Monday, May 18, 2009

New ideas for entrepreneurs in India

I recently came across instructions for building a DIY milling machine on the great Instructables web site. This fascinating web site has detailed instructions for building all kinds of interesting gadgets ranging from solar powered cars to do-it-yourself CNC milling machines. I myself have successfully built an IR sensor for my model train layout based on plans I found on that site.
It occurs to me that with the tremendous reduction in cost of creating sophisiticated machine tools, it would make a great deal of sense for some entrepreneur in India to create a machine shop on the cheap. Most of the cost in creating a physical object nowadays arises when creating a CAD model. However, there are large numbers of recent Indian engineering graduates trained in most popular CAD tools. All it takes is for some enterprising engineer to get things rolling.
Thirty years ago when I was in high school and college, there was a vibrant DIY culture in India. Due to high import duties and "licence raj", it was very hard to get consumer electronics at reasonable prices. To save a few bucks, many people used assemble their own radios and casette players.
In every big city there was a place you go to get electronics components. Lamington Road in Mumbai, Richie Street in Chennai and Lajpatrai market on Chandani chowk in Delhi. I have many happy memories of hours spent in Lajpatrai market haggling with shopkeepers over transistors, resistors and capacitors. We would design and etch our own printed circuit boards - getting heavily stained with ferric chloride in the process.

1 comment:

  1. I am a roboticist nd wish to make a career out of making robots. Can you suggest how to get funding for this?