Meet Chizel, the UBER for 3D printing

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The Starting Point

“Just after my graduation from IIT Roorkee in 2013, I came down to Pune for my first job. I joined the organization in techno-commercial division and got exposed to never heard of (you heard it right) 3D printing technology. Being an engineer by qualification, and my not-much-explored love for art, I instantly got hooked onto this mesmerizing technology and my mind started popping beautiful ideas of making crazy products that I desired. I quit my job to explore my love for 3D printing and in May 2014 my journey began. Still ideating on our business model then, we decided to offer 3D printing services to explore market dynamics and possibilities. This helped us in learning 3D printing from grassroots level and made us confident of this technology.” recalls Yash Rane, Founder, Chizel.

Chizel, a Pune based startup, positions themselves as “UBER for 3D printing”. Chizel aims to offer hassle free and convenient 3D printing solutions to its customers.

Bringing technology to make 3D printing process more efficient

Firstly, a clear demarcation between Desktop and Industrial 3D printing is necessary. Everyone is buying Desktop 3D printers with high expectations over quality. The venture offers services using Industrial 3D printers only.

Secondly, Chizel is essentially a single place to access industrial 3D printing services for 35 different plastics and 7 different metals. The focus is on every small detail which results in a superior customer experience. The team recommends them right material, helps them in modifying the design, and gives right finishing to their prototype.

“We have trustworthy employees and associates who are equally passionate about 3D printing and they support us in our endeavor of order fulfillment. We are now aiming to bring technology to make our entire process more efficient and scalable.” says the founder.

Some of the 3D printing technologies used by Chizel are: Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) – EOS; Stereolithography Apparatus (SLA) – 3D Systems; Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) – Stratasys; Polyjet Technology – Stratasys; Color Jet Printing (CJP) – 3D Systems; Lamination Object Manufacturing (LOM) – MCOR; Multijet Modeling (MJM) – 3D Systems; Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) – Renishaw & EOS.

The venture is focused on solving real pain points of the prototyping industry. A customer should expect:

  1. Un-compromised Quality
  2. Single point solution for varied 3D printing needs
  3. Implement smart 3D printing tools for file correction, and material usage reduction to save you cost

The Squad

The venture was started by Yash Rane and Akash Behl, two good friends turned business partners from IIT Roorkee, Mechanical Engineering stream. They were soon joined by a third co-founder, Ravi Ranjan, who was feeling agonized working in a Petrochemical behemoth. Ravi takes care of order fulfilment and customer experience whereas Yash ensures new product development of the company. As of now, Chizel is team of 8 people with two founders and a passionate Industrial Designer, Gauresh R. Khanolkar, from NIT Rourkela.

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Fulfilled 221 Contracts in Two Years

The venture has fulfilled 221 contracts in two years with 104 unique customers and 51 customers being repeat customers. The team’s primary market caters to Product designers, Medical sector, Automation, Robotics and IOT / hardware.

They essentially operate in a marketplace model which is majorly volume driven. The team ensures the costing going to the customer is fair & meets the market standards.

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27% YOY Industry growth & The Challenges

3D printing technology, undeniably, is going to be the most disruptive technology in coming years and we are witnessing that the industry growth is consistent at 25-27% YOY. Industry is yet to see an exponential growth because most of the traditional business players do not understand technicalities about 3D printing and how it will impact their businesses.

According to the founder, there is a fear and skepticism among investors which is impeding startups’ growth rate. There is immense scope of innovation and to be the market leader. The team at Chizel believes that, it is the gold mine time for promising investors to invest in 3D printing.

Co-founder Ravi points out that, “Most of the events we participate in, we encounter this question: Can we 3D print anything and everything? The answer in most of the cases is YES. But my question to them is, why do you want to 3D print something in the first place? If you can answer this question, you will realize that there are already a lot of other technologies that can solve your needs. So why 3D printing? At Chizel, we strongly believe that 3D printing is good for Complexity and Customization. If your product is leveraging these two categories, 3D printing is the answer for you. Otherwise it is just a marketing fad.”

Futures plans for expansion

The venture’s primary objective is to take this technology to consumers. And when they say consumers, they do not mean to sell desktop 3D printing to them. They mean to develop consumer products which are as good as the regular products that you get in the market in terms of performance and quality.

The venture plans to get into high margin consumer sectors like lifestyle, sports, and leisure where people pay for unique experience / customization.

Supported by NID Ahmedabad

Chizel is incubated by National Design Business Incubator, NID Ahmedabad. The incubation has given them an edge over their competitors, as they come from a strong design culture and background.

Founder’s advice to budding startups?

Yash Rane says, “It took me some time to understand the philosophy behind rapid scale business model and why it is needed. Honestly, not every business can grow at that pace. Hence, growth story for every company has to be different. Let us not push ourselves to raise money just because we can burn it and get the visibility. Instead, burn every rupee with an objective to bring 5x returns. If you are sure of getting returns, I do not see any harm in burning the money.”

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