Tech transfer boosts Sarawak’s handcraft businesses

Scientists at Malaysia’s IIUM are helping small and medium business owners in Sarawak to use technology to cut costs and improve marketing.

Dr. Shafie and Dr. Aiman conducted a workshop on product design using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software and 3D Printing technology.

Small and medium businesses based in the Matang Jaya estate in Sarawak’s capital city of Kuching on the island of Borneo are learning how to improve production and marketing using the latest digital technologies.

Sarawak, one of Malaysia’s 13 states, is known for its production of handmade products, including wood carvings and keychains. Researchers at the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) and Sarawak’s polytechnic college, Politeknik Kuching Sarawak, visited the Matang Jaya estate to share knowledge and skills on using 3D printing, computerized manufacturing, and digital marketing to ultimately reduce time and costs and to improve profits. The project was funded by IIUM’s Research Management Centre & Office of Industrial Links.

 “Transferring knowledge and skills of current technologies to the community brings great impact by providing a good alternative to boost businesses,” says Dr Nor Aiman Sukindar, IIUM assistant professor of materials engineering, who led the project.

 The program included theoretical and practical training sessions, including a workshop on product design using computer aided design software and 3D printing technology, the use of computerized numerical control machines, how to create an online payment gateway, and how to develop a marketing strategy.

 Following the training, Mr Wan Hashim, managing director of MCP Resources, a supplier of gifts and souvenirs, reduced his company’s carving production costs by nearly 50%.

 The project involved the community through the local mosque, Masjid Al-Abyad, and with support from MCP Resources.

 “Implementing the latest technology opens new dimensions for communities and businesses to generate income, which is in line with the National Policy IR4.0 in transforming Malaysia into a high-income nation,” says Sukindar.

 The project was awarded a silver medal in 2022 at the Innovation and Commercialisation Exhibition organized by IIUM’s College of Engineering Research.

Contact details:
Ir. Ts. Dr. Nor Aiman Sukindar
Email: [email protected]/[email protected]
Advanced Manufacturing and Materials Technology Research Unit (AMTech),
Manufacturing and Materials Department,
Kulliyyah of Engineering,
International Islamic University Malaysia
53100 Jalan Gombak,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Dr. Aiman, Dr. Shafie, and Dr. Choong were sharing knowledge and skills in CNC Machine with the community.

Some 3D printed products such as keychains, mosque-printed models, portrait printed, and moon shape printed

Mr. Wan Hashim (right) able to reduce the production cost of CNC Technology by almost 50%