Materials Science

Share this article:

Materials Science

  • Join our comunity:

Win a Giant 3-D Printer for Making a Positive Social Impact

By: , Posted on: August 5, 2015


Win Big for Doing Good

Re:3D, the makers of the giant 3-D Printer called the Gigabot are honoring the amazing community that inspired the resources to make 3D printing accessible to everyone.  They are giving away a Gigabot to support a vision for improving the world, one print at a time.

There are many ways that 3-D printing can be used for positive social change – by printing for a purpose. For scientists perhaps one of the best ways is to accelerate research that benefits humanity. Many scientists do their research with custom single-built equipment fabricated in-house. In the past, custom-building equipment was both challenging and costly because fabrication requires the skills of machinists, glassblowers, technicians, or outside suppliers. However, the open-source paradigm is now enabling creation of open-source scientific hardware by combining 3-D printing with open-source electronics. In this way scientists can develop open-source labs of high-quality custom equipment at much lower costs than was ever possible before.

Double-pump syringe 3d

For example, 3-D printable open-source syringe pumps have been shown to to cost 5% or less than proprietary pumps. 1000’s of downloads later the pump designs have saved the scientific and medical community millions of dollars as shown through the downloaded substitutions valuation. This resulted in return on investments (ROI) for funders. The OS 3-D printable ROI for scientific equipment in this case ranges from 100s to 1,000s of percent after only a few months. There are now hundreds of such tools helping labs all over the world do high-quality scientific and medical research at lower costs, research that is helping people directly.

In the past such equipment has always been constrained by size. Not anymore. The Gigabot has a build volume of 60 x 60 x 60 cm. This opens up the possibilities of much larger equipment. What can you design for it?

Gigabot Giveaway:

To Enter:
Create a video explaining how you would use Gigabot for social good. Your idea should be original and support a local community or organization. Everyone is eligible to enter the contest by completing an entry form and uploading your video beginning August 1st at 06:00am CT. Only one entry per person. Submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. CST on August 15, 2015 to be eligible. Full information, go here.

Guidelines for submitting your video:
– Must demonstrate a well-developed plan or idea for using large format 3D printing for social impact
– Must answer the question, “How would you use Gigabot to make a difference?”
– Must explain why you’re passionate about your idea or plan
– Must be 2-3 minutes in length
– Should suitable for public viewing

Last year’s winner:


open-source lab– One Gigabot kit (retail value $5,950)
– $100 of print credit on 3D Hubs
– A dedicated team of Wevolver designers to help with creating project documentation and structure!
– The top three submissions will receive a copy of Open-Source Lab:How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs

Apply NOW for YOUR chance to win a #gigabot to #print4purpose!

About the Author

Joshua Pearce BiopicDr. Joshua M. Pearce is an Associate Professor cross-appointed in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering and the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the Michigan Technological University, where he runs the Open Sustainability Technology Research Group. He is an administrator on Appropedia, the largest online wiki dedicated to sustainability and poverty reduction.

Dr. Pearce’s research group has become well-known for cutting the costs of scientific research by designing open-source hardware using 3D printers and micro-controllers. He writes about this in his new book, Open-Source Lab: How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs, which was recently published by Elsevier. Use discount code “STC215” at checkout and save 30% on your very own copy!


Connect with us on social media and stay up to date on new articles

Materials Science

The highly interdisciplinary field of materials science examines elements of applied physics and chemistry, as well as chemical, mechanical, civil, and electrical engineering. Nanoscience and nanotechnology in particular have yielded major innovations in this area, such as graphene and carbon nanotubes. Elsevier’s authoritative content in this area ranges from undergraduate textbooks to multi-volume reference works investigating the relationships between the structure of materials and their properties. Our journals (including Materials Today), books, and eBooks help researchers stay abreast of developments in this swiftly advancing field, coving major sub-disciplines like energy and power; metals and alloys; ceramics; composite materials; polymer science and biomaterials; interdisciplinary materials science; and structural materials.