The Coming Together of an Industry
The 11th of December 2019 marks a milestone in the history of IAMF. It is when the best minds of the 3D printing industry in India came together and created history. We successfully created the World’s largest one-part 3D printed statue of Lord Ganesha and exhibited it on a global platform!
Here are some interesting information snippets about this statue:
It is a 10 feet tall statue 3D printed as a single part. Its footprint is 5×5 square feet, and it weighs 200 kg.
It is created using a giant 1000 cubic feet 3D printer, fully made in India, and this statue is the first 3D print coming out of this printer. Here’s more:
Dimensions: (LWH): 5ft x 5ft x 10ft
Weight: 200 kg
Build time: 3 days
Average material deposition rate: Approximately 3 kg per hour
Method: FFF layered deposition
Raw material: Natural PETG pellets
And here is the video timelapse of its making:
It is a joint effort and contribution of individual strengths, to a just cause. High time we started positioning India strong-footedly as a technology leader that it is. High time we clubbed our strengths as one, irrespective of our individual identities. This post chronicles how we at IAMF did it, and the interesting details of the story as it happened!
Banker 3D Works, Ahmedabad
It started with a dare. A leap of faith. Burning the bridges after you. The first person who must be credited for setting this feat rolling is Mr. Amit, the person who commissioned India’s largest 3D printer for his company, Banker 3D Works. An inquisitive gentleman, Amit is driven by new innovations, and he is the one to explore creativity to the limit. He does his homework, but once he is sure of something, he gives his everything to deeply educate himself about it, contribute to it, own it, and make it a grand success. What he also deserves to be recognized for, is his disposition to work collaboratively and empower this community project, when he could have taken the solitary path.
Aha 3D, Jaipur
When Amit met Mr. Aakash (me) back in January 2019, and saw the then-largest Aha 3D printer (1.5 cubic meters build volume) first hand, new possibilities emerged. I needed to be sure that he really understands the magnitude of the risk he is taking. So I asked him why he isn’t simply going for a Chinese company to get his work done. He simply said, “Kuch hua toh mein usko pakdne kaha jaunga?” (Where will I go to grab hold of them if things go wrong!?). Fair enough. We talked a lot on the possibilities of large format 3D printer, and quickly realized that this is going to happen. Irrespective of the funds involved, or their availability thereof, I knew that Aha is going to make the largest 3D printer possible (for us, at that given point of time). So we went for 10 feet per axis. Few other reasons were, this size would cover the largest of Automobile parts (read buses), and it was the then-largest sized 3D printer in the world to the best of our knowledge. (More posts of the making here , here and here.)
Fast forward to beginning of November 2019. The 3D printer was coming up all good, and within reasonable timelines. Now, we being the people that we are, our first 3D print is always a Ganesha statue. This time, we dreamed of creating it the world’s largest statue together with the IAMF community, befitting of the times and the opportunity. The first question was, where will the sculpture’s CAD come from. This is when Vicky Kapure came in and saved the day!
3D Adda, Pune
A digital sculptor of prodigious skill, he is sculpting Gods away with his mouse since the beginning of time (or since the beginning of Indian 3D Industry anyway), under his friendly brand 3DAdda (Kiviaan Technologies Pvt Ltd). He immediately enlisted himself whole heartedly to the mission, and told that he has been dreaming of doing huge 3D printed sculptures himself since a long time! He meticulously designed the statue to the specifications of the giant 3D printer — the nozzle diameter, the layer height, and the material. He even ensured that the design uses minimal support, and that the centre of gravity is at the right place, so that the statue can stand by itself! Once designed, he executed the entire 3D print in his home 3D printer, with scaled down but exact same parameters, to simulate the real thing and eliminate the unknowns as much as possible. There are few detail-oriented individuals as he.
Next up, it was the question of the material. We had already taken a huge share of leaps of faith. One of them being, going for a pellet extruder. And there was this mammoth task of 3D printing the statue in a daringly short timeline. (We hadn’t talked to Aditya yet, but it was always in the back of the mind that if things fall in place, he will be called upon to have it inaugurated at the AMTech Expo 2019 😉 ).
