This firm 3D prints equipments on site for Disaster rescue operations

  • Nimish Sany
  • 28 September , 2016

Field Ready is a non-profit organization using technology to aid disaster response teams by 3D printing consumables and tools for supporting medical aid even in remote locations. The 2015 earthquake in Nepal was a major catastrophe that left more than 8000 dead and millions homeless. When the quake destroyed a district hospital in the country, doctors were left to carry out medical services out in the open and connect the medical equipments to whatever power sources they could find outside among the rubble. When a only remaining power source outside gave up, the aid came to a halt. It was impossible to find spare parts amid the havocs the quake has caused and sourcing the parts from manufacturers was not really an option, considering the emergency at hand.  That is when Abi Bush, an engineer at Field Ready showed up with her computer and a 3D printer and within minutes she provided a 3D printed power source as replacement, the aid resumed.Eric James, founder of Field Ready explains, “What we're working on is moving manufacturing from where things happen now—usually developed countries, with long supply chains where there can be a lot of different problems from shipping, warehousing, customs, and so on. All these things present potential bottlenecks or places where supply chains can break. What if we made products where they're needed, places like refugee camps or health clinics?"

youngsters at Field Ready

A disaster can slow down logistics and rescue. Image: Fastcoexist

The company provides boards measuring children’s height and malnutrition for UNICEF, on the site where it is needed. The boards, usually manufactured in the U.S and stored in Copenhagen are shipped to Africa and Asia when in need. However there is much time involved in shipping and the boards reaching the other end. Field Ready provides the equipments needed on the site and helps in cutting costs involved in shipping and procurement.  James says, "Supply chains touch on all the different sectors that aid workers work in—whether it's health or water and sanitation, nutrition, shelter, child protection, and so on, they all need supplies sooner or later. There's a lot of frustration about getting those supplies out to where they're needed."

"In the near future, you should be able to push a couple of buttons and more or less get what you need," he remarks. "Field Ready is about creating a system, a methodology, an approach, for taking these technologies as they come online and putting them out in the field so they can really make a difference in people's lives—instead of just people printing Yoda heads and other trinkets, as they have been with 3D printers."


Nimish Sany: I bleed my thoughts on paper. And if I cant find a paper, blogs serve the purpose just fine.

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