June 1, 2023

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I’m looking at the events taking place in America, and I thoroughly believe that if more Americans had and were comfortable with the ins-and-outs of 3D printers, we could ride over a lot of the rough and bumpy roads that we’re dealing with. There is a lot of content out there about 3D-printed firearms, but you’d be limiting yourself dramatically if you only used them for that purpose.

Is a 3D printer a panacea? By no means. It’s a piece of equipment.

But it is capable of a lot. Following, find a few examples of ways they could be used.

Shortages are just one reason.

Let’s say that you work at a factory that needs a specific component to make an essential piece of equipment work. That component breaks, and because of trade embargoes with China (because they invade Taiwan), because of supply chain problems (because of strikes, gas prices, inflation, new geofence laws, etc.), and because of factory issues, nobody can get you that component anymore.

Or, at the least, that component now has a five-week waiting list, and you can’t not have that piece of equipment for five weeks.

A 3D printer could likely print out the part that’s needed, or at least a functional, short-term alternative, making it so that the factory could squeak by until the “real” component finally shows up.

What about inflation?

You’re having a harder and harder time buying the things that you need. Hyperinflation causes you to have to pay a wheelbarrow full of cash to buy the gear you need.

If more people knew a thing or two about 3D printers, though, they could likely print out exactly what they needed for pennies on the dollar.

These work great for hard-to-reach areas as well.

Consider a Hurricane Katrina or Balto-style event.

An isolated region is now in need of critical supplies, and traditional logistics are impossible. 3D printers in these areas could print out what is needed. If we lay aside all thoughts on whether paper masks work to protect you against viruses or not, we can find examples of this from 2020. Hospitals decided they needed PPE (and nasal swabs). They couldn’t get the PPE they wanted. 3D printers were used to print the PPE hospitals wanted.

The same could be done in a Balto event.

This little rural town in nowhere Idaho could print out the supplies they need. If somebody has hurt themselves in the middle of a blizzard and a splint is needed, a splint could be printed to the specific size requirements that person would need. If somebody’s prosthesis fails, another could be printed. This could be done on-site as well.

Think about what that would mean if the blizzard stopped all roads for several days.

3D printers could be huge for community preparedness as a result. Hospitals could print out much of the gear that they needed, hobby farmers could tend to injured animals, radios could be built (or fixed), and water filtration could be made easier.

There’s a lot of potential here.

3D printers save space.

Admittedly, if you need an airway passage, you need it now. You can’t tell that almost dead person that you’ll have what they need in five hours.

But there are a lot of other items that you don’t necessarily need exactly that minute that you may not want to store either. Perhaps you live in an apartment, and you don’t have the space or desire to have boxes full of stuff lying around everywhere. In such a case, a USB filled with Thingiverse files, a 3D printer, and filament would be all you would need to print whatever it was that you needed within a matter of hours.

Obviously, you would have to ensure that you had electricity for it all to work. This would not only be a space-saving measure, but could potentially increase your safety as well.

Think about 2020. It was unsafe to go outside in major cities because they were on fire due to protests. It was unsafe to go outside in many areas to get what you needed because you could be arrested simply for being out of your house.

If you had a 3D printer, there would be less need to leave the house to begin with. Should there be a Matt Damon Contagion event, you would be able to print out the supplies needed without having to go out to get them.

More 3D printers = more national resilience

Nations are comprised of individuals. The better-prepared individuals are, the better prepared a nation is. Are 3D printers a cure-all? By no means. But they are a potential part of the solution. These tools are becoming more and more affordable every day and simpler to use as well.

A lot has already been done to help people with these machines, and we’re really only looking at the tip of the iceberg with what these machines are capable of. These may be machines that could help you too.

What do you think? Do you agree? It’s impossible to argue that 3D printing is a gimmick – it’s here to stay – but have you seen stories in your community that have exhibited what I’m talking about above?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

About Aden

Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper,  An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.