At first glance, Haiti might seem an odd destination for a 3D printer.
3D printers are cutting edge. They’re in the news. They’re printing amazing things, from custom prosthetics, to fully functional engines, to buildings. They print forms that would be impossible to manufacturable otherwise. And they’re a fairly accessible toy for the DIYer to use at home.
Haiti is a beautiful country fighting to improve itself and its global standing. The forces it fights against are powerful, varied, and very deep-rooted in its history. It lacks infrastructure that many countries take for granted: clean running water, electricity, sewage treatment, waste disposal, shipping, and others.
Our organization, iLab // Haiti has brought the first two 3D printers to the country of Haiti. We have partnered with KIDmob to teach critical thinking, creative problem solving, adaptability, and communication along with the technical skills of rapid prototyping.
We are using two of MakerBot’s dual extrusion Replicator 1′s, and we will add two more at the end of this month. We’re teaching them to 3D model using SketchUp and Rhino, with the hope of teaching Autodesk’s Inventor.
Our goal is to empower local Haitians to think differently about their surroundings and potential.
Some of their first projects are simple medical devices, such as umbilical cord clamps, which they are currently prototyping (on their fourth iteration). These medical devices would be 3D printed for direct use in local clinics with on-demand manufacturing. Hyper-local manufacturing will bypass inefficient and corrupt import systems that are currently the only option available.
With rapid prototyping tools and internet capabilities, complex 3D models can be exchanged between Haiti and other countries for production, distribution, and direct connection to the global market.
3D printers in Haiti! What will they think of next? 3D printing in space?!
iLab // Haiti is supported 100% through grassroots efforts and in-kind donations. If you are interested in supporting our cause, click here and select KIDmob from the list. We’d really appreciate it! Please contact Ashley Dara for more info.