According to Barnett, “3D Printing is about to transform our lives. 3D printers build up solid objects in a great many very thin layers” (2013). It is a machine that is able to print physical object on a three dimensional form. According to Dehue (2017), “a 3D object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object fully is created”. Although, it is not a new invention, but rather the more advanced and developed innovation that started over 30 years ago by Charles Chuck Hull (Birtchnell and Urry, 2016: 1), 3D printing is set to be part of the next industrial revolution.
This technology is able to produce objects ranging from medicines, car and plane parts, building and body part such a limb, hands and even guns. However, Liang and Paddison (2017) also believe that the 3D printing can help alleviate poverty in some areas. Last week, a video from a Congolese blogger circulated on the internet and it showed how thousands of plastic bottles were found on the shore of the Congolese River. This pollution is caused by the fact that there is not an adequate measure taken for recycling used products in many developing countries such as DRC, India etc. This is partly due to the highest level of poverty in those countries. Morfield argue that in the upcoming years, the 3D printing will reduce the manufacturing cost of many products which will allow small businesses to thrive and contribute to the economy of their countries.
Suchismita and Jayant Pai who founded the Photoprints business with another partner company are working toward recycling the plastic bottles collected from the waste to produce low cost plastic filament which can be used as an ink for 3D printer. This market is growing rapidly and is expected to reach a value of more than a billion dollars in the next five years 9 (Liang and Paddison, 2017)
Barnatt, C. (2013). 3D printing. 1st ed. [Nottingham, England?]: ExplainingTheFuture.com.
Birtchnell, T. And Urry, J. 2016. A New Industrial Future? 3D Printing and the Reconfiguration of Production, Distribution and Consumption. London: Routledge. Pp. 1-13.
Dehue, R. (2017). What is 3D printing? How does 3D printing work? Learn How to 3D Print. [online] 3D Printing. Available at: https://3dprinting.com/what-is-3d-printing/ [Accessed 7 May 2017].
France24 (2017). Une “banquise” de bouteilles en plastique recouvre le fleuve Congo à Kinshasa. [online] Les Observateurs de France 24. Available at: http://observers.france24.com/fr/20170509-une-banquise-bouteilles-plastique-recouvre-fleuve-congo-kinshasa?ref=fb [Accessed 9 May 2017].
Liang, L. and Paddison, L. (2017). Could 3D printing help tackle poverty and plastic waste?. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/nov/06/3d-printing-plastic-waste-poverty-development-protoprint-reflow-techfortrade [Accessed 7 May 2017].
Morefield, A. (2016). Five Ways 3D Printing can help Alleviate Poverty. [online] BORGEN. Available at: http://www.borgenmagazine.com/3d-printing-alleviate-poverty/ [Accessed 7 May 2017].