Published: 01st February 2021
This SRM student's start-up is 'kreating' 3D printers at a fraction of the cost. Here's why they're awesome!
We speak to Anurag Atulya, founder of Chennai-based Kreator 3D, a start-up that's set to revolutionise India's 3D printing game
While in his first year of college at SRM Institute of Science and Technology (SRMIST), Anurag Atulya knew he wanted to innovate. "At that time, I didn't have the resources to bring my ideas to life," he says. To bring his ideas to life, Anurag decided to build a machine that would help him with his projects. Using scrap materials, Anurag built his first machine — a 2D plotter that could engrave on anything.
Kreator 3D is incubated at the SRM Innovation and Incubation Centre. They have also received government funding from IEDC and also have an angel investor from Chennai
But it was when he was asked to modify the machine for a paying client that he realised that using scraps just won't cut it. He needed precise materials, something he couldn't afford. It was with this desire to make a machine that Anurag stumbled into 3D printing. "I was actually looking forward to building a computer numerical control (CNC) machine but to make that I need such a machine in the first place. Then, I heard about 3D printers and the cheapest one in the market was a Chinese model for Rs 20,000. I decided to purchase it and make my machine with the parts it created," recalls Anurag.
The core team at Kreator 3D (Pic: Kreator 3D)
However, owning a 3D printer wasn't going to be easy. After dealing with customs and a fried power outlet, Anurag finally managed to operate his Chinese machine. "It took two hours to make a cube and the whole time I was staring at it. At that moment, I decided to make 3D printers itself so that no one has to go through as much trouble as I went through just to own one. The machine I got wasn't reliable and user-friendly, and it needed many upgrades," says the 22-year-old Electrical and Electronics Engineering graduate. And that is when he decided to launch his start-up Kreator 3D.
Along with another 3D printer, the start-up is also working on a desktop CNC machine and PCB engraver, metal 3D printer and bio 3D printer
After successfully modifying the machine, Anurag started getting paid orders from various labs at SRM — students who would ask him to make parts for their projects. "I used to charge Rs 3 per gram and this was the first time that I had started earning money with 3D printing," says Anurag. Soon after, Student Copter Research Organization — one of the labs at SRM — asked Anurag to build them a 3D printer. Soon, the college itself asked him to make ten 3D printers for them.
Anurag Atulya, Founder, Kreator 3D
With orders pouring in, Anurag knew he couldn't do everything on his own. He invited his classmate Shubham Dawkhar to join him after a year of working alone and they have been working on their first machine ever since, which is to be launched in February. "In 2020, my third core team member, Zeeshan Mallick, a Mechatronics student who handles designing and manufacturing, also came on board," says Anurag, who registered Kreator 3D officially in April 2019, when he was still in his third year of college. Other than his core team, Anurag also has a team of five or six interns — who are all from SRM — working in the start-up. "We are now involved in the research and development of more printers in the future," concludes Anurag.