Nov.4, 2014 | By Alec

We like to say that 3D printing technology and the maker revolution are worldwide phenomena. But like some many technological breakthroughs, it is mostly limited to the 'first world' and a relatively select group in other countries. That is, sadly, just one of the current realities of technological growth.

But it's also why news from locations like Cambodia are so inspiring and promising. For there, in the capital city of Phnom Penh (sometimes anglicized to Panomping), two brothers are working hard to make 3D printing accessible throughout their country.

The two brothers Ki Chong and Ki How Tran have therefore launched ARC Hub PNH, Cambodia's first 3D printing start-up. As they explained, it's their vision to make Phnom Penh Asia's next start-up hub and to use 3D printing technology to improve the lives of their countrymen:

Our mission is to empower locals to design and make valuable 3D printed creations. We believe that because 3D printing is so new and evolving every day, there is an important opportunity for Cambodians to learn to use this powerful technology at the same time as the rest of the world so instead of being left behind, Cambodians can lead the way in creating their own future.

The brothers were born in Los Angeles, California, to Cambodian-Chinese parents. There, Ki Chong was exposed to this exciting manufacturing technology while working for an aerospace company. The more he and his brother explored the concept of 3D printing, the more they became convinced it could be a crucial manufacturing technology for Cambodia's own economy.

They therefore decided to bring it to that relatively underdeveloped Asian country. 'Until now, Cambodians have been playing catch-up with the developed world when it comes to technological know-how.' And they hope that 3D printing and other 'reality computing' technologies like scanning and laser cutting will level the playing field and empower local businesses and industries. They 'are affordable, accessible technologies that anyone can use. [They have] the potential to impact not only economies, but societies.'

3D printed Raspberry Pi Case for Arrowdot

And reportedly, the interest locals and expatriates living in the capital city of Phnom Penh is swiftly gaining momentum.

And to realize these ambitious plans, ARC Hub and its owners are taking a dual approach. First and foremost, they are offering local and international businesses 3D scanning, 3D drawing and 3D printing services. ' Our experience with 3D printing means we deliver high quality work that meets all the requirements for a successful 3D print. Our team specializes in the free and open source 3D design program, BLENDER. For local projects, we use our own 3D printers in Cambodia to make scale models, prototypes, functional parts or whatever you may want to make! The 3D printers that we are operating in Cambodia are the Makerbot Replicator 2, Makerbot Replicator 2X, Flashforge Creator Pro, Up Plus 2 and Rostock Max.'

Kampot Villa

This has already resulted in a number of intriguing creations, like the beautiful architectural models pictured above. These function as actual blueprints for houses to be built in Cambodia.

3D printed Camera-Microphone Mount

3D printed Three Story Model of Combi Nursery

3D printed Farmer's Friend Biodigester Models

However, the other side of their dual-pronged attack is even more inspiring. For five days a week, Ki Chong also teaches 3D design and entrepreneurship to 50 low-to-middle income kids at the Liger Learning Center. All between the ages of eleven and twelve, they have been learning how to use software staples like Autodesk's 123D Design, which is free and therefore perfect for people from developing countries.

Ki Chong remarked that ' the students have been enthusiastic about 3D design and printing, with the biggest challenge being making their ideas feasible in real life.' The first 'draft' of Ki Chong's students have already finished final projects that are very impressive for their age. These include Healthy Water Bottle, an Egg Holder, and a student-friendly Pencil Case.

We do not doubt that developing countries everywhere are set to benefit from accessible 3D printing and drawing services, which have a multitude of practical applications in countries like that. This is easily illustrated by ARC Hub's current projects. Amongst others, they are working on producing prosthetics for the victims of the many landmines that cover the nation's borders, and on a project developing biogas containers for local farmers.

Let's just hope entrepreneurs everywhere learn from their example.

Posted in 3D Printing Company

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Dan Hendrix wrote at 2/12/2015 8:07:54 PM:

Greetings I am looking for a 3D printing company to do various projects. If interested please contact Dan Hendrix at Thank you.

Dan Hendrix wrote at 2/8/2015 3:04:40 PM:

Greetings, My name is Dan Hendrix, I own a 3D printing brokering business in the US. I am looking for a high end 3D printing company overseas to do work for my customers. If this is something you would be interested in please let me know. I also need to know what percentage of the cost you would be willing to pay for my customers business? I am planning a visit to phnom penh sometime this year. This would be a good time for me to visit with you.

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