Meet the maker: Siddharth Sah – MakeWhale

MakeWhale is India’s first 3D printing company that's focused on creating beautiful and personalized gifts. Below is a short Q&A with its founder and newest maker on Engrave, Siddharth Sah.

MakeWhale is India’s first 3D printing company that’s focused on creating beautiful and personalized gifts. Below is a short Q&A with its founder and newest maker on Engrave, Siddharth Sah.

Siddharth speaking passionately about 3D printing

Why the name MakeWhale?

While brainstorming the name for the company, the only rule we kept in mind was that we did not want to use the word ‘3D’ or ‘technologies’ in our name like everyone else. We are a design led company that was going to focus on the consumer segment and we did not want to alienate people by sounding like a technology company. We did however want to try and incorporate something along the lines of create, make, design in our name and so after a couple of days of brainstorming, landed up with MakeWhale!

The genesis of the brand – when, why and how did you get into craft/business?

3D printing happened by multiple twists of fate. The first one, chancing upon 3D printers while studying for my MBA in California back in 2012 when 3D printing was not a popular term like it is today. The second one, meeting a sales rep for a 3D printer here in Mumbai in 2014. Months of research later, I realized that 3D printing presented itself with a huge opportunity and the time was ripe to get into it so we began working on it in early 2015 and launched in August 2015.

The projects / products you are most proud of?

It’s hard to choose just one! The best projects are those where the client gives us free reign over design and that often leads to stunning products. One such example is the sculpture we made comprising of the lyrics of the song ‘Breathless’. Another memorable 3D print was a replica of the famous B&W Nautilus speaker that impressed even the international team from B&W.

What inspires you – designs / materials?

The great thing about 3D printing is that there doesn’t have to be one source of inspiration or materials. We work on multiple projects at a time which have different design themes and materials. Inspiration can come from nature, science, culture, anything really. With 3D printing, as designers we have freedom like never before.

A bit about your journey so far.

Our journey from coming together as a team to actual launch was longer than usual. We had to do plenty of R&D and research ourselves since at the time 3D printing was practically unheard of (arguably, people still don’t quite understand it). Since we work with a wide range of materials we had to learn each one inside out before we could confidently sell them to clients.

Since launch, we have been blessed to have got great publicity without us doing much ourselves. Most of it has been word of mouth. We have been featured in various newspapers, magazines, radio shows and been invited to speak at conferences. We are working hard to spread the word of 3D printing and its possibilities in the consumer segment as well as educating the public about 3D printing in general.

Your plans for the future.

The industry is nascent globally and even more so in India. We are keeping our options open and are looking for a lot of collaborations this year (like with Engrave) where we can reach a wider audience. Being a design house, we are flexible enough to cater to pretty much all industries and it will be interesting to see which industry we can do the most work with.

To read stories about all our makers click here.

Nimish Adani

I am the founder & CEO of Engrave. I started off in 2011 with a workshop that engraved photos for customers on to wooden plaques. Soon, we were making plaques, nameplates, canvas prints, decals and dozens of other products for thousands of customers. To help us make these items, we engaged a group of dedicated craftsmen. By 2015, 3 of our dedicated craftsmen had built their own workshops, employing between 6-10 people. By showcasing their skills on a digital platform, these craftsmen had turned into successful entrepreneurs. This success motivated me to transform Engrave in to a platform which could help thousands of Indian artisans and craftspersons - and this lead to the launch of the maker's market in 2015.

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