Back in May, I wrote about a contest to come up with peaceful applications for 3D printers from the Michigan Tech Open Sustainability Technology (MOST) Lab and Type A Machines. The contest asked for designs that "discourage conflict (e.g. designs for appropriate technology in the developing world to reduce scarcity or designs that improve economic development)."
Now the contest winners have been announced. First prize went to John Van Tuyl, for VaxBeads ("3-D printed immunization records…Each bead represents a different vaccine. The shape and colour of each bead is unique to a specific vaccine").
Second prize went to Matt Courchaine for a Solar Powered Water Purification Cone and third prize went to Aaron Meidinger for a Braille Tablet ("a braille platform and a scrabble set of letters, along with some of the punctuation and a nice pile of the blank tiles to use it to write any short message.")
1st Prize an open-source Series 1 3-D printer, provided by Type A Machines went to John Van Tuyl from Hamilton, On who designed VaxBeads, which are 3-D printed immunization records. VaxBeads offer the potential to ease the determination of what vaccines a child needs in the developing world. Each bead represents a different vaccine. The shape and colour of each bead is unique to a specific vaccine.
This innovative idea showcased the ability of 3-D printing as each bead is customized on the spot with the child's initials, date of birth, and an identifying number. It is the designer's hopes that the beads would have more intrinsic value to the patients than standard vaccination cards.
2nd prize (Michigan Tech's MOST version of the RepRap Prusa Mendel open-source 3D printer kit) went to Michigan Tech student, Matt Courchaine, for his Solar Powered Water Purification Cone. In disaster areas or among the millions of people that do not have improved water supplies clean water is a precious commodity. This printable design allows users to make clean water from contaminated supplies. The white, semi transparent plastic cover of the solar cone allows sunlight to pass through it and evaporate dirty water contained in the black base tray. Clean water then condenses on the cooler white plastic of the cone and drips into a holding reservoir, which is part of the cone for later drinking.
3rd prize, MatterHackers sampler pack of filament, was awarded to Aaron Meidinger for the design of a Braille Tablet, which is a tool for a sighted person to help a blind person to learn braille or just a quick way to leave a note for a friend. One prints out a braille platform and a scrabble set of letters, along with some of the punctuation and a nice pile of the blank tiles to use it to write any short message.