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3-D Printing of Open Source Appropriate Technologies for Self-Directed Sustainable Development
Journal of Sustainable Development (2010)
  • Joshua M. Pearce, Queen's University - Kingston, Ontario
  • Christine Morris Blair, Queen's University - Kingston, Ontario
  • Kristen J. Laciak, Queen's University - Kingston, Ontario
  • Rob Andrews, Queen's University - Kingston, Ontario
  • Amir Nosrat, Queen's University - Kingston, Ontario
  • Ivana Zelenika-Zovko, Queen's University - Kingston, Ontario
The technological evolution of the 3-D printer, widespread internet access and inexpensive computing has made a new means of open design capable of accelerating self-directed sustainable development. This study critically examines how open source 3-D printers, such as the RepRap and Fab@home, enable the use of designs in the public domain to fabricate open source appropriate technology (OSAT), which are easily and economically made from readily available resources by local communities to meet their needs. The current capabilities of open source 3-D printers is reviewed and a new classification scheme is proposed for OSATs that are technically feasible and economically viable for production. Then, a methodology for quantifying the properties of printed parts and a research trajectory is outlined to extend the existing technology to provide complete village-level fabrication of OSATs. Finally, conclusions are drawn on the potential for open source 3-D printers to assist in driving sustainable development.
  • Appropriate technology,
  • Local manufacturing,
  • Open design,
  • Open source,
  • Open source appropriate technology,
  • Peer to peer production,
  • Self-reliance,
  • Sustainable development
Publication Date
December, 2010
Publisher Statement
© Canadian Center of Science and Education. Publisher's PDF uploaded here in compliance with publisher policies. Publisher's version of record:
Citation Information
Joshua M. Pearce, Christine Morris Blair, Kristen J. Laciak, Rob Andrews, et al.. "3-D Printing of Open Source Appropriate Technologies for Self-Directed Sustainable Development" Journal of Sustainable Development Vol. 3 Iss. 4 (2010)
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