There are so many benefits to 3D printing but have you ever thought about the social benefits? What is the potential for this technology to help relieve poverty in developing countries?
We at Techfortrade have launched a global 3D4D Challenge. The competition aims to unearth new groundbreaking ideas that exploit developments in 3D printing, mobile phone based scanning technology and web based design applications to improve the incomes and livelihoods of people in developing countries. Techfortrade is funding a $100k prize to enable the winning entry to be implemented.
You can submit your ideas until the 31st of July 2012
We have been busy holding six workshops to encourage innovative people to enter our 3D4D Challenge.
Thanks to our friends at MakerBot, the first 3D4D Challenge brainstorm workshop got off to a great start in May and we saw those from the tech and NGO sectors as well as university students get together to discuss ways in which 3D printing can be used for social benefit. The workshop produced some great ideas and spawned a couple of potential applications. For example, team ‘Fishtube’ aims to grow market- ready food using 3D printed equipment and localised production.
The second workshop was held in London. Glen Mehn from Social Innovation Camp encouraged guests to firstly think about the pressing issues in developing countries that must be solved and then how these issues can be solved using 3D printing technology. In between copious amounts of tea and cake, guests presented and shared their ideas with the group. One of the highlights was an idea named ‘It’s all Rubbish’ – where recycled rubbish would be recycled at land-filled and then the appropriate materials used as 3D printer filament to be used to print useful tools.
Our final workshops held in Johannesburg, Chennai and Bucharest generated a lot of enthusiasm and excitement. Ideas ranged from creating ‘hives’ - the concept of de-centralised ‘piece work’ and printing to contract, to re-cycling plastic to create low cost filament to a specific innovation that enables remote visualisation of design files; the idea being to enable rural designers to earn a living by providing them with tools that enable clients to remotely visualise the output of their designs in 3D. Another great idea was to manufacture creative shaped solar panels built on 3D printing technology. The participants explored lots of ideas that might help developing urban and rural communities to build a more sustainable future for themselves and others.
As you can see, we have had a very busy and exciting couple of months and we would now like you to discuss ways in which you would use 3D printing for social benefit and even getting involved by entering the competition.
We will be accepting applications until 31st July so you still have time to enter. Your application can just be an early stage idea or a fully developed concept but please provide us with details of your project, including how your idea will make an impact.
Enter the challenge here. If you have questions for the team, or want to talk your idea through with one of us first, do get in touch!
We look forward to hearing from you
The 3D4D Challenge team.
Photo's: 3D4D Challenge workshops Bucharest and Nairobi