A 3D printed jet engine on display at the Avalon Airshow in Melbourne.
A 3D printed jet engine on display at the Avalon Airshow in Melbourne. AFP PHOTO / Lydia Dale / SCIENCE IN PUBLIC

3D printing could unlock industry in developing nations

RESEARCHERS have come up with a do-it-yourself way for developing countries to create expensive machinery needed for scientists and medical doctors.

"Open Labware: 3-D Printing Your Own Lab Equipment" in Open Access journal PLOS Biology suggests instruments, such as microscope adapters, be assembled from 3D printed plastic parts and materials available from a general store.

More: This woman wants to make 3D printed food

Researchers found the steep decline in 3D printer prices made "Open Labware" particularly attractive for developing countries such as Uganda, Tanzania, Chile and Mexico.

Two neuroscientist organisations have been holding workshops and summer schools teaching young researchers the DIY approach to neuroscience - a field particularly reliant on technology.

The researchers found while the field's dependence on costly instruments was already constrained established scientific communities in the Western hemisphere, it bears truly dire consequences in developing countries.


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