Shelter 2.0: Distributed manufacturing for emergencies

3D Printing & Imaging

Bill writes in to tell about Shelter 2.0, a fabbed structure system that aims to leverage distributed manufacturing and shipping to provide durable emergency structures to situations of need.

The Shelter 2.0 was designed by Robert Bridges as a CNC-cut emergency shelter in the Guggenheim/Sketchup contest in 2009. The idea was that it would be partway between a tent and a real house and could be dis-assembled and re-assembled using some interesting CNC-cut joinery to make it easy.

Since all the digital files needed to cut the Shelters are available for download under a Creative Commons, share alike, no commercial license, anyone in the world with a ShopBot CNC tool can cut one…that’s 6000+ possible fabricators. The potential for a distributed manufacturing of even a fraction of this size to cut things like emergency housing is pretty powerful. Tools and materials could be shipped to the place they’re needed and cut there, but more practically parts could be cut in regional clusters and shipped where they’re needed in containers. With services like 100kGarages starting to assemble fabrication networks, it will become increasingly easy to get projects like this organized and rolling when the need arises. And with design files available in places like the Sketchup 3d warehouse, design refinement is faster and easier.

He and some others have ramped up their design iterations to develop a new end wall system. They shopbotted the parts and set it up over the weekend.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Making things is the best way to learn about our world.

View more articles by Chris Connors