Have you heard of Project Chameleon? The team behind it are on track to design and build the UK’s first full-size 3D printed electric vehicle. While the kudos of creating this would be huge and we applaud them, we feel it necessary to ask, is a 3D printed electric vehicle really the target to aim for? We think Project Chameleon could pull up its ground anchors and go on tour in the back of a truck and change the world for the better.
Portable, large format 3D printing technology that can create affordable, customised products at the point of need could bring enormous benefits to many developing countries. Cast your minds back to the development of the clockwork radio. That brought information to remote communities and saved countless lives. There is every possibility that portable, large format 3D printing technology could have the same positive impact.
So how could this happen?
Well first and foremost, 3D Print Manufacturing plants would not need polluting processes and would be portable and off grid using solar power. The 'factory' could be moved from area to area to support a local need. Additionally, if the designs were shareware (free access) and not protected designs, a number of portable 3D print facilities could operate in various locations to meet local demand. We will even go so far as to suggest that these designs could be provided free of charge by a worldwide collective of designers and engineers working as a humanitarian effort.
The "Travelling 3D Printer Factories" could be used to manufacture wheelbarrows, bikes, water carriers etc and even prosthetic limbs direct at the point of need. The latter would be a huge benefit to communities where landmine incidents still take place. A portable manufacturing plant coupled with a technician could custom fit and build a prosthesis in days from custom and stock part files.
So to conclude, news of the UKs first 3D printed vehicle is a huge story, not because of the item it is currently printing, but because there is the possibility of delivering practical, affordable and instant solutions to those who really do need them the most.
If you need assitance with 3D Modelling and printing, contact us today and discuss your requirements. As a full service agency we can step in at any stage of your project to suit your needs.