development, and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) community are Prototyping, product development, and innovation in Pakistan. A wide spectrum of fields are included by the typical 3D printing industries such as Aerospace, Architecture, Automotive, Defense, Medical, Education, Commercial products, Consumer Electronics etc.
DPS World 2016 will going to be a game changer for printing industry in Pakistan

Since 1980’s 3D printing has been known to mankind, but at the time it was termed as Rapid Prototyping (RP) technology and strictly used in industrial applications. The RepRap concept of an open-source, self-replicating 3D printer was introduced by Dr. Bowyer in 2004. But it was not until 2007 that access of 3D printing technology was available to a wider audience. The first 3D printer was manufactured by 3D systems in 2007, under $10,000 which led to an open source movement worldwide.

3D printing had interest of Farrukh Bhabha, CEO of Print3D Pakistan when he interned at a scientific learning center in Karachi. With the increase in his learning he was very clear that Pakistan was an untapped region in 3D printing technology. Since his realization an inspiration was taken by him for the accessibility of this revolutionary technology in Pakistan. For his Final Year Project He opted to build a 3D printer while studying in Szabist University in Karachi. After he completed the degree FYP commercial was taken and launched by him as his own startup in March 2014.

Let us give a quick overview of the technology before we delve any further 3D printing is the process of manufacturing 3D solid objects from a digital model on a computer is inserted into a 3D printer. For this purpose, Plastic filament, a common material used for 3D printing, is inserted into a 3D printer. The filament is then extruded by the 3D printer while horizontal and vertical movements are made by it and thus, a physical object by successive layering of the material is created by it.

It will be a surprising thing for you to know about the existence of different kinds of 3D printed objects in today’s world. Even your face can be scanned and you can get a sculpture of it within a few hours. The following slideshow is a proof that 3D printing can convert imagination into reality.

Print3D-Pakistan has been incubated at Microsoft Innovation Centre (MIC) in Karachi since January 2015. It is Farrukh’s believe that he got a lot of help at MIC in business development. Currently, the startup has about 4 technical and creative employees including a 3D artist. This is the reason that DPS world 2016 will be a great opportunity for such companies to showcase their products and make world believe in them

Professional 3D printing, 3D designing, and 3D scanning services are provided by the startups in Pakistan with the use of an online platform where customized 3D printed objects can be bought and ordered by the users. Furthermore the startup plan for a physical store opening where 3D printers and 3D printing accessories can be sold by them for Pakistani community to be used at their home.

There was curiosity about whether there would be interest of common Pakistani in buying 3D Printers or for that matter do they even understand the technology? We were told by Farrukh that awareness is being created by them in terms of technology through workshops and seminars at different universities. Additionally, complete guidance would be provided by them to anyone who decide to buy a 3D printer. So far University students in different cities across Pakistan have ordered for 3D printing services. usually low-cost hardware or build materials are required from students for their semester or final year projects and 3D printing fulfills this need.

There are other companies in Karachi through which 3D printers are sold in Pakistan. So what would be the difference among the 3D printers from Print3D-Pakistan? Three major parameters contributing to the performance and built quality of a 3D printer were the speed of printing and minimum layer height of the filament extruded. The print quality and performance of a 3D Printer depends heavily on the specifications.

Techjuice were told by Farrukh that an object in maximum 1ft in height can be printed by their current 3D printers. However, they are in process to built 3D printers that can print huge objects of up to 3ft in height. This will be the upper edge of Print3D over its competitors.

The import of 3D printers is right now banned in Pakistan. The fundamental purpose for it is that 3D printers can make ammunition and the innovation in wrong hands can be destructive to the nation's security. Therefore, nobody can import a fully assembled 3D printer without acquiring a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the government of Pakistan. Farrukh told us that he imports 3D printing parts from various areas in Asia and after that assemble 3D printers himself in Pakistan. The most shocking thing is that a 3D printer can manufacture parts for gathering another 3D printer also therefore some of the time called a self-replicator.

What does TechJuice think about Print3D-Pakistan? Despite the fact that the startup may have a brilliant future yet we trust it's a bit too soon for the local market. For starters and hobbyists, our govt. is not prepared to acknowledge the innovation and dispersing 3D printers without the govt.’s assent won't be a moral step to take. Also, since 3D printers can be utilized as a part of assembling ammunition, we require appropriate control laws for presenting such innovation in Pakistan.

Secondly a basic computer literate can easily operate a 3D printer. However the question here is about the interest of these computer literates in 3D printers. We think there is a huge gap that needs to be full filled in terms of creating awareness and providing training of this technology among Pakistani citizens.

While anytime soon 3D printers may not become a common household item, We believe that value can be created by Print3D-Pakistan for universities, research institutes and manufacturing companies in Pakistan.

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