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3D Printing guide

For International Development

Dr Timothy Whitehead of Aston University has developed a guide to determine the suitability of 3D printing use in developing countries.

Like all technologies, 3D printing can be either incredibly useful in the context of international development, or unsuitable dependent on the project. This guide focuses on best practice, using case studies. As well as a simple reference on types of printing, and a handbook for the practicalities associated with choosing the correct software, and setting up printers.

Although international development may not be the most obvious place to adopt 3DP technology, the rapid uptake of mobile phones shows how new technologies can be used to leapfrog developed nations.

Timothy Whitehead

3D Printing Guide

The guide was developed for NGO’s, government organisations and decision makers to demystify the technology and ensure that wise decisions can be undertaken. The guide was launched in time for the UN Innovation Network TechLearnTalk on 3D printing. The monthly talk series introduces technologies to a non-technical audience within the UN and show how such technologies are already being applied by UN Entities to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

a dozen eggs created the book layout, illustration style and graphs to communicate in an accessible way. The 3D Printing guide was designed as a coffee table book, rather than a complex manual – it has been created to be dipped into rather than read cover to cover.

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3D printing guide written by Timothy Whitehead


Hut with solar panels on roof
3D printing in a developed country

Website design

To launch the 3D Printing guide – and record impact– a website was created to provide an overview of contents, a selection of case studies, and a location where the book could be easily downloadable. Designed as a one-paged site to be light touch, and fit for purpose, we were able to employ a speedy turnaround time.

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3D printing website for Design Layers