"Developing economies" or "low income areas" are everywhere, including inside the European Union. This is why the "leapfrogging value" of Digital DIY, as described in this article
, is relevant for our research:
"Before the mobile phone, developed economies had invested large amounts of money in land-line infrastructure. However, developing economies are able to effectively skip the landline, which, after all, would have been prohibitively expensive in poor communities due to vast distances and low population density. The popularity of mobile technology, its ability to increase levels of income, and the rapid adoption demonstrates the real opportunity for 3D printing as the technology development curve is not dissimilar to that of mobile communication. Furthermore, this lack of infrastructure and limited logistics provides a huge opportunity for 3D printers as it could mean rural villages would be able to print their own products or agriculture tools and not have to rely on unreliable supply chains. The advancement in mobile communication and the internet continues to support this technology allowing for the rapid transfer of data between sites.
For engineers, this development could enable greater access to these markets through online communities (which are already beginning to form) and enable end users to join the design process, creating more effective product » solutions to meet their needs."