We are firmly convinced that 3D printing is the strongest driving force of the Third Industrial Revolution. Our friends of Thingarage - a web portal for digital design and on demand fabrication - have the same vision and that's why we together created 3DPRINTforAID, a contest to select 3D printed socially useful products. We talked about the contest with Antonello Balestrieri, Thingarage CEO and member of the jury.


Creativity and crowdsourcing: how are they part of Thingarage project?

Thingarage is a web portal for digital design and on demand fabrication: we offer customized design solutions for companies, through crowdsourcing, and prototyping and manufacturing solutions thanks to 3D printing. Thingarage is in some way a distributed laboratory, a community where designers from all over the world not only compete but also share techniques and advice, to improve. In other words: to grow professionally and at the same time to make their creations better.

Why a designer should compete in 3DPRINTforAID? 

I'd rather ask why should he/she not compete. 3DPRINTforAID contest is ideal for a Maker: the brief is open, it has almost no restrictions, it gives an enormous space for creativity and inspiration. And most of all it's for a good cause: improving life quality for those less fortunate and giving a concrete help to the world.


Which key elements should the competing projects show?

They should focus on essential, basic products that need almost no maintenance and can be used and stored also in difficult conditions. Practical and intuitive products using a minimal amount of space, with a low cost and easily reproducible. I know that it's not easy to design something with all these features. That's why, as I already said many times, 3DPRINTforAID is the most ambitious contest Thingarage hosted on its platform since the very beginning.

From Thingarage's point of view, the future of 3D printing will be characterized by...?

By competition, both in production and creativity. We'll have more and more powerful printers, more and more innovative materials, less and less costs. Additive manufacturing will minimize waste and optimize output for those materials we today use indiscriminately, like plastic and other petroleum derivatives. Digital fabrication will be the norm, not the exception anymore; it will involve not only factories and other manufacturing sectors but it will also enter our homes becoming a part of our daily life.




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