Development of a Resilient 3-D Printer for Humanitarian Crisis Response

In this paper, findings are reported from a study that involved development of a new type of 3-D printer. In particular, a novel 3-D printer that is designed specifically for reliable rapid manufacturing at the sites of humanitarian crises.
a year ago
Authors: Benjamin L. Savonen, Tobias J. Mahan, Maxwell W. Curtis, Jared W. Schreier, John K. Gershenson and Joshua M. Pearce 
 
Journal Title: Technologies (Basel)
 
ISSN: 2227-7080 (Online)
 
Publisher: MDPI AG
 
Abstract
 
Rapid manufacturing using 3-D printing is a potential solution to some of the most pressing issues for humanitarian logistics. In this paper, findings are reported from a study that involved development of a new type of 3-D printer. In particular, a novel 3-D printer that is designed specifically for reliable rapid manufacturing at the sites of humanitarian crises.
 
First, required capabilities are developed with design elements of a humanitarian 3-D printer, which include,
  1. fused filament fabrication,
  2. open source self-replicating rapid prototyper design,
  3. modular,
  4. separate frame,
  5. protected electronics,
  6. on-board computing,
  7. flexible power supply, and
  8. climate control mechanisms
 
The technology is then disclosed with an open source license for the Kijenzi 3-D Printer. A swarm of five Kijenzi 3-D printers are evaluated for rapid part manufacturing for two months at health facilities and other community locations in both rural and urban areas throughout Kisumu County, Kenya. They were successful for their ability to function independently of infrastructure, transportability, ease of use, ability to withstand harsh environments and costs. The results are presented and conclusions are drawn about future work necessary for the Kijenzi 3-D Printer to meet the needs of rapid manufacturing in a humanitarian context.
 

Photo: Field Ready 3-D Printer being supported with a variety of supplementary technologies in South Sudan (Photo Credit: Andrew Lamb, Field Ready)

Photo: The Kijenzi 3-D printer prototype assembled and configured for operation (credits: Benjamin L. Savonen, Tobias J. Mahan, Maxwell W. Curtis, Jared W. Schreier, John K. Gershenson and Joshua M. Pearce)

 
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
 
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