Stratasys Helps Energize the Developing World

(Business Wire) Organizations such as Peppermint Energy have used 3D printing technology from 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys to help individuals spur economic development, participate in emerging industries, and access educational opportunities in areas of the world that don’t have reliable access to electricity.

Worldwide, 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. South Dakota-based Peppermint Energy is determined to change that with its flagship product called the FORTY2. Like a solar plant in a suitcase, the FORTY2 is a portable array that draws enough energy from the sun to provide light, refrigerate medicine or food, or power a laptop. A battery connected to the array stores power for use when the sun is down.

Peppermint Energy’s development team used Stratasys 3D printing technology to 3D print functional prototype for real-world design testing of the FORTY2. At three feet wide and roughly 60 pounds, the FORTY2 required a robust housing strong enough to hold all of its components. The first full-scale prototype, built in a Stratasys Fortus® 3D Production System, revealed some of the design considerations that led to the FORTY2’s simple operation.