$100K For a Better 3D Printer!

The Foresight institute has announced their version of the X-Prize, the Kartik M. Gada Humanitarian Innovation Prize. The idea is to award a hardworking team who can develop a drastically improved RepRap 3D printer design. There will be an interim award of USD$20,000 on December 31st, 2012 and a grand prize of USD$80,000 on December 31st, 2015. The interim award requires teams to meet the following startling characteristics:

  • Print at least three different materials, including one that is usefully electrically conductive.
  • The ability to print electronic circuit boards.
  • Print beds must be of a material which may be reused with minimal refurbishment for at least 20 print cycles.
  • Maintain a total materials and parts cost under $200 and that 90% of the volume of the printer parts be printed.
  • Demonstrate a build volume of the printer above 300x300x100mm in order to insure that items daily utility can be printed.
  • The capacity to print a full set of parts for a complete replica of itself within 10 days unattended save for clearing no more than one printer head jam.
  • The ability to print autonomously without a PC attached.
  • Uses no more than 60 watts of electrical power.


If that weren't enough, the grand prize characteristics are even more amazing:

  • That the cost of the material used for printing does not exceed $4/kilogram.
  • The capacity to print a full set of parts for a complete replica of itself within 7 days, including the time for reloading, and clearing of printer head jams.
  • Maintain a total materials and parts cost under $200 and that 90% of the volume of the printer parts be printed.


If these lofty goals can be achieved, it will be a momentous change, as many commercial barriers will have been broken. They're clearly trying to drive the technology to a point where commercial ventures will strongly take hold. Thank you, Foresight Institute!

Good luck to all teams!

Via Foresight Institute and Make

General Fabb

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has been writing Fabbaloo posts since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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