Against the background of a global rise in the number of people affected by disasters/complex emergencies, it has been estimated that 60-80% of the income of aid agencies is spent on logistics (defined as the procurement, transport, warehousing and distribution of food, water, materials and equipment, etc).
3D printing has the potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the humanitarian logistic (HL) response by reducing lead times, avoiding nugatory ‘just in case’ transport and warehousing, and using postponement techniques to manufacture locally to meet an identified need.
This innovation is aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the logistic processes by:
Thus, while 3D printing is not an innovation of itself, this technology has yet to be used in a humanitarian programme setting.
The results will be disseminated:
NB. This project is being carried out simultaneously with the ‘Making humanitarian supplies in the field‘ HIF-funded project by Field Ready. Where possible the two projects will share results and learning to greater inform the evidence surrounding the use of 3D printing in humanitarian crises.
The team are pleased to have confirmed that the benefits 3DP technology that are found in the commercial context are equally applicable to the logistic preparation and response to disasters and in development operations.View
Moving forward into phase two of our research, we had a clear intention to further our understanding of the training needs that are faced by NGO staff when they are introduced to the 3D Printing technology.View
The team tackle printer problems in Kenya.View
The potential for 3D Printing within Humanitarian ProjectsView
The last two weeks have seen our team replicating and 3D printing the threads that are used on most of the parts we want to print.View
With a goal of implementing 3D printing into Oxfam’s WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Programme and, thereby, reducing the costs and improving the speed through which replacement parts can be provided in the field, a team lead by Professor Peter Tatham from Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, are piloting a project with Oxfam GB based from their Kenya offices.View
Read the 'Three dimensional printing – a key tool for the humanitarian logistician?' article published in the Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
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