FA info icon.svgAngle down icon.svgSource data
Type Paper
Cite as Citation reference for the source document. Jephias Gwamuri, Dhiogo Franco, Khalid Y. Khan, Lucia Gauchia and Joshua M. Pearce. High-Efficiency Solar-Powered 3-D Printers for Sustainable Development. Machines 2016, 4(1), 3; doi: 10.3390/machines4010003 open access
FA info icon.svgAngle down icon.svgProject data
Authors Jephias Gwamuri
Dhiogo Franco
Khalid Y. Khan
Lucia Gauchia
Location Michigan, USA
Status Designed
Verified by MOST
Links https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1702/4/1/3/html
OKH Manifest Download

The release of the open source 3-D printer known as the RepRap (a self-Replicating Rapid prototyper) resulted in the potential for distributed manufacturing of products for significantly lower costs than conventional manufacturing. This development, coupled with open source-appropriate technology (OSAT), has enabled the opportunity for 3-D printers to be used for sustainable development. In this context, OSAT provides the opportunity to modify and improve the physical designs of their printers and desired digitally-shared objects. However, these 3-D printers require electricity while more than a billion people still lack electricity. To enable the utilization of RepRaps in off-grid communities, solar photovoltaic (PV)-powered mobile systems have been developed, but recent improvements in novel delta-style 3-D printer designs allows for reduced costs and improved performance. This study builds on these innovations to develop and experimentally validate a mobile solar-PV-powered delta 3-D printer system. It is designed to run the RepRap 3-D printer regardless of solar flux. The electrical system design is tested outdoors for operating conditions: (1) PV charging battery and running 3-D printer; (2) printing under low insolation; (3) battery powering the 3-D printer alone; (4) PV charging the battery only; and (5) battery fully charged with PV-powered 3-D printing. The results show the system performed as required under all conditions providing feasibility for adoption in off-grid rural communities. 3-D printers powered by affordable mobile PV solar systems have a great potential to reduce poverty through employment creation, as well as ensuring a constant supply of scarce products for isolated communities.

What could you print with it?[edit | edit source]

Keywords[edit | edit source]

Appropriate Technology; Distributed Manufacturing; Open Source Hardware; Photovoltaic; Solar Energy; 3D Printing; OSAT; off grid

Presentation[edit | edit source]

Other Versions of Solar Powered 3-D Printers[edit | edit source]

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In the News[edit | edit source]

FA info icon.svgAngle down icon.svgPage data
Keywords solar navbox, solar-powered, 3d printing, sustainable development, 3d printers, high-efficiency
SDG SDG07 Affordable and clean energy, SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
Authors Joshua M. Pearce
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Organizations MTU, MOST
Language English (en)
Translations French
Related 1 subpages, 15 pages link here
Impact 1,212 page views
Created January 15, 2016 by Joshua M. Pearce
Modified February 23, 2024 by Maintenance script
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