Automotive manufacturer Mahindra Group are donating a 3D printer to a rural Indian high school near Pune. Donated to B.M. Pawar School in Chakan on the outskirts of the city, the 3D printer is intended to be used by 15-18 year olds to give them a grasp of the new technology. Accompanying the printer, teachers at the school have also been trained in 3D printing technology in order to facilitate the learning.
Ulhas Yargop, Group President & Group Chief Technology Officer at Mahindra explained the purpose of the printers:
We see 3D printing as the future of technology and a potent tool to help bridge the tech divide between urban and rural India. Through this project, we seek to inspire young minds to think creatively and open up a whole new world of possibilities for themselves and their community. While this is still a proof of concept, we hope it will ultimately reach more schools and offer potential employment opportunities in design and prototyping.
Who are Mahindra Group?
Mahindra Group are a conglomerate of ten different companies operating in industries such as: aerospace & defense, automotive, hospitality, farm equipment, financial services, information technology, and others. The company has a large Advanced Manufacturing Facility in Chakan where the B.M. Pawar school is located so it seems the 3D printer isn’t being transported far from home.
Mahindra Group will also be facilitating learning by routinely bringing in their own employees from their Research Valley, a R&D centre near Chennai in order to educate students directly. Putting the printer to use, the school will run a design competition to spur creativity and help the students engage in additive manufacturing first-hand.
Why are they bringing 3D printers into rural areas?
This project is a pilot meaning Mahindra want to evaluate how 3D printing can be incorporated into the education system, before attempting to bring the technology to other schools across the country. Furthermore Mahindra clearly see this as a learning curve for themselves, hoping to gain insight into 3D printing applications from the young minds of schoolchildren.
This idea is shown as Yargop also said:
This is a way to figure out how new technologies can be used to transform how we think about manufacturing and employment. The young kids aren’t bound by perceptions of what we can and cannot do, and will be able to think of new ways to use the printer.
Featured image of a Mahindra automotive plant. Image via Mahindra.