3D printing could offer developing world savings on replica lab kit

Friday, February 21, 2014 - 02:30 in Physics & Chemistry

Researchers say technology advances could help global south to design and make affordable equipment to meet local needsWorking replicas of expensive scientific equipment could be made for a fraction of conventional costs using cheap 3D printers, possibly saving developing world labs thousands of pounds each time, says a researcher whose has written a book on the subject.This and similar advances mean the age of appropriate technology – affordable, sustainable solutions designed and built to meet local needs – may be here, argues Joshua Pearce, a materials science and engineering professor at Michigan Technological University in the US, in an article in last month's Physics World magazine."For example, my lab developed an open-source 3D printable colourimeter for water testing, which costs $50 (£30) instead of $2,000," says Pearce, whose book is called Open-Source Lab: How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs. The cheaper version worked as well as...

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