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We recently published an article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists looking at how advancements in 3D printing technology could play a role in reducing climate risks. We isolated five ways in which 3D printing can significantly improve the tools available for both militaries and civilian institutions to respond to, prepare for, and mitigate those risks: Rapid response and prototyping, Democratization of preparedness and response, De-globalizing hazards, Increasing accessibility, and Enhancing energy efficiency. Though there remains a gap between where the technology is today and where it would need to be in order to contribute to climate resilience, the good news is that the U.S. military and civilian institutions are already using 3D printing technologies in ways that can enhance climate resiliency, whether that is their main function or not. Read the full article, Combating climate risks in 3D here.
The main take-away:
As communities and nations become more vulnerable to climate change effects, such as sea level rise and an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, the ability to print replacement parts for generators, water filters, or temporary shelters—on site—may become a critical and inexpensive tool of climate adaptation, particularly in zones of instability and conflict. And as societies seek greater energy efficiency in manufacturing processes and products, 3D printing offers the possibility of cost-effective reductions in greenhouse gases.
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
The United States military has a long history of developing innovative technologies for improving warfighting that are eventually re-purposed for civilian life. This includes society-altering technologies like the computer and the Global Positioning System (GPS). As an institution with the capacity to assess long-term risks, and develop technologies to address those risks, the U.S. military is uniquely placed to lead in this arena. Today, we are faced with a new set of critical non-traditional security threats. And true to form, provided that fiscal constraints do not get in the way, the U.S. military is once again leading the way in developing critical new technologies to meet them.
One of those new technologies is additive manufacturing (or 3D printing), and one of those non-traditional risks is climate change. (more…)
Jeff Bezos’ announcement that his company, Amazon, would use drones in the future to deliver its goods has sparked a lot of discussion about the use of this technology in the civilian world. A significant portion of the media attention to drones up until this point has been on their use as weapons and the accidental targeting of civilians. (more…)
Climate Desk has just released a new video, 3D Printing, A Secret Weapon Against Climate Change? which tracks the framework of the Center for Climate and Security’s report: The 3D Printing Revolution, Climate Change and National Security: An Opportunity for U.S. Leadership, and features an interview with our Co-Founder Caitlin Werrell. (more…)