“3D Printers for Peace” contest hosted by Michigan Tech and open to all

Everyone that reads this blog knows there are countless uses for 3D printing: sustainability, industrial processes, art, fun, health, and everything in between. But some hear about 3D printing through mainstream media, and for those people there’s a good chance that all they’ve heard is “OH NO! PEOPLE ARE PRINTING GUNS!” To counter that, the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Michigan Tech is hosting a contest called 3D Printers for Peace.

“We are challenging the 3D printing community to design things that advance the cause of peace.” It’s an open-ended contest, so as long as submissions do ANY good for others then it’s got a shot at winning. Here are the recommendations:

  • low-cost medical devices
  • tools to help pull people out of poverty
  • designs that can reduce racial conflict
  • objects to improve energy efficiency or renewable energy sources to reduce wars over oil
  • tools that would reduce military conflict and spending while making us all safer and more secure
  • things that boost sustainable economic development (e.g. designs for appropriate technology in the developing world to reduce scarcity)

3d printers for peace

Those aren’t limitations. 3D printers are ideal for carrying solutions around the world because files print the same on every continent (as long as it’s inside). Maybe you’ve got an idea for a printable object that helps people not get lost in the jungle, or not mauled by tigers, or helps them grow their own food. The possibilities are endless. Anyone in the US or Canada can submit as many entries as they like. The first place prize is a Type A Machines Series 1 3D Printer, second place gets Michigan Tech’s MOST version of the RepRap Prusa Mendel kit, and third place gets a filament sampler pack from MatterHackers. Entries are submitted through Thingiverse. You’ve got until September 1st. So go print some peace.

Source: MTU

  • Jeff

    “Maybe you’ve got an idea for a printable object that helps people not get …. mauled by tigers,”

    Funny, I have an idea for that: A gun.

    While I applaude the idea of trying to get people involved and to see the benifits to new technlogy, it just doesn’t work if the people involved blindly accept the concept that some technology is inherently bad. Technology is neither good nor evil, it is the person who uses it and how they use it.

  • Jeff

    A mask worn on the back of the head preventing tiger attacks. That’s cool. Cheap, easy to use, convenient effective (at least so far as it’s been tested). I like it.

    My point was not that there may be effective ways that don’t rely on a weapon to prevent or survive a tiger attack. My point was that when we artificially limit our possible solutions due to biases, we often eliminate effective solutions. Then we can wind up with more expensive and less efficient solutions to problems. too often people involved in emerging technology are willing to “go along with” the hoplophobes among us and condemn weapons, or any technology related to weapons, as evil without any critical thinking on the subject.

    Hoplophobia: An irrational aversion to weapons, as opposed to justified apprehension about those who may wield them. Also referring to a mental aberration consisting of an unreasoning terror of gadgetry, specifically, weapons. Hoplophobia is not a true phobia, and it is not recognized as a mental disorder.

  • Hoplophobia? I never heard of that term, but I certainly agree with its definition. We end up looking at everything but the real culprit — bad people.