Open source 3D printers: an appropriate technology for building low cost optics labs for the developing communities
| By Michigan Tech's Open Sustainability Technology Lab.
Wanted: Students to make a distributed future with solar-powered open-source RepRap 3-D printing and recyclebot recycling.
- J. Gwamuri, Joshua M. Pearce, "Open source 3D printers: an appropriate technology for building low cost optics labs for the developing communities", Proc. SPIE 10452, 14th Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2017, 104522S (16 August 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2269852; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.2269852 open access
The recent introduction of RepRap (self-replicating rapid prototyper) 3-D printers and the resultant open source technological improvements have resulted in affordable 3-D printing, enabling low-cost distributed manufacturing for individuals. This development and others such as the rise of open source-appropriate technology (OSAT) and solar powered 3-D printing are moving 3-D printing from an industry based technology to one that could be used in the developing world for sustainable development. In this paper, we explore some specific technological improvements and how distributed manufacturing with open-source 3-D printing can be used to provide open-source 3-D printable optics components for developing world communities through the ability to print less expensive and customized products. This paper presents an open-source low cost optical equipment library which enables relatively easily adapted customizable designs with the potential of changing the way optics is taught in resource constraint communities. The study shows that this method of scientific hardware development has a potential to enables a much broader audience to participate in optical experimentation both as research and teaching platforms. Conclusions on the technical viability of 3-D printing to assist in development and recommendations on how developing communities can fully exploit this technology to improve the learning of optics through hands-on methods have been outlined.
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- Open Source Appropriate Technology Literature Review
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- Open source 3-D printing of OSAT
- The Case for Open Source Appropriate Technology
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- Innovation through collaboration: scaling up solutions for sustainable development