500 x 500 x 500 mm Made in India 3D Printer under ₹50,000
Yes, you read that right. A massive 50 Cubic CM FDM 3D Printer made in India is available at under ₹50,000. This has been made possible by Prem Solanki and Satyan Kumar Yadav from Hyderabad India.
When I first heard this, I was skeptical too, I mean even a tiny FDM machine like the Flashforge Adventurer can set you back about ₹40,000. So that’s when I reached out to Prem. It was interesting to learn their journey from professional Architects to 3D Printing manufacturers. So here’s the story of how “The 3D Print Expert” came into being.
An architect from Hyderabad, Prem, who always had an affinity to Tech, along with his friend Satyan bought an Ender 3 on EMI in November of 2019, just before the world was shook by the Covid-19.
In March, when we went into a complete lockdown, with nothing much to do, while most of us spent the time binge watching TV shows or making Dalgona coffee :P, they started printing things and sold them. With a little bit of success, they got their second 3D Printer, Anet ET4 and a Delta printer.
A couple of days later, wanting to do something more with their time, they started poking and prodding their printers. That’s when things got interesting. They wanted to go big. Wanting to build their own 3D Printer, they started watching videos after videos trying to cover all the topics related to the building a 3D Printer. But a slightly disappointing thing was that with all these resources out there, some of the parts or tools were not easily sourced in India. So deciding to wing it, Prem started designing his own printer in CAD and 3D Modelling softwares, thanks to his B. Arch.
3D Printer Parts procurement
It was time to go hunting for the parts, which was already a challenge despite the pandemic. That’s when it hit them, how expensive each parts were. Scouring the internet to find parts at a more reasonable price points, they finally managed to find a few vendors online and offline and procured some parts. But it did take time, ordering for something and waiting for it to be delivered is already a nerve racking period, but after the delivery, realizing you need another component to make it work, is…is… well, you get the point. This pushed the actual build further and further.
Starting the build after procuring most of the items needed for the build, is when they hit the next road block. You need power tools to work with aluminum extrusions. With not much architectural work rolling in the last couple of weeks, they were a little short financially to procure the expensive tools.
In the meantime, architectural work started trickling in which kept them busy most of the time, delaying the project much further. But they did manage to save up enough to buy the tools.
3D Printer Build
Now comes the actual build. With no background or knowledge in Coding, after long sleepless nights, the Marlin Firmware was finally compiled. But obviously it wasn’t going to be that easy, is it? They hit a snag when the Z-axis wasn’t functioning properly (Advice from Prem: “Never take the Z-axis for granted :P”).
Finally getting everything sorted out, it was time to print. Exciting yet excruciating until you see the tiny strands of filament trickling out the nozzle. But it was a Eureka moment and it worked. Now, it’s time to dress it up real nice. For the initial builds, it made sense to try it out with plywood, but it was time for the laser cut.
Voila! there it was. A 50 x 50 x 50 CM FDM 3D printer made in India. I’m told that the complete project cost a whopping ₹1.5 Lakh. You may ask, “I thought it was only ₹50k, are you just trying to Clickbait us?”. Well! of course not. The cost includes all the initial trial and error, procurement of materials, tools and other extra costs incurred during the initial build. But Prem estimates that the actual cost of the printer can be dragged under ₹50,000, now that he’s gained all the wisdom on how to procure the parts for a good deal and the absence for trial and error.
With the future plan to jump into 3D Printer Manufacturing, their goal is to make reliable 10 x 10 x 10 CM FDM 3D Printers at just ₹6,000, making it affordable to students and children.
Here’s a few prototypes of the upcoming projects: