University Of Washington Wins 3D4D Challenge
Kyle.Maxey posted on October 22, 2012 |

On Friday, the winner of the 3D4D Challenge 2012 was announced, and the UW WOOF (Washington Open Object Fabricators) team took home the top prize.

The 3D4D Challenge is a world-wide competition aimed at creating “3D printing technologies to deliver real social benefits in the developing world.” The three main standards for a winning idea were:

  • It clearly and measurably addresses a significant social need: e.g., improving the incomes of some of the world’s poorest people or improving access to clean water or energy.
  • It demonstrates real technical innovation. In other words, it brings together leading edge thinking across mobile, web, manufacturing and solar technologies.
  • It clearly demonstrates that there is a sustainable business model that underpins the idea; not simply a reliance on continual donor funding.

The 3D4D website had this to say about the winning entry, “WOOF’s winning project will enable waste plastic to be used as filament for 3D printing machines to create new products. The winning team, Bethany Weeks, Matthew Rogge and Brandon Bowman, plan to work with US based NGO, Water for Humans (WFH), to address local issues in water and sanitation in Oaxaca, Mexico.”

WOOF’s winning entry earned them the $100,000 first prize to help further implement their ideas. Good luck to the designers! Using 3D printing technology to deliver relief and social benefits to the 3rd World is an amazing way to leverage this technology.  It also underscores just how important and transformational this technology can be when it comes to aid, recycling, manufacturing and social mobility.

Read More about the Competition at 3D4D

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