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Sustainable Technology Design Competition for Open Source 3-D Printers

You are invited to participate in a design competition for development of sustainable technologies and their components for printing on open source 3-D printers. There are two cash prizes available!

The goal of the contest is to facilitate an open exchange of 3-D sustainable technology designs that can be printed to meet various needs in the context of sustainable and self directed development. 3-D printers such as RepRap and open sourced innovation hold great promise for development of appropriate technologies to help millions of world’s poorest communities reach a better standard of living.

Designs will be judged on the technical printing viability, feasibility and functionality of the innovation, as well as sustainability from ecological, economic and social perspectives.

Submit 3-D designs of Sustainability Technologies that Can be Printed

The technological evolution of 3-D printers, widespread Internet access, and inexpensive computing has allowed a new means of open design capable of accelerating sustainable development. A new study has examined how open source 3-D printers, such as the RepRap (, enable the use of open digital designs to fabricate sustainability technology. These open source appropriate technologies or OSATs, are easily and economically made from readily available resources by local communities to meet their sustainable developmental needs. Examples of OSATs include water pumps, solar powered lighting, and grain mills.

For this contest, you’re invited to design sustainable technologies and their components for printing on open source 3-D printers.

It is very important to consider that your designs need to be printable on RepRap, the first low-cost 3D printer. The design must not only be visually appealing but be purposeful in its form factor and highly usable by the intended users.

So, how innovative is your solution from a OSAT design perspective? How realistic is it? Can it be manufactured in the field in the near-term with a solar powered RepRap?

The contest is funded by the Queen’s Applied Sustainability Group and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

The goal of this competition 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 Best Designs will be Awarded with Cash

There will be two monetary prizes and three runner ups, as follows:

  • 1st place: $1000 cash
  • 2nd place: $250 cash
  • 3 Runners Up

All prize winning teams will receive a copy of the book “Makers” by Cory Doctorow.

Only Designs Licensed with Creative Commons are Eligible!

  • Anyone can enter the competition but the contestants must post their digital designs on Thingiverse under an open license (e.g. CC-BY-SA).
  • It is your sole responsibility to secure any intellectual property rights which may exist in your entry.

Submit Your Designs Online via Thingiverse

To enter this competition, you first need to create a free account on Thingiverse, a place to share digital designs that can be made into real, physical objects. Once registered you can submit your designs and tag them appropriately.

Further guidelines can be found in the Complete Official Rules, linked below.