3D Entrepreneurship comes from the realm of 3D printing or 3D prototyping, a 20th century technology having far-reaching applications in the 21st Century. The World Economic Forum calls it one of the pillars of the 4th Industrial Revolution. 3D Printing was invented by Chuck Hull of 3D Systems in the 1980s’ in the US and patented then. Now the patents have expired and we see a lot of widespread usage and advancement in this technology.
We at ‘I Print My Things’ are resellers of 3D printers and are into 3D education. Our target audience is primarily schools & colleges, as we want our teachers & students to learn this technology so it can be widely used in India. Our customers include the IITs, regional/private engineering colleges, private schools etc. Now we come to the essential question, what is 3D printing? 3D Printing is a group of techniques used to quickly fabricate a scale model of a physical part or assembly, using 3-dimensional cad data. It is also called additive manufacturing or rapid prototyping.
Learning 3D printing, students & teachers alike get upskilled, ie doing a prototyping job faster vis a vis the conventional methods of doing prototyping using wood, cardboard, metal etc. The results are superior and precise. So overall 3D printing adds value to their learning and resumes. But the most important aspect here is to understand that 3D printing also enables these very students & teachers alike to take up a second vocation, which is of 3D entrepreneurship. In their spare time students & teachers can undertake design work for anyone globally, and if they possess a 3D printer they can execute the 3D orders with finesse. This adds to their incomes and experience. The internet abounds with freelancing websites, where globally designers pitch for 3D jobs & orders. Similarly, there are websites where 3D jobbers pitch for their services to clients.
In addition to this, enterprising students can offer full-time 3D job work services to customers akin to the photocopy services or STD / ISD services that got created or proliferated in India in the 1990s’. Every locality of even a Tier 2 or Tier 3 town has a photocopy or STD / ISD service offering. Similar will be the case of 3D printing job work services too. 3D printing in that parlance is all about localised and customised manufacturing too. The days of mass manufacturing will dwindle with the onset of 3D printing as humans want more personalised and differentiated product offerings. At the macro level, we would see that the need for logistics & finished inventory storage would be reduced, thereby leading to reduced costs of products for consumers.
So with 1 arrow i.e. 3D printing & its education, we are creating value added for students/teachers, creating 3D entrepreneurs and reducing prices of certain goods used in our lives. This subject is closest to my heart and I have been really fervent about it to make it possible from day one, that I started my 3D printing venture.