CHENNAI: Developing a low-cost three-dimensional surgical model which might help medicos get trained before performing a crucial surgery, building a hybrid pressure cooker which can operate on electric current and fuel both, water-saving mist showers - all these are mere ideas engineering students from tier-II colleges across the country had. But students from the IIT-Madras have helped turn these into a reality. All through the ‘Makers Summit’, a flagship event of Shaastra 2016.
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“At a time when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Start-up India’ programme is being lauded, this four-day summit will train students on ‘making’ their own products and commercialising them,” said Shruti, an IIT-M student coordinator.
As part of the summit, a project design contest is scheduled on the final day (January 26). Out of the 100 odd applications received from engineering colleges across India, a core team comprising senior faculty and students have selected 40 of the best ideas based on content and expertise.
A series of workshops and hands-on training sessions will train the selected contestants and help them ‘make’ their own model by the end of the summit. The first day saw essential training in 3-D printing technology. “The students were trained in how it can be used to create solid models or prototypes which can later be assembled to form a machine or device,” said Vedant Agarwal, a core member of Shaastra 2016.
Students were then allowed to create their own models using 3-D printers developed by IIT-M students last summer.
“We never have the labs, other facilities in our college to get trained in 3-D printing or laser cutting technologies. This platform has provided us with an opportunity to learn the basics,” said Praveen, an engineering graduate from Mysore.
Over the next few days, participants would be trained in a host of need-to-know technologies - like the laser-cutting workshop scheduled on Sunday. Teams would then be allowed to ‘make’ their own models for the project contest using a basic funding of Rs 7,000.
The first day’s training sessions were preceded by a panel discussion comprising entrepreneurs at the forefront of spreading the Makers movement in Asia.
Abhinav Das, Co-founder and CEO of EVOMO, a leading rural-utility vehicle manufacturer said all schools and colleges should start training their students on how to make a 3-D printer and more importantly make it accessible to them whenever necessary.