3D printing: what does it mean for sanitation and emergency shelters

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  • rahulingle
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3D printing: what does it mean for sanitation and emergency shelters

Hi,

Just came across this interesting article and it is amazing what 3D printing technology can do. It would be interesting to explore its possible applications in the sanitation sector.

"Oxfam is already trialling 3D printing in its Lebanon office as part of efforts to improve sanitation across the country. The charity was donated a 3D printer by the company iMakr, and has used it to build parts of taps and faucets, as well as replacing missing parts of British sanitation kits imported to the region."

"Oxfam is also considering how 3D printing might help it develop emergency shelters. Gilles Retsin, co-founder of Softkill Design, is one of the first designers working on 3D printed housing in the UK. "There is quite a lot of interest in it from people involved in emergency housing and crisis housing. They come from the view that it might be possible to print something very quickly in an unexpected site without the need for shipping anything. We would transport a printer and then we would use the materials on the site, such as sand," he says."

Link to article: www.theguardian.com/global-development-p...t-sanitation-housing

cheers

Rahul
Best regards,

Rahul Ingle
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  • JKMakowka
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Re: 3D printing: what does it mean for sanitation and shelter?

Seems hardly scaleable to the level that would be required for real emergency or development work.

Could be a cool tool to do some piloting closer to the actual users and then have a blueprint for larger scale production. But for the most part, there needs to be less piloting and more scale-up...

But as mentioned in the article, anything that needs a low volume of custom-made parts, like a leg prosthesis, could really benefit from this.
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  • Angus
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Re: 3D printing: what does it mean for sanitation and shelter?

3D printing is a very interesting concept but I'm not yet sure whether it will break out into large scale use for WASH. At the moment Oxfam are using it for prototyping of handwashing devices and experimenting with making small replacement parts. Does anybody have any ideas for other WASH related things that it could be used for?

I've written a little bit more about it here:
http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/blog/2014/05/3d-printing-takes-emergency-response-to-another-level
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