Archives for the category: 3D printing for social good in developping world

December 11, 2013

Kids Company prints 3D Christmas toys for vulnerable children

Thousands of children will wake up on Christmas Day without a present, but a Soho-based toy shop is hoping to go some way to remedy this by printing 3D toys for vulnerable children. [via Marketing Magazine]

quotemarksright.jpgMembers of the public are being encouraged to text a £5 donation and select a toy design of their choice to be printed. Designs include two toys from Wallace and Gromit creators Aardman.

Participants can watch as machines create the toy they chose. They can then spread the word about the Print Happiness intiative on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #Printhappiness.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Brand: Kids Company. Client: Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder of Kids Company. Agency: AMV.BBDO

emily | 7:29 PM | permalink

October 25, 2013

Is 3D Printing the Future of Disaster Relief?

article-0-0B2D7C2600000578-689_964x641.jpg Most 3D printers are slow and have material limits in what they can create. They're not exactly the first thing you'd think to ship to a disaster-stricken area the next time there's a deadly hurricane, tsunami, or landslide. For now, at least. Motherboard reports.

quotemarksright.jpgBut advocates for the technology say that it's only a matter of time before we're shipping raw materials and 3D printers instead of medical supplies to the site of a disaster.

According to according to Thomas Campbell, a Virginia Tech professor and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, "There's great potential in the developing world for relief efforts. "If you have a medical device 3D printer on the ground and you suddenly have a hurricane or tsunami whip through, instead of having to ship everything there, you may just have a fab lab of some sort and produce the crutches, splints, and whatever else you need there on the ground."

... If a situation isn't immediately life-threatening, relief teams could take measurements of people with broken bones, input them into a system, and print out casts or splints. Relief groups would also be able to make only the supplies necessary for a certain situation, cutting down on shipping costs and waste. Some of the more advanced 3D printers can be rigged to run on solar power, so they may be ideal to use in areas where power lines have been cut.

It remains to be seen how feasible or cost-effective shipping a bunch of 3D printers to a disaster struck area is. But the technology is already helping out in many developing countries, and as commercially-available 3D printers fall below the $500 barrier, they will begin to become more common.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.


3D printing: Can it help people in disasters?

3D printer could build a house in 20 hours

Winners of 3D printers for peace contest

emily | 4:53 PM | permalink

September 7, 2013

Winners of 3D printers for peace contest

The results of the Michigan Tech 3-D Printers for Peace Contest are in. All the open source entries to the contest demonstrated the technical ability and promise of low-cost 3-D printers to provide for humanities needs and advance the cause of peace: [via Michigan Tech press release]

3DPrintersforPeace-1st-300x225.jpg 1st Prize went to John Van Tuyl from Hamilton, On who designed VaxBeads, which are 3-D printed immunization records. VaxBeads offer the potential to ease the determination of what vaccines a child needs in the developing world. Each bead represents a different vaccine. The shape and colour of each bead is unique to a specific vaccine.

This innovative idea showcased the ability of 3-D printing as each bead is customized on the spot with the child’s initials, date of birth, and an identifying number. It is the designer’s hopes that the beads would have more intrinsic value to the patients than standard vaccination cards.

The judges were impressed with the design’s originality and practicality. “VaxBeads are a novel idea; no one has done anything like that yet,” said Pearce. “John demonstrated the ability of 3D printing to address a real need in the developing world. You could print beads fast enough to hand to children, and if they were to wear the necklace to the doctor’s office, it would be quick and easy to identify missing vaccinations.

3DPrintersforPeace-2nd-225x300.jpg 2nd prize went to Michigan Tech student, Matt Courchaine, for his Solar Powered Water Purification Cone. In disaster areas or among the millions of people that do not have improved water supplies clean water is a precious commodity. This printable design allows users to make clean water from contaminated supplies. The white, semi transparent plastic cover of the solar cone allows sunlight to pass through it and evaporate dirty water contained in the black base tray. Clean water then condenses on the cooler white plastic of the cone and drips into a holding reservoir, which is part of the cone for later drinking.

