2017 has seen several destructive hurricanes cause havoc for people around the world. Category 5 hurricanes Irma and Maria were joined by Category 4 storm Jose to do immense damage to the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. Due to flooding and intense winds, thousands of homes and businesses have been demolished.
3D printing might just prove a fantastic tool in repairing the damage and in supporting people after a crisis like this one.
3D printing after disaster
A number of organisations use 3D printing technology to help provide humanitarian aid after disaster hits. A humanitarian organisation called Field Ready works to help repair the damage caused by natural disasters, or create new items in areas of poverty and deprivation. This organisation works with a number of technologies, such as CAD design and injection moulding, as well as 3D printing.
In addition, the advancements in 3D printing mean that portable, desktop designs are now readily available. This helps ensure the technology is readily available to communities in a crisis. As such, a number of useful items can be printed, such as medical equipment or tools for cooking or shelter.
3D printing robots
While it might sound like science fiction, tech company Cazza have designed 3D printing robots. These robots are capable of building houses shelters, commercial buildings and even warehouses in very short time frames.
The structures produced by the robots typically dry in 7 days. This is compared to traditional concrete structures, which take approximately a month to dry. The quick design and build time means that the robots are extremely useful to communities after a natural disaster.
The robot also offers a number of other design benefits in comparison to traditional building methods. The 3D printed structures are reportedly incredibly strong and durable, giving them the ability to survive severe weather conditions. This also means the area is hardened against future natural disasters.
Humanitarian worker Andrew Lamb, who uses 3D printing in his work, described how the technology enabled his team to print and fit specific parts needed for repairs following the earthquakes in Nepal in 2015. He explains how helpful the technology was to the Guardian:
“‘It’s that process of identifying the need, doing the design and then printing it out and fitting it out – and doing all that in less than 12 hours in a remote area. It’s a pretty important step forward, I think, for the use of this kind of technology.’”
3D printing technology Ideal in humanitarian crises
3D printing can allow for fast and effective relief in a number of humanitarian crises, thanks to the sophistication of the technology and how portable and easy to use it is. For more about this subject or to learn more about 3D printing, check out our site today.