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)
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.