Using 3D printers, the British army is helping to build a hospital in South Sudan. It is a part of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) a smaller aspect of Operation Trenton, launched earlier this summer.
The stated purpose of UNMISS: “to consolidate peace and security, and help establish conditions for development in the Republic of South Sudan.”
Their hospital will take care of more than 1,800 UN employees. 3D printing will significantly aid the entire process along by speeding everything up, taking care of logistical problems that would otherwise delay construction.
The bottom line is – when you can 3D print components for construction using only filament then you require less transportation of large machinery or parts that would otherwise consume a significant portion of the budget. Money that could be more appropriately spent hiring doctors.
“Engineering in South Sudan has faced many problems. A stretched and fragile logistical supply route has resulted in difficulties resourcing components.”
Components that the British Army will print for Operation Trenton include plumbing parts, simple brackets for affixing pipes to walls, and complex junctions, which can channel liquids from three separate directions. Soon, they may be able to print out the entire hospital using The Autonomous Robotic Construction System
3D printing that kind of plumbing equipment typically takes less than 12 hours, where it would otherwise take weeks for a part to be transported to the construction site. As mentioned, the decreased in material costs and obsolete postage/packaging fees will also save the operation a lot of money. The British Army will use “Lulzbot” a common brand of 3D printer to complete the project.