Field Ready Achieves First Mobile Solar-Power-Pack Supported 3D Print in the Field
Field Ready's Design and Production Engineer, Ram Chandra Thapa, and Nepal Innovation Advisor, Ben Britton, joined a World Vision Health support visit to a remote area of the earthquake-affected Dhading District in Central Nepal.
World Vision has a program of local health post reconstruction, renovation and support providing upgraded facilities and equipment to seven remote health posts in earthquake-affected areas.
As the team conducted a needs assessment, they quickly learned that the new suction pump, brought from Kathmandu only weeks earlier, had suffered damage during transportation and was effectively useless. The suction pump vacuum flask connector had sheered off, rendering the vacuum system inoperable. There was no way to jury-rig the pump without damaging the rubber stopper and possibly compromising the functionality of the pump.
The healthpost had ordered another pump flask from World Vision, which had taken approximately three weeks to procure and deliver at significant expense in time and money.
Measuring the existing complete connector, Field Ready created a 3D model. The team then hooked up the printer to the solar power pack and printed the spare. The print was successful - on the first attempt.
Within one hour, the part had been designed, produced and fitted, and the vacuum pump was serviceable for the first time since it left Kathmandu.
This was the first time in Nepal that a 3D print was accomplished in the field with a mobile solar power pack - proving the viability of taking 3D printing to even remote areas of need.
True to its name, the Field Ready team readily engaged the crowd of villagers and health post workers who gathered to understand the principles of 3D printing and the potential for its future uses and development.