24 Jun 2019

Shape the Future – 3D Printing a Sustainable World

Work with 3D printing researchers to produce your idea for a sustainable future

What does sustainability mean to you? Efficiency? Recycling? A better way of living? One thing is clear: our planet needs bright ideas and new ways of thinking, consuming and living.

We’re looking for makers to show us how 3D printing can help the planet. Whether it’s an idea for a new product, a new use for old product, or simply replacing a missing a part to an engine, vintage car or old piece of kit. How can 3D printing help us reduce waste, and find new uses for old materials?

We are inviting you to draw and describe your idea and the winning entry will be designed by I-Form researchers and printed on cutting edge 3D printing systems. The winner will also receive €500 to spend on promoting their sustainability work.

The catch? It’s a tough judging panel: Irish school students and the public. Each shortlisted entry will be teamed with an I-Form researcher and school students and the public will be able to ask questions and quiz the contestants before voting to decide the winner.

More information and submit your idea:


Who can enter?

The competition is open to anyone resident in the Republic of Ireland who has an idea to help create a more sustainable future. Entries can be from individuals or teams. (However people working in or studying 3D printing full time are excluded from entering.)

Each shortlisted entrant will be teamed up with an I-Form researcher and their idea will be quizzed and voted on by Irish school students and the public. Then I-Form, the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Manufacturing, will turn the winning idea for sustainability into 3D printed reality.

Entries close Monday 30th September at 5pm.

What happens then?

  • Shortlisting: Our shortlisting panel will choose a finalist from each category based on technical criteria and print feasibility, as well as strength of connection to the sustainability theme.
  • Pairing with I-Form researcher: Each finalist will be paired with a researcher from I-Form and together create an entry page on the judging website.
  • Public vote: In November the site will be open to the public and Irish schools will ask questions and book live chats to quiz the finalists and researchers about their idea and 3D printing. They will also vote for the entry they want to win.


The entry with the most votes will be designed and printed by a researcher from I-Form. A €500 cash prize will be awarded to help the winner promote their sustainability work.

All intellectual property in the entries will be retained by the person entering the idea. All entrants must be sure that they are not infringing upon someone else’s intellectual property and grant permission for the competition organisers to promote their ideas. Every effort will be made to produce a print as similar to the submitted idea as possible; however, adjustments may need to be made to ensure print feasibility.

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