Techfortrade is a U.K.-based charity and Non Governmental Organsation (NGO) ‘focused on bridging the divide between emerging technologies and international trade and economic development.’ It is known for being the initiative behind the 3D4D Challenge – a popular and publicised competition that focuses upon the actual and potential development opportunities presented by three-dimensional printing technologies. Techfortrade have now released a map to share all of the 3D-printing-for-development projects that they have heard about within their community.
The Techfortrade 3D4D Map includes some twenty innovative projects that are making a real difference to the development opportunities of the local and wider communities that they are part of. The projects vary quite significantly: from Field Ready 3D printing sorely needed supplies in post-disaster Haiti, to the custom-designed shoes that are being printed for Jigger fly disease suffers in Nairobi. A glimpse at the ever inceasing number of projects that are spreading around the developing world and beyond can be seen in the following video short from Techfortrade:
On the map, there are many recognisable names for 3D print news regulars that include: the Pearce Reasearch Group Michigan Tech’s Lab in Open Sustainability Research, The Plastic Bank, Robohand, and MyMiniFactory & Oxfam. The map very much encompasses the purpose that Techfortrade was established for, given their mission statement, that ‘despite rapid innovation and enormous strides in inclusive technologies, at least 80% of humanity still lives on less than $10 a day. We believe that entrepreneurs (within some of the world’s poorest communities), when leveraging emerging technology, will help find the answer to this global challenge of our time.’
The map is perfectly contextualised by a recent publication co-authored by William Hoyle, Chief Executive of Techfortrade: ‘3D Printing for Development in the Global South: The 3D4D Challenge,’ also by Thomas Birtchnell, available from Palgrave Macmillan for £45.