How 3D printing is making a better world



There is no doubt that the first world countries has often faced difficulty in providing relief to third world countries, especially when it comes to infrastructure. 3D printing technology may help in improving relief efforts within these countries.

A project currently being done in Amsterdam focuses on creating an entire house through the use of 3D printers. The project, called the 3D Canal House, uses many innovative techniques in order to create these houses, and make them cost efficient.

“The 3D printed Canal House has to become the prototype for a new way of building, which can be applied everywhere in the world” said Tosja Backer, the CEO of the 3D Canal House project.

Perhaps the most interesting idea behind this building phenomenon is the idea of digitizing the building process. The designs of a house will be sent to the printer from digital file, which completely eliminates the need for transportation costs, as well as allowing for easy off-site planning.

Printing in 3D could be critical in eliminating the growing number of slums around the world. Slums, which are squalid and overcrowded urban inhabited by very poor people. Slums have grown rapidly in many third world countries, which has lead to a decline in the overall health and standard of living in these countries. For example, India has a population of over 65 million living in slums, and within the next generation, statistics indicate that possibly a third of the world population will be living in slums.

Back in the pre-World War II era, America had a similar problem with slum communities. Due to widespread affluence and the building techniques employed by the private sector, suburbanization occurred on a wide scale. Levittown and other mass produced, cheap housing communities sprung up, eliminating this problem of insufficient middle class housing.

All capitalist societies rely on a middle class in order to be healthy, and a good house is one of the best investments a middle class person can make. 3D printers could bolster the middle class in many developing countries. This in turn will help the US economy, as people within these countries will have more purchasing power for American products, creating many new demand markets for American products.

A complete turnaround in American manufacturing could be possible if 3D printing is successful in helping improve housing in third world countries. To be a success, though, the effect should be undertaken by corporations, not governments.