Biotz, a city-based start-up, has come up with Makifyr, a 3D printer

More often than not, one feels the need to create an object of custom size and dimensions. Almost everyone, from researchers to students, feel the need for such custom-sized objects at different points in their life. What if you could create an object of any shape and size from a design, the same way one prints text on a paper using a printer? A young technology start-up named Biotz has created a product – quirkily titled the ‘Makifyr’, which will make this idea, commonly known as three dimensional (3D) printing, a reality.

“Creating objects of even moderately complex shapes and sizes becomes cumbersome, since the materials available are of standard shapes and sizes,” says Paul Anand, CEO of Biotz. “Makifyr helps designers to create objects of any shape, size or dimension. Makifyr is essentially a 3D printer – a device that processes a computer generated design into a physical object. Specifications of objects created using the Makifyr are limited only by the creativity of the designer and the specifications of the design,” he adds.

Apart from Paul, Team Biotz consists of Akhil S. Nair (technology architect) and Vigil M. Unnithan (research engineer), all three who studied together at Sarabhai College of Engineering, Vellanadu. Passionate about robotics and machines, the trio teamed up after college to set up their venture and set off to create their maiden project – Makifyr.

“We are being angel funded by an NRI investor and have been in operations for over a year now. Our dream is to create technology that is not only sustainable, but will also be able to change the world we live in. That is how we zeroed in on the concept of the Makifyr,” says Akhil.

The working of this device is similar to that of a normal printer; the difference is that while the printer prints a design/image/text on a two dimensional interface (or paper), the Makifyr actually ‘creates’ a physical object in three dimensions, explains Akhil. According to Vigil, “the device uses custom software to process the three dimensional stereo lithographic design (created using Computer Aided Design software), which in turn sends instructions to the printer.

The printer uses a heated nozzle that follows the instructions received to spew a certain thermoplastic in layers. The plastic solidifies to form the resultant object which is precise and exactly matches the design’s dimensions. Thermoplastics like Polylactic Acid (PLA) and Polycarbonate are used to create the object, which is also of high quality, the team says.

In foreign countries 3D printing is being used in the automobile industry and healthcare among other sectors. However the technology is quite new to India. Although 3D printing services are already available, they are extremely costly and are only being utilised by major corporations, primarily due to the exorbitant cost of creating three dimensional prototypes.

Paul claims that his machine can change the entire ecosystem with its cost-effective technology. “Our printer is significantly cheaper than almost every other 3D printer in the market, thus making it more affordable.

Once 3D printing becomes cheaper it will be a boon to a host of industries. Our dream is to further reduce its costs and thus bring a 3D printer in every household,” he signs off.