Natural disasters are catastrophic wherever they hit, but for developing countries and underprivileged areas, the impact can be far more crippling. Often times, relief efforts only provide temporary support, failing to give communities in crisis the momentum necessary to rebuild. One non-profit, Field Ready, is hoping to change that.
The team uses 3D printers to build replacement parts on-location at the site of disasters, allowing them to bypass antiquated supply chains that are typically slow to respond and far more costly. This proved particularly effective following the devastating 2015 Gorkha earthquake in Nepal, where Field Ready engineers designed and printed replacement parts to get several baby incubators functional again.
"It's not about producing millions of things, it's about producing the right thing so you can get whole things back online again" says Dara Dotz, principal designer and co-founder of Field Ready.
Eventually Field Ready hopes the solutions developed at each crisis zone will scale for worldwide impact, offering anyone affected the resources to recover as quickly as possible.