Solidspace Filament, Nashik
This is precisely where Sourabh and Subhro of Solidspace filament pitched in, with their deep and solid resourcefulness of materials, contacts and positivity! Sourabh immediately pledged in 100 kgs of material for the statue, alongwith taking on the task of sourcing the finest PETG pellets at the best possible price. The first estimate of the weight of the statue was approx 500 kgs (it ended up being 200 kgs in reality, but how’d we know, for the slicing software went bonkers estimating the weight of this model). So naturally the raw material’s price was of utmost importance! Subhro, being the knowledgeable gentleman that he is, pitched in with his entire arsenal of experience extruding PETG filament, and simply shared all his knoweldge open-heartedly. I can confidently say that in a large part, the statue coming out first-time-right is due to Subhro’s timely and accurate inputs on the material.
Indian 3D Printing Network, Mumbai
With things seemingly falling in place, we explored it with Aditya if the statue can be inaugurated at the AMTech Expo 2019. He did his due delibration with the team, and in a short two days, pitched in with all his resources and energy. Originally it was intended to be kept at the Startup zone at the AMTech Expo, but he one-upped his part by moving it to near the registration desk, where this will be the first exhibit any visitor would see. He even considered it from the angle of the international exhibition going on in the nearby hall, and ensured best visibility and outreach for the sculpture.
Now this had started to become a true community project!
And by now, the time was so short that, even though we wished for some post-processing on the statue, it seemed totally impossible.
Until Sahas Softech came in picture that is.
Sahas Softech, Mumbai
Over informal discussion, when he came to know about this project, and what it is missing, Sohrab came in with his willingness to perform post processing on the statue. He asked for atleast 3 days, given the magnitude of the work, but eventually he is getting a day and a half to do his job! Prefect startup concoction.
He has done his homework to ensure the sculpture looks attractive and finished, while not losing its basic appearance of being 3D printed that we want to highlight in this exhibit. He is moving his equipment and artists to the exhibition grounds, to make best of what he’s got. We’re sure that the results are going to come out phenomenal. But what matters even more is the fact that we came together to make this happen.
Likewise, in one similar discussion that we were having at Dr Shibu’s 3DPW event at Mumbai last month, Mukesh Chauhan of Technolexis immediately expressed his willingness to be a part of the project as soon as he came to know about it. Now, I’ve learned enough to not come in the way when things are meant to happen. So Mukesh ended up taking care of a part of Logistics for the project.
It was almost December when the machine got print-worthy (though not yet tested end-to-end, or complete by any means). The slicing software told us that the Ganpati print shall take 40 hours to complete. By our past experience, we knew that we should plan for atleast 72 hours in reality. But imagining a 200 kg print to be completed in 72 hours was a different feat altogether. It was now when we began to realize that this is going to be first EVER print on this giant machine, with pellet extruder, eight servo motors, with the print going to cover the entire build height of the 3D printer. A perfect concoction of something never tried before, and expected to work first time right. It was only deep trust in our preparations, and faith that kept us going strong.
This was when the Aha team pledged to complete the 3D print in time for the AMTech Expo, however impossible it seemed. Each one of the people did multiple night-outs to supervise the print, and helped each other steal some rest in between!
By the time we were done with basic motions, and a couple small test prints, it was the second of December.
Next, the exact opposite of Murphy’s law happened. Whatever could go right, DID go right! And the statue was complete by 6th of December, well in time for the shipment to AMTech Expo Mumbai, its first and the inaugural stop!
After a small prayer ceremony, the statue was signed off to Mumbai, where it reached on 9th Dec morning, exactly 6 hours BEFORE schedule! The story shall continue from here at the AMTech Expo on 11th and 12th Dec 2019. Be there 🙂
Hosting the statue in your city
We realize that there are many more people in the community who are equally willing to contribute to this mission. Here’s where you can help.
After the AMTech Expo, the statue is planned to be taken on a roadshow across the country, to create national awareness of our community and the technology, and help everyone experience the power and possibilities of 3D printing.
Its first stop after the expo is already scheduled. It will be exhibited at Pune, from 13th to 18th Dec 2019. Venue details soon.
Next, you are invited to host it in your city. Here are the essentials to do the same:
a) The host Institute needs to arrange for the transport from the current location to their city, the installation, and the repackaging. (Think an expense of Rs 5k to 25k, depending upon how far your city is from the statue’s current location).
b) There should be a place to keep the exhibit at a publically-accessible place.
c) Reasonable efforts need to be made to spread the word and ensure maximum viewership of the exhibit. Think media coverage, banners, announcements.
d) The exhibit may be planned to be kept at your city from 2 to 7 days.
e) Share the updates and experiences of audience in your city with the IAMF community! Also share the viewership figures, collect visitors comments etc.
If you’d like to host the statue in your city, kindly fill this google form.
Thanks for reading! Will keep posted.
For Indian Additive Manufacturing Forum,