May.10, 2013

Michigan Technological University is inviting anyone who thinks they might know the answer to enter the first 3D Printers for Peace Contest.

What is the Printers for Peace Contest?

"We are challenging the 3D printing community to design things that advance the cause of peace. This is an open-ended contest, but if you'd like some ideas, ask yourself what Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, or Ghandi would make if they'd had access to 3D printing."

  • 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)

"We want to encourage people to think about ways 3D printing can be used for the benefit of humanity," said the contest organizer, Associate Professor Joshua Pearce. "3D printers have been getting a lot of bad press because people are using them to make guns, which is unfortunate, because many designers are making wonderful things."

Joshua Pearce, organizer of the 3D Printers for Peace Contest, with one of the 3D printers used for research and teaching in his lab.

Michigan Tech has already saved tens of thousands of dollars using 3D printable scientific and engineering equipment. Plus, University researchers have developed 3D printable tools to test water quality and recycle waste plastic. Their studies have shown that 3-D printing consumer goods is better for the environment than shipping those items from China, said Pearce.

"Our aim is to raise awareness of the power of 3D printing to change the world for the better," he said.

The winner will receive a Series 1 3D printer donated by Type A Machines valued at $1,400. The runner up will receive a Michigan Tech version of the popular RepRap 3D printer kit.

Designs must be open-source, meaning that they be free and available to everyone. They should offer solutions to problems plaguing humanity that often result in conflict. For example, they might address scarcity of food and water in the developing world, enhance sustainable economic development or provide free, clean energy.

"We'd like people to think about what designs could help reduce military spending and conflict while making us all safer and more secure," Pearce said.

The designs must be manufactured on a RepRap-style printer using plastic filament. To enter, post a design on and tag it "Peace Contest."

The deadline for entering is Sept. 1, and the winners will be announced Sept. 4. For detailed contest guidelines, go to the 3D Printers for Peace website.



Posted in 3D Printing Events



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ragnarlothbrok wrote at 5/15/2013 12:57:45 PM:

I think you missed the point - they seem to be trying to encourage new ideas to counteract the need for governments to wage war.

angryman wrote at 5/10/2013 8:22:29 PM:

Hypocrytical nonsense! If they wanted 3d printed products for peace, they should showcase things like DefCad's Liberator. Government wages war, not individuals.

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