Monday, October 7, 2013

3D Printing comes to Sri Lanka

3D Concept Studios will be the first Sri Lankan company to bring 3D printers to Sri Lanka for public use. Before 3D Concept Studios came along there was only one known 3D printer in Sri Lanka at the University of Moratuwa, which is fairly advanced in terms of quality of the end product but was only available at the premium price. The price factor and the availability of just one 3D printer limited the use of the technology. However, bringing down a more cost effective printing machine will translate in to science fiction will become science fact in days to come.

What is 3D printing? The process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes; or simply put, going from design to an actual product in a matter of hours.
While 3D printing has been used by industry for more than 30 years, it’s only in the last few years that it has been accessible to the wider population. Furthermore, its technology has improved to such a degree that human body parts are now grown using 3D technology. Anything from your ears to a spare kidney can now be printed in a lab. But it is expected real use of this technology for medical purposes taking at least another decade or so. Furthermore, if we are to believe the predictions given by the 3D guru’s of our time, we will expect 3D printers in the homes of people, where we will be simply printing whatever we want which will even include what we will eat.

All this said, what type of 3D printing will be available in Sri Lanka? You will be able to do both single colour and double colour modeling with the printers that are being brought down. This means that you will be able to create pretty much any design in plastic within a certain size limit (generally a shoe box). This will be invaluable for students and firms who wish to see their designs come to life for a fraction of the cost and time it would take to build it themselves. It will also be great for the average user to build hard-to-find parts, anything from a vent for your refrigerator to a part to run your classic car.
3D printing has been the biggest break through since the advent of printing itself. There is no other way to put it. 3D printing being commercially available in Sri Lanka is bound to increase the productivity and ingenuity of Sri Lankans. Now the only limitation to creating the impossible is ones imagination.

The 3D Concept Studio will be holding some workshops where the general public will be able to partake in weeks to come.You can find out more about the events and how to register at www.takas.lk


The writer is the CEO of takas.lk.He holds a BA from the University of Maryland and an MA from the University of Queensland. He can be reached for comments on lahiru@takas.lk

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