From helping to heal a dog to creating teaching aids for visually impaired students and making parts on-demand for a fire department, the Gigabot has been used by caring people to help others in numerous cases, but the re:3D team itself is also dedicated to using it to make the world a better place. The Gigabot has traveled all over the world to allow people in developing countries to secure employment and manufacture for themselves. Co-Founder Samantha Snabes has been working in Puerto Rico post-Hurricane Maria to 3D print coral reefs that will replace the natural ones destroyed by the hurricane. Even better, she’s using plastic water bottles as printing material, and that’s where re:3D’s next focus will be – developing a pellet extruder that will allow the Gigabot to print with recycled material. Right now they have a prototype, but the next step is to take it to a final product.
Luckily, re:3D now has $1 million to help it do so. While that top award had intiially been intended for one winner, re:3D was one of two $1 million winners, as the Creator Awards judges chose to award two inspiring endeavors. Also coming out on top was Global Vision 2020, a Maryland-based company that provides inexpensive prescription eyeglasses for people in impoverished locations. Snabes was so overwhelmed at winning the award that she actually fell to her knees on the stage.
re:3D created the first prototype of the pellet extruder after winning the Scale Award in the earlier rounds of the Creator Awards in the company’s hometown of Austin, Texas. With the prize money from the final competition, it should have more than enough to finish the final product and allow Gigabots everywhere to be used as recycling machines.
“My employees are now getting healthcare!” she exclaimed.
The other winners included:
“Winning the $1 million would provide us the financial resources to not only refine our pellet printer prototype to accept ground-up plastic water bottles, but also to allow us to engineer a grinder, dryer, and feeder system to allow people to truly manufacture from waste onsite,” said re:3D Creative Director Morgan Hamel in a blog post prior to the awards ceremony. “It’s been our mission from the start to create a standalone system that could serve as an on-site factory, allowing a user to 3D print directly from waste.”
- Andiamo – a startup that provides custom 3D printed orthotics, launching a little over three years ago with a crowdfunding campaign
- Cadus – an independent aid organization, currently providing humanitarian aid in Syria
- Eye Control – a provider of technology that allows “locked-in” individuals to communicate only with eye movements
- Byte Back – a company whose mission is to improve economic opportunity by providing computer training and career preparation to underserved residents of the Washington, D.C. area
- Bunker Labs – a nonprofit that provides military veterans with resources to start their own businesses
- Eat Offbeat – a company that delivers meals prepared by refugees living in New York
Microsoft Teamwork Award – $36,500
- WeThrive – a collective of undergraduates that mentors and teaches life skills through entrepreneurship to youth of under-resourced communities
The Community Giver Award went to Carolyn Jensen, Felipe Barreiros, Carla Cornejo and Wes Hamilton. Congratulations to all of the winners, and thank you for the work that you do.
Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.
You May Also Like
2020 Chevy Stingray Prototype is 75 Percent 3D Printed
Although introduced in the 80s, most famously by legendary Chuck Hull, 3D printing has been a well-kept secret by organizations like NASA and numerous automotive companies who have been enjoying...
German Manufacturers Heraeus AMLOY and TRUMPF Collaborate to 3D Print Industrial Amorphous Parts
Two German companies are collaborating to begin 3D printing industrial amorphous metals—also known as metallic glass and twice as strong as steel—offering greater elasticity and the potential to produce lightweight...
Porsche Creating Partially 3D Printed Seats that Offer Different Levels of Comfort
3D printing is used often in the automotive sector, and many recognizable names, from Volkswagen and BMW to Ford and Toyota, are adopting the technology. German automobile manufacturer Porsche, which...
Pratt & Whitney To 3D Print Aero-engine MRO Component With ST Engineering
The company Pratt & Whitney, which designs, manufactures, services aircraft engines and auxiliary power units, is teaming up with ST Engineering to develop a 3D printed aero-engine component into its...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.