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Filed under: Development 2.0 Guest posts Social innovation

3D printing technology has been around for a long time, but it is getting cheaper, more reliable, and easier to use than ever. Its uses are many and varied – from prototyping to addressing supply chains: Imagine if a design for a prosthetic limb created anywhere in the world could be printed out on the other side of the world with just a few pieces of core equipment.

Techfortrade is an NGO which helps support national and international market access for small producers in developing countries.

They are currently launching a global competition aimed at people who have ideas about how 3D printing can be used for social benefit in the developing world but who need extra funding and technical support to turn this idea into reality.

Techfortrade, along with Econolyst and Makerbot will provide $100,000 and technical support for the winner of the competition and various other benefits for runners up.

After the initial application period, shortlisted applicants will be given a research grant of $1,000 and mentorship to further develop their pitch, culminating in a final lab with some experts to help make their ideas a reality.

Right now, however, Techfortrade are hosting workshops around the world: in London, Nairobi, Johannesburg and New York, and Chennai, so that potential applicants can run through their ideas with relevant professionals. More information and an application form can be found on the main 3D4D Challenge page.

Anyone can enter – The 3D4D challenge is an ideas challenge, so use your imagination, read up on 3D printing, and enter to win.