Startup brings 3D printing to Cebu

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hyzele Awit of 3DFIED, a startup based in Cebu, shows one of the items her company 3D-printed, a process that produces solid objects out of computer-aided designs. (Amper Campana)


THREE-dimensional or 3D printing is now in Cebu. 3D printing produces solid objects out of computer designs.

3DFIED, a product development service provider, brings to life any computer-aided design into solid objects. The company was founded in August last year by four young Cebuano engineers: Hyzele Awit, Jonathan Paul Damalerio, Wayne Denoyo and Seth Ephraim Miano.

Like any other startup, 3DFIED is a product of a need personally experienced by the founders when they were still in college several years back and working on their final projects, Awit told Sun.Star Cebu in a recent interview.

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Tasked to create a prototype of their theses, the would-be engineers made use of various resources to complete the school requirement.

“Before, maglisod jud mi og materialize sa among prototype,” she said.

Now, that they have established themselves with careers in product development, mechanical hardware design and service engineering, the four decided to invest on a 3D printer from the United States worth more than P150,000 and venture into a 3D printing business.

Awit said their services can primarily help students, especially those who are taking engineering courses, produce better prototypes.

“With 3D printing, everything you want to create can become possible,” Awit said.

A 3D printer is a type of an industrial robot that can make “a 3D object of almost any shape from a 3D model or other electronic data source primarily through additive processes in which successive layers of material are laid down under computer control,” according to the Wikipedia definition.

As one of the pioneers of 3D printing in Cebu, Awit said they want to foster an R&D (research and development) culture in the local scene, especially among students.

3DFIED has already served students from University of San Carlos and Don Bosco on their projects.

They assisted students in making cases for projects like heartbeat tracker and Bluetooth finder. They have also printed prototypes of a jet engine, rollers, and gears, among others made out of PLA (polylactic acid) plastics.

“We aim to empower creativity by serving as a partner in materializing product design ideas. It is our passion to help people discover their creative potentials using 3D printing technology,” Awit said.

In their creative lab inside the Cebu Business Incubator for Information Technology (CeBuinIT) in the University of the Philippines Cebu, students are welcome to learn about 3D printing, Awit said.

She said they are reaching out to different schools to let students know of 3DFIED’s presence and how they can help in their projects.

Awit, however, clarified that they don’t design the product for the students, instead they help them improve their designs. Lead time of the prototype development is three days.

She said they also cater to the needs of entrepreneurs, saying industries like tourism, real estate, and food can take advantage of 3D printing technology.

For tourism, she said souvenir items like keychains can be 3D-printed. Food chains can print their molders in 3D. Real estate developers, on the other hand, can choose to print their miniature houses instead of cutting and concatenating small pieces of vinyls.

While 3D printing brings various opportunities, Awit said the technology has not been embraced by the Filipinos yet, with a big number of them unaware of what it is.

The team is coordinating with schools and businesses to grow its popularity.

The team is also envisioning to get more support from the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Trade and Industry. At present, the team is currently applying for a loan from both agencies. They are hoping to get around P300,000 to purchase more 3D printers.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 15, 2014.

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