Washington Open Object Fabricators (WOOF) Wins The 3D4D Challenge

London-based technology charity, techfortrade, is delighted to announce that Washington Open Object Fabricators (WOOF) has won The 3D4D Challenge. The winner was revealed last night during the VIP event at the 3D Printshow in London and awarded a prize of $100,000 to help towards implementing the project.

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.

“We are delighted to have won the 3D4D Challenge,” said Bethany Weeks, from WOOF. “Our idea is about improving the lives of people in developing nations for the long term, by providing access to vital facilities that others may take for granted, using sustainable processes. The money that we’ve received will help make this dream a reality.”

A panel of judges chose the winner after watching each of seven finalists pitch their ideas in front of a live audience during the final event held at the show. The decision was based on the level of innovation demonstrated by each project and the proposed use of 3D printing technology to improve the incomes and livelihoods of people in developing countries.

Fripp Design and Research’s 3D printed soft tissue prostheses project received the award for second place and JF Brandon’s EN3D solar tracker device came in third.

The judges included Rupert Goodwins, editor of ZDNet; technology entrepreneur, journalist and African campaigner, Marieme Jamme; Jukka-Pekka Kekkonen, application engineer at Tinkercad; Steve Haines, mobilisation director for global campaigns at Save the Children International and Simon Trace, chief executive of technology charity, Practical Action.

The international competition attracted a diverse range of entries from around the world – including those from North and South America, Europe, Asia, and East and West Africa.

“I am delighted that WOOF has won the competition,” said William Hoyle, CEO of techfortrade. “3D printing holds such great potential for improving the lives of those in developing nations as demonstrated by all of the fantastic ideas put forward by the seven finalists. I hope that the competition will help to inspire others to find ways of using this incredible technology for good.”

The winner and each of the two runners up also received a 3D printed trophy, designed and produced by Challenge sponsor, Econolyst. The winner was also presented with a 3D printing machine from MakerBot, which also sponsored the competition.

A shortlist of finalists was selected from initial entries at the beginning of August. Shortlisted finalists were each provided with feedback on their initial applications and each received a $1,000 research budget and access to a network of mentors, in order to further develop the concept in advance of the final selection event.

The final was held at a high profile event hosted by techfortrade at the 3D Printshow on the 19th October 2012. The winning project was selected at the event and the winner received a prize of $100,000 as a contribution to taking the winning concept to implementation.

For more information, visit: www.3d4dchallenge.org

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