Myanmar farmers take the help of 3D Printing for constructing farming equipments. (Image: AFP Relaxnews)
But in an industrial park south of Myanmar's commercial hub, the advanced technology is now being used to design bespoke parts that are changing the lives of impoverished farmers.
Myanmar's manufacturing sector was gutted under five decades of isolationist military rule, forcing farmers to cobble together their own tools or use ill-adapted imports.
Poor equipment has only added to the hardships of growing crops in the disaster-prone country, where farmers account for nearly half of the economy's output despite being among the poorest producers in Asia.
But in one corner of Yangon, change is afoot.
Over at social enterprise Proximity Designs, cutting-edge 3D printer technology is being used to design specially adapted tools, in consultation with the farmers who use them.
"We want to create something that farmers find delight in," product designer Taiei Harimoto told AFP at their workshop, where robotic arms line the walls near benches littered with tools and mechanical parts.
The printer, a small, black, hollow cube with a needle inside attached to a computer, has already been put to use helping design parts for a sprinkler system and the internal mechanics for a solar pump.
Creating prototypes in plastic means the team can perfect designs for complex pieces in the lab, cutting out a lengthy back-and-forth that can cost thousands of dollars.
Once the design has been perfected, it is then sent off to factories in other countries where the final part is mass produced.
"Before it might have taken weeks and sometimes months" to make the prototypes for each product, said co-founder Debbie Aung Din.
Out in the fields, farmers say they are already seeing their profits grow.