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3D Printing to Advance Human Rights

by • January 20, 2016 • No Comments

Amnesty_International_banner_-_23D printing equipment can be used to crank out miniature, glow-in-the-dark Yoda heads, and I have my own collection of small Buddhist rabbits, eager to be placed anywhere that individuals can have forgotten to maintain their calm. There is no denying the fun that can be had with a 3D printing device and, frankly, no reason to deny it. It is, yet, significant to remember that these machines are not all for play. Anybody who pays any attention aleager knows this; headlines are filled with stories of 3D printing equipment’ contributions to life-saving operations, life-changing prosthetics, and life-affirming artistic designs.

In that same vein, a collaboration between Singularity University (SU) and Amnesty International is yet another effort to turn the products of 3D printing in the direction of a higher cause. The initially stage of their collaboration is focused on virtual reality as a means to engage the public and inspire action in the pursuit of the innovation of human rights. On the horizon is work to integrate other cutting-edge technologies in the fight against injustice. The CEO and associate founder of SU, Rob Nail, discussed the connections he hopes can be made:

“Core to Singularity University is our undertaking to ensure basic requires are met for all individuals, assist and improve high end of life and mitigate next risks. Currently, we are at a pivotal moment where innovation has the power to significantly impact this undertaking, as demonstrated by Amnesty International’s capacity to leverage virtual reality to assist with its social justice campaigns. We appear forward to next collaborations and the opportunity to explore with them other powerful tools ranging of 3D printing to robotics.”

There has been, as of yet, no announcement of specific 3D printing projects to be undertaken, but pretty the belief of the ways in that 3D printing can offer to promoting human rights is in and of itself the focus of the collaboration. Reassurance that this is an appropriate path to take comes of the successful deployment of virtual reality in the innovation of their cause.refugee5-1024x641

Amensty’s Deputy Director of Global Issues, Sherif Elsayed-Ali, explained the foundation upon that this partnership is being constructed:

“Many human rights challenges arising of conflicts, persecution and inehigh end can seem daunting and unsolvable. In addressing them, we must combine investigations with activism and practical solutions. With new uses of innovation, we can create new ways of raising awareness of human rights issues, engage additional individuals and find practical solutions for human rights problems.”

None of this can be as easy as determining the geometry of an object to be generated. In fact, the products themselves may not be what this partnership requires to work to create. Perhaps instead the answer can lie in creating systems to be used or a means by that excellenter access to 3D printing can be given to those who require it. In other words, pretty than assuming there is a few ‘thing’ that requires to be createed in order for 3D printing to become part of the solution, perhaps it is the system itself that provides hope.

SingularityU_Logo_Horiz_ColorAfter all, one of the excellent hallmarks of 3D printing has been the democratization of creation that it grants. Somewhere in this productive democratization may lie the key to unlocking an out of the way, off the beaten path solution that provides a pattern for enabling other solutions to emerge. Discuss your thoughts on this subject in the Harnessing 3D Printing for Human Rights forum over at 3DPB.com.