Obituary: Wymondham College tutor and 3D printing pioneer dies, aged 32

Headshot of Sanjay Mortimer, a former tutor at Wymondham College, who died aged 32

'Enthusiastic and excellent': Sanjay Mortimer, a former tutor at Wymondham College, died in November aged 32 - Credit: E3D

An early enthusiast of teaching others, Sanjay Mortimer – who has died aged 32 – first took on the role of tutor at the age of just seven. 

Sanjay would instruct his peers at primary school on subjects like magnets, the solar system, and wheels, confident in the knowledge he knew more on the topics than many of the teachers themselves.

From such talented beginnings, the young intellect would go on to achieve global success in the emerging world of 3D printing.

He was born Sanjay Govin Mortimer on February 8, 1989, in Tiverton, Devon, to Clive Mortimer and Shamala Govindasamy, and was a brother to his siblings Ayisha, Francesca, Tomm, Jhenna, Jessada, Niaomi, Katherine, Alex, and Aled. 

Growing up in the Oakford and Exeter area, he attended Exeter School before completing courses at both Newcastle University and the University of Exeter. 

After his studies, he spent 2012 teaching at Wymondham College as a tutor, before leaving to work for the 3D printing company he had set up with a friend as a hobby.

A spokesperson at the Norfolk college said: “Sanjay was a popular, enthusiastic, and excellent teacher. He left the college to set up his world-renowned company. He really was a remarkable young man.” 

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After becoming a director of E3D, a global 3D printing enterprise, he married his wife Maria Vitorria in 2018. 

His mother, Shamala Govindasamy, said: “He was mischievous and innovative. Generous with his knowledge, a talented engineer, and a legendary and visionary within his industry. He was also a man in a rush to make the world a better place and an eccentric world-class inventor. 

“One of his proudest accomplishments was setting up the business E3D as a hobby with a university friend to become a globally successful company rated in the top 100 of the Times Tech Track 100 league table.” 

Away from his talents as a businessman, Sanjay became renowned for being a practical joker.

He also enjoyed visiting his extended family across the globe in Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand, both outdoor and range shooting which he competed in at school and university level, and he also loved his dog. 

Ms Govindasamy added: “Sanjay's work was his hobby. Although he only taught in school for one year, he continued to mentor and share his knowledge throughout his profession. 

“He was extra special due to his irreverent sense of humour and eccentric take on the world. Many people agreeing that the following phrase fitted Sanjay well – 'rest in prints'.”  

A blue hex tile design of Sanjay Mortimer's silhouette created posthumously

An industry obsession: Sanjay Mortimer's hair was admired by his peers and colleagues and as a result, a hex tile design of his silhouette was posthumously created - Credit: https://www.prusaprinters.org/social/842-chris-riley/about / CHRIS RILEY

A blue hex tile design of Sanjay Mortimer's silhouette created posthumously in a workshop

Remembered forever: A hex tile of Sanjay Mortimer's silhouette in the workshop it was posthumously created in - Credit: https://www.prusaprinters.org/social/842-chris-riley/about / CHRIS RILEY

A statement from E3D, which described its founding director as “instrumental” to its early development, read: “Sanjay was a legend in our industry and played a huge role in revolutionising FDM 3D printing. 

“Over the last 10 years, he has supported the creation of a world-leading extrusion-system engineering team in preparation for E3D’s second decade. Sanjay’s team will deliver on our vision of changing the way humanity manufactures goods. 

“We will reflect on how we can celebrate a remarkable man. [Friends and co-directors] Dave and Josh believe that the spirit of this should be maintained with an endowment in Sanjay’s name to assist young engineers in achieving their goals." 

Industry news website, 3D Printing Industry, also paid tribute. 

A statement posted online on the company’s website read: “Sanjay was an incredibly well-loved, and inspirational leader who, together with his friends and fellow E3D Online founders David Lamb and Joshua Rowley transformed their hobby into a global enterprise. In the process, he helped create a community that strives to advance 3D printing and is spirited in sharing knowledge. 

“Sanjay had spent the past decade tirelessly committed to his vision of changing the way humanity manufactures goods. 

“[His] passion was clear to anyone who had the privilege to meet him.  

“With an early career in teaching, meeting co-founder David on a training course, Sanjay never ceased to take the time to explain and share technology with others.

"Not only is his legacy in the company he founded, the HotEnds [a 3D printer component] he developed, but also in each of the individuals he inspired to learn more or take an active role in our community. 

“Words cannot truly convey the thoughts and feelings that the loss of Sanjay brings about.” 

Sanjay died on November 27 in London aged 32.