BANGALORE: 3-D printing technology has been around for many years now; the first working 3-D printer (stereolithography) was created in 1984 by Charles W Hull.
More recently, it has been thrust into the spotlight with news cropping up about 3-D printed shoes, cars and even a hamburger that was created in England.
Now, a Bangalore-based company Altem Technologies aims to create awareness about this technology in the country and is organising an exhibition of 3-D printed Ganesh idols at Rangoli Metro Art Centre.
"The industry in India has not taken off in the way it has in countries like Taiwan, Singapore or Malaysia. India has the required manpower but owing to lack of world-class R&D facilities, the industry has taken a backseat. We want to bring this technology to the forefront and what better way than to start it with an exhibition of idols of Lord Ganesha," says Prasad Rodagi, founder director of Altem, which has been in the business of 3-D printing since 2010.
At the exhibition, eight idols inspired by the temples in Maharashtra like Ashtavinayaka, Siddivinayaka and Dagdusheth Halwai will be showcased. The installation spans six feet in height and five feet in width. "For the purpose of the exhibition, we had procured wooden idols from various places and scanned the objects using a 3-D scanner. The scanner then converted the images to a digital format which was then printed using Stratasys FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) and Polyjet technology based 3-D Printers," he says.
He hopes that that the people will appreciate how the 3-D printed idols have replicated all the intricacies of the original object without compromising on any feature.
He explains, "There's Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai from Pune which is printed in ABS Plastic using the FDM technology. This idol portrays the finer details of Ganesha's various accessories like diamond crown, gold necklace, beads, flower garland, modak and bracelets with great accuracy. Then there's another 3-D Printed Padmasana Ganesha idol printed in Photopolymer resin using Polyjet. Here what's noteworthy is how we have been able to capture the smooth texture and details of a snake adorning the belly of Lord Ganesha."
Of late, Prasad says, the market is growing at a rate of 30 to 35 per cent year-on-year and will continue on this trajectory in the years to come. But he is hopeful of the technology making inroads in mainstream markets too.
"With the addition of 3-D scanners, the possibilities are endless. There are aircraft and liner ships abroad which use this technology to replace spare parts using reverse engineering. 3-D printing technology can address many issues and can be useful in many ways. We want to have more such exhibitions across the country to make people aware of the endless possibilities of 3-D printing," Prasad observes.
The 3-D printed idols will be displayed at Rangoli – Metro Art Centre till September 7.