Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor 1

John Gershenson

Advisor 2

Craig Friedrich

Committee Member 1

Michele Miller


3D printing has gained significant momentum in the past ten years, and its unique advantages make it especially ideal for use in low resource healthcare settings, where many designs have already been successfully implemented. Yet, little has been studied on how 3D printing can be sustainably and functionally implemented in low resource healthcare systems as a manufacturing practice. In this report, three business models are proposed for this implementation: In-House Operator, Independent Operator, and Print Farm. These models were then tested over four months in Kisumu county, Kenya, at two workshops and seven public hospitals. I worked with local medical professionals, engineers, and government officials to create and test 3D printed medical products. Human centered design criteria were used to assess the models. All three business models proved to have individual distinct benefits and challenges for application. However, specific contextual considerations are necessary to decide which implementation is the most sustainable. Through these findings, others may begin implementing more robust 3D printing systems in low resource healthcare contexts throughout the globe.