Screen Shot 2013-09-07 at 9.32.26 PM.png 3rd prize, was awarded to Aaron Meidinger for the design of a Braille Tablet, which is a tool for a sighted person to help a blind person to learn braille or just a quick way to leave a note for a friend. One prints out a braille platform and a scrabble set of letters, along with some of the punctuation and a nice pile of the blank tiles to use it to write any short message.

[via boingboing]

Related: - First 3D Printers for Peace Contest

emily | 9:22 PM | permalink

April 4, 2013

Curing Europe's foot problems with 3D printing

Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 6.36.00 PM.png 200 million Europeans suffer from disabling foot and ankle problems. Splints and orthotic insoles are normally made using the traditional manufacturing processes; impression casts, hand crafting etc. These are time consuming, expensive and make repeat prescriptions very difficult to reproduce. reports.

quotemarksright.jpgA-Footprint want to change all that with the help of 3D printing. The European study group, headed up by Glasgow Caledonian University’s Professor Jim Woodburn, received EC backing to the tune of €3.7million ($5.6million) to develop a process to speed up and improve the customisation of orthoses. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

Related: - 3D Printed shoes in Kenya, to alleviate jigger sufferers

emily | 6:25 PM | permalink

December 11, 2012

3D Printed shoes in Kenya, to alleviate jigger sufferers

Roy Ombatti - Nairobi University from william hoyle on Vimeo.

Innovation Africa reports on 3D Printing in an article entitled Imaginarium | Tapping into 3D Printing. via @jranck.

One project described here caught my eye. Called Happy Feet, it was one of the contestants in The 3D 4D Challence which took place in London last October. The slogan was “Relieving Poverty Encouraging Innovation.”

quotemarksright.jpgAmong the contestants were Roy Ombatti and Harris Nyali from University of Nairobi’s Fablab. Their project, Happy Feet, aims to solve the jigger menace in Kenya by using 3d printing to make customised shoes for people suffering from Jigger. Thus a right shoe can be made differently than a left, depending on the level of infestation.

Jiggers are tiny parasites that resemble fleas. They embed themselves in the feet, hands or other exposed body parts of animals, including humans. Serious infestations may lead to severe inflammation leading to loss of toenails, auto amputation of digits, and death may also occur. The risk of secondary infection, such as tetanus, is also high. Jiggers live in dusty conditions and other unhygienic environments, and are generally associated with poverty-stricken populations.

The shoes would be manufactured from reused plastic and would also be recyclable once they are worn out. Apart from the potential help that this project could bring to people affected by the jigger infestation, it can also provide employment for people. quotesmarksleft.jpg

The Winner of the 3D 4D Challenge was Washington Open Object Fabricators (WOOF). WOOF’s winning project will enable waste plastic to be used as filament for 3D printing machines, to create new products.

emily | 3:40 PM | permalink

November 15, 2012

3D printing: Can it help people in disasters?

solar-sinter-solar-powered-3d-printer-turns-sand-into-glass-ren.jpeg Imagine if after an earthquake you could airdrop machines that build houses in under a day. Imagine if you had cheap and accessible medical kits that could produce bespoke medicine on demand. Imagine if you could fabricate shoes, clothes, solar cells, lamps, toilets, pipes, water pumps, and just about anything else on site and at the touch of a button.

The scenario is still a fantasy, but could a process called 3D printing ever make it a reality? Could the technology ever make a significant impression on the humanitarian world? Ian Byrne reports for

quotemarksright.jpg3D printing could make a huge difference to emergency responses, saving a fortune by printing things like tools, basic items and equipment on the ground from recycled materials, rather than flying them in from other countries,” said Steve Haines, mobilisation director for global campaigns at Save the Children International.

“The technology needs more work to make it reliable to use in these contexts, but the opportunities are endless.” quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Image from engadget.

Related: - 3D printer could build a house in 20 hours

emily | 3:52 PM | permalink