3D printing is not just for coffee cups and key chains anymore. By 2030, people with strong industrial design and engineering skills will be able to step in to provide temporary buildings for people in emergency situations: a natural disaster, an armed conflict, or a widespread medical outbreak. 3D printing will be able to print the parts needed to create small housing units, similar to trailers, in several hours or days, so that they can be assembled quickly for those in need. The temporary structures can also be broken down easily at the end of the emergency situation, so that they can be recycled and reprinted time and time again.
Makeshift structure engineers work closely with other disaster relief workers to oversee the machinery used in 3D-printing construction. These engineers may work in teams to create temporary camps, with each engineer working on a different kind of building—shelter, government building, even the less glamorous but still important public washrooms. Their training and skills cover the basics of 3D printing technology and materials, an interest in disaster relief and sanitation logistics. From site clearing to building completion, building engineers and those who work with them can print and assemble a temporary community in less than a week.

Job Requirements / Skills

Makeshift structure engineers are structural engineers and industrial designers. They are aware of the principles of building and safety codes so that they design and assemble safe structures. Because many of them will work in emergency situations, they must be aware of the logistics of structure printing and knowing what buildings and their components to prioritize. Leadership skills, creativity, and attention to detail are also essential qualities in a good makeshift structure engineer.