May 14, 2014

Image credit: Deepak Mehta

May is Autodesk's Maker Month, a month-long celebration of makers, creatives, and artists. Yesterday, 13 year old Ritik Mehta, son of Deepak 'Deeeep' Mehta, a technology evangelist at 3dprinting Organiser at TEDxYouth@Flanders, has been selected by Autodesk as 13th Maker of the Day and he is the second youth in that group.

Ritik is one of kids of this 3D printing generation. He got to know about 3D printing when he was 10 when he needed to make something in 3D for TEDxKids@Brussels. He got an idea of making glasses with his name on them. When he was frustrated of not having the skills to design, his dad introduced him to Tinkercad. After learning how to 3D model in record time, Deepak rewarded him a Makerbot, and 2 more printers afterwards, and another 2 more on the way. With the help of his father, Ritik turned his idea into reality.

Image credit: Deepak Mehta

The glass project got him chances to meet designers and people involved with eyewear. Koen van Pottelbergh of EyesForTheWorld was one of them. EyesForTheWorld has initiated projects worldwide to help people and especially children who suffer from poor vision. The idea that 3D printing and these glasses could help people stuck with Ritik and he wanted to to be part of it to help others.

Last December Ritik organized his own Music For Life-event where he 3D printed custom glasses for the crowds. The money made from the event went to EyesForTheWorld to help kids in Africa and Asia see the world as they should.

"Now his drive is more on the fact that this technology can help others less privileged get a better life and that the impact of 3d printing is as big for the poor as it is for the rich." notes Autodesk. "At the age of 13 he has a clear view on his future: Ritik is looking to combine the worlds of engineering and design."

Deepak says he hopes Ritik's story could inspire other kids to pursue new technologies. "Teach them to share rather than own. Teach them to work in networks rather than hierarchies and know their strengths and make them known to others. But above all, teach them to pursue their passion and help others."


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