First Test of Pipe Fitting App for 3D Printing Means Safe Water Pipe Fittings in Nepal
Lack of available safe water pipe fittings is a key issue Field Ready has identified in Nepal. In IDP camps improvised pipe fittings were commonly being used, along with inappropriate metal fittings, both of which leak considerably. When Field Ready 3D printed a replacement pipe fitting we were struck by the observation that a wide range of pipe sizes and connection configurations are needed. And the fact that not all pipes were of the expected standard sizes.
Since those initial observations, Field Ready has been fortunate enough to receive the help of an excellent team of developers for Imperial College, London. Working with our team, they have created a first version of a software application (‘app’) to enable aid workers to produce any sized pipe fitting on demand.
We are pleased to share that in Nepal, Field Ready has just completed our first print with the app, and we are delighted with the results. After a few tweaks to the physical fitting design, the app went to trial in the field with a 3D printer. The first one printed connects a 20mm pipe to a 32mm pipe, and is printed in a natural colored ABS and at a slightly higher temperature than usual with no support material to ensure the layers bond together well (and do not allow water to pass through).
As with our other efforts, this is definitely a sign of the ease of use and speed expected in the years to come. Here today, this is an important archetype of the future.