A Sustainable Technology Design Competition for Open Source 3-D Printers is now open to everyone. It is sponsored by QAS(Queen’s Applied Sustainability group) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, aiming to show the potential of open source 3D printers for sustainable development.

Nowadays, people have more access to the technology, and the prices of 3D printers has also dropped down. BotMill's new Fully Assembled Glider 3D Printer with 1.75 filament, 0.35 nozzle and Heated Bed costs only $1395. 

“People will be able to ‘print themselves out of poverty’ as the technology continually evolves, cheaper and more accessible 3-D printer ink develops, and a bank of open source designs grows,” says Dr. Pearce. Dr. Pearce and his research group is runing the contest.

Dr. Pearce has developed the Recyclebot, RecycleBot is can take household waste and turn it into feedstock for 3D printer. 

(Credit: jpearce)


Our goal is to have a fully automated system running off of an Ardruino. Imagine pressing a button for recyclable plastic 1-7, shredding your given plastic waste container in a office shredder, having the Recyclebot automatically shift its setting and output commercial grade 3-D printer filament while you go for lunch. 

To read the instruction how it works click the link here. 

In the Journal of Sustainable Development in 2010, Pearce notes that 3D printers "enable the use of designs in the public domain to fabricate open source appropriate technology (OSAT), which are easily and economically made from readily available resources by local communities to meet their needs." "Given appropriate resources, there is clearly enormous potential for open source 3-D printers to assist in driving sustainable development for all of the world's people." 

This is probably the reason that QAS expanded the competition this year from only students to everyone. "Our goal is to facilitate an open exchange of 3-D designs of sustainability technologies that can be printed on a RepRap to meet human developmental needs." 

The winner of the contest will win $1,000 cash, and the second-place will get $250 Cash. All prize winning teams will get a copy of Makers by Cory Doctorow. 

 The deadline for submitting your design is February 1, 2012, and on Feb.15, 2012 the winner will be announced. For more details please download the  PDF file for the contest. 


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