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3D Printing Tech charity funds design competition prize for use of 3D printing to alleviate poverty

Editor: Eric Culp

London-based technology charity Techfortrade has launched the global 3D4D Challenge, a competition intended to unearth innovative ideas that leverage developments in 3D printing, mobile phone–based scanning and web-based design to improve the livelihoods of people in developing countries.

Techfortrade says it is funding the $100,000 prize to enable the winning entry to be implemented. The organiser says it hopes the challenge will generate enough interest that other entrants will also attract offers of support.

The 3D4D Challenge is additionally supported by MakerBot and Econolyst, suppliers of 3D printers and rapid manufacturing machines.

The competition is open to all. Entries should focus on the reduction of poverty to aid in the development of local communities, says Techfortrade. Ideas might involve the use of 3D-printed models and parts to improve agriculture practices, water supply or filtration processes, or energy supply for rural or impoverished areas. Finalists will be announced in early July, and the winner will be selected at an event hosted by Techfortrade in October.

To encourage potential entrants to brainstorm ideas with industry experts, Techfortrade is holding a series of free international workshops in May. These take place in

  • New York (12 May, MakerBot Industries),
London (17 May, Westminster Hub),
Johannesburg, South Africa (22 May, Hackerspace) and
Nairobi, Kenya (25 May, Nairobi University FabLab).

“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,” said William Hoyle, chief executive of Techfortrade. “We look forward to seeing what creative solutions the entrants come up with to help alleviate poverty in developing countries.”

Those interested in participating in the 3D4D Challenge can submit their idea and apply for space in one of the workshops at www.3d4dchallenge.org and follow developments on Twitter@3d4dchallenge. Further information can be requested via email at esearch@trade4all.org..

Techfortrade

London, UK

www.trade4all.org

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