High-Efficiency Solar-Powered 3-D Printers for Sustainable Development

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Revision as of 17:04, 27 February 2017 by J.M.Pearce (talk | contribs) (Created page with "=Source= * Jephias Gwamuri, Dhiogo Franco, Khalid Y. Khan, Lucia Gauchia and Joshua M. Pearce. [http://www.mdpi.com/2075-1702/4/1/3/html High-Efficiency Solar-Powered 3-D Prin...")
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What could you print with it?


Abstract

Pvreprap2.png

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.

Keywords

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

Presentation

Other Versions of Solar Powered 3-D Printers

See Also

In the News