London based technology charity techfortrade has launched its global 3D4D Challenge. The competition aims to unearth new 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 $100,000 prize to enable the winning entry to be implemented, and it is hoped that the Challenge will generate enough interest for other entrants to also attract offers of support.
The 3D4D Challenge is open for anyone to enter and entries should focus on the reduction of poverty and aiding the development of local communities. Potential ideas for entries could involve using 3D printed models and parts to improve agriculture practices, water supply or filtration processes, or energy supplies for rural or impoverished areas. For example, a 3D printer could be used to build replacement parts for broken waterpumps. Or the technology could generate income by enabling the manufacture of entirely new products from recycled plastics.
To encourage potential entrants to brainstorm ideas with industry experts, techfortrade is holding a series of free workshops. The workshops will be held in four international locations:
- New York, MakerBot Industries – 12 May 2012
- London, Westminster Hub – 17 May 2012
- Johannesburg, Hackerspace – 22 May 2012
- Nairobi, Nairobi University FabLab – 25 May 2012
Bre Pettis, founder of MakerBot, comments: "MakerBot is committed to increasing access to 3D printing technology and to supporting those who can benefit from it. Working with techfortrade on 3D4D is an exciting way to encourage innovation and create new ideas and applications for our technology to help improve the lives of people around the world."
Dr Phil Reeves, Managing Director of Econolyst, adds: "As a key player in the international 3D printing market, we were very interested in working with techfortrade on the 3D4D Challenge from the start. We are pleased to be able to support the competition with our knowledge and expertise of the technology to help benefit those in the global community who are in the greatest need of help."
William Hoyle, Chief Executive of techfortrade, states: "We have yet to tap the full potential of this exciting new technology, which presents a great opportunity for poor communities to access the resources that they need to help overcome difficult conditions. We look forward to seeing what creative solutions the entrants come up with to help alleviate poverty in developing countries."
Follow the link to find out more about the 3D4D Challenge.