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13 February 2024

3D Printing Technology for Rapid Response to Climate Change: Challenges and Emergency Needs

Providing rapid, efficient, inexpensive, and resilient solutions is an eminent and urgent need for emergency relief conditions, mainly and increasingly driven by the impacts of climate change. Under such disastrous circumstances, the current practice involves preparation, dispatching and managing significant amounts of materials, resources, manpower, and transportation of basic needs, which can be hindered remarkably by infrastructure damage and massive loss of lives. However, an emerging technology known as 3D printing (3DP) can play a significant role and rapidly bring unlimited innovative solutions in such conditions with much lesser resources to meet the necessities of large populations affected. Considering the recent progress of 3DP technology and applications in different industrial and consumer sectors, this study aims to provide an analysis of the status and current progress of 3DP technology in various fields to understand and present its potential for readiness and response to disasters, emergency and relief need driven by climate change. Secondly, this study also presents a sustainability assessment of 3DP technology for such cases to evaluate economic, environmental, and social impacts. Finally, policies and strategies are suggested to adapt 3DP technology in different sectors to prepare for large-scale emergencies.

Keywords: 3D printing; Additive manufacturing; Disaster; Climate change; Emergency response