What was the aim & idea behind starting/launching Objectify?
We started by working on a small research and development project at IIT Kanpur with a Makerbot FFF desktop printer. We identified a massive gap within the manufacturing industry for quick short batch requirements for sample testing in the R&D and NPD departments in different organisations. We wanted to hit in somewhere between the supplychain to act as a catalyst. We started evaluating 3D printing to minimise this and we think we have been able to help a lot of industries bring products to shelf faster than they ever could.
You recently signed an agreement with MSC to use MSC’s 'Simufact Additive' for Additive Manufacturing (AM) simulation and MSC One Suite of products. How is this latest advancement going to contribute towards the growth of Objectify?
In AM the major pillars are design, simulation, and manufacturing. Hence, simulation plays a crucial role in making the end product come to life. It helps us to be decisive about the orientation, segmentation (if any) and material composition as well as run tests on the end product in terms of its functionality in the real scenario. MSC’s ‘Simufact Additive’ and MSC one suite of products provide us an array of opportunities to ease the process further. It can be used to explore the process space, which helps us predict shrinkage, warpage of the component, residual stresses, optimal location of part support structure and calculate the deformation of the base plate, helping us reduce time and efficiently address client issues.
What would you say is the biggest challenge you face in the field of Additive Manufacturing, 3D printing & rapid prototyping?
AM, in India lacks awareness about the applications and benefits among the manufacturing fraternity, which is one of the reasons the adoption has been slow. Having said that we have seen a huge improvement in approach towards AM in the last couple of years. The Indian manufacturing industry is in the process of shift from conventional to modern technologies complementing their existing manufacturing process. The major challenge is the shifting of comfort zone for current manufacturing units and the myth of how 3D printing can be costly, which is not true. In the long run, the cost of manufacturing of components is negligible when we see the time which is saved in deciding on the right iteration for mass production. With the regular development in 3D printing, the cost of production will decrease drastically.
As mentioned by you, there is a huge improvement in approach towards AM at present. How would you say these improvements would complement the existing manufacturing process?
India has been a slow and steady adopter of the AM technology but it is getting better out here. The quality of discussions in the Indian AM fraternity is increasing and getting on par with the rest of the world. Soon, you will be hearing a lot of good moves from the Indian AM industry. AM acts as a helping hand in the conventional manufacturing process. It is not here to replace it but to complement it. This needs to be propagated throughout the industrial fraternity.
You once mentioned that your long-term goal is to create synergy with industries in major manufacturing sectors, such as, automotive, aerospace, tooling, space research & medical in order to ensure sustainable manufacturability. How far off are you from achieving these goals? What is next for Objectify in the coming years?
The automotive sector is one of the most cost-driven industries and it was very difficult to convince them on the cost but slowly and steadily they have been adopting the technology in their NPD and R&D, which is changing the course of adoption and accelerating it. We are very much confident about the future of Additive Manufacturing in India. We see huge demand coming in from small tooling suppliers to large automotive and aerospace OEMs. We want to act as a catalyst in educating the industry, the application and benefits of AM. Meaning, not just in manufacturing but we want to help companies in things like training, design, consulting and lab setup as well. We want to be the end-to-end solution providers in AM space and help the Indian manufacturing industry in their path to becoming ‘Global Manufacturing Hub’.