3D Printing Will Be Able to Mature in Places Where Production Infrastructure Is Broken


Whatever broke it. Including pandemics, hopefully.

3D Printing Will Be Able to Mature in Places Where Production Infrastructure Is Broken /img/reflow.jpg

Three years ago, working in the H2020 Digital DIY project (DiDIY) I published some thoughts by Lyndsey Lewis, the co-founder of Reflow, which converts recyclable plastic into 3D print filaments using open source technology. I knew her work because, still for DiDIY, I had just re-published her thoughts on why 3D printing is interesting for women. Three years ago, instead, I re-shared another of her insights on 3D printing, because it was, and is, valid for any kind of Digital DIY. Since the same insight may be applicable in the exceptional circumstances of this COVID19 year, I will share it again.

What is particularly interesting about 3D printing

The profits of Reflow go to stabilize the income and working conditions of waste collectors and help build local economies and manufacturing capability in the regions where we work. It also keeps plastic bottles out of landfills, off the streets, from being burned, or in our oceans. When asked (full interview is here) what she found particularly interesting about the 3D printing industry, Lewis gave the following answer:

“it’s silly that 3D printing has been dubbed the next industrial revolution, but that it’s only directed at a small portion of the world population. I think 3D printing offers huge opportunities in developing regions. It will be able to mature in places where production infrastructure is broken in the same way that mobile banking did because of broken banking infrastructure.”

Do you happen to know any place whose “production infrastructure is broken” and could use some (cheap!) “huge opportunities” this year, albeit for reasons very different from what Lewis, or almost anybody else, could have imagined in 2017?

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