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3D Printers For Peace Contest 273

Posted by samzenpus
from the peace-love-and-toner dept.
First time accepted submitter Bas_Wijnen writes "3D printing is being condemned in the media because of the potential for printing guns. Engineers at Michigan Tech believe there is far more potential for 3D printers to make our lives better rather than killing one another. To encourage thinking about constructive uses of 3D printing technology Michigan Tech Open Sustainability Technology (MOST) Lab and Type A Machines sponsor the first 3-D Printers for Peace Contest. Designers are encouraged to consider: If Mother Theresa of Ghandi had access to 3D printing what would they print? What kind of designs could help reduce military spending and conflict while making us all safer and more secure? Anyone in the United States may enter and there is no cost."
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3D Printers For Peace Contest

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  • Armor? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nidi62 (1525137) on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @07:09PM (#43798935)
    3D print kevlar body armor, or maybe a ceramic ballistic plate?
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      I think I'll pass on the plastic armour.

  • Easy answer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @07:12PM (#43798951)

    Designers are encouraged to consider: If Mother Theresa of Ghandi had access to 3D printing what would they print?

    Bread.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Salt

    • Mother Theresa would no doubt have printed a medical tool for removing IUDs.

      • by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @09:22PM (#43799743)

        Mother Theresa would no doubt have printed a medical tool for removing IUDs.

        Which would have been totally useless since most of the countries and places she setup shop didn't have access to birth control to begin with. It'd be like me building a car in the middle of a desert. Okay, now I have a car. Cool. Now, what about the roads? Or fuel? Bread, on the other hand, is universal: No matter what your situation, bread is useful. Bread is life. Especially in places where she worked... nevermind the religious connotations of giving bread to the poor.

    • An AC replying to the parent nailed it - Gandhi would have made salt.

      Not really, of course, but the point is that Gandhi led the Salt Satyagraha [wikipedia.org], a major civil disobedience movement protesting the British colonial salt taxes, which made it illegal for individuals to produce and sell their own salt.

      I'll leave the analogies to others...

    • by sgt scrub (869860) <saintium@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @07:57PM (#43799259)

      I was thinking brains. They are dead and would have to be brought back as zombies so it is just logical.

    • by turp182 (1020263)

      Maybe yeast culturing systems? Or a better, sealed bread box that supports humidity controls (desiccants)?

      We can't print food (well, maybe meat, but it's not affordable at this point), but we could print things that help people better store and preserve food.

      Of course we can't print salt either, the most historically used food preservative...

    • by countach (534280)

      Nah, she'd print statues of the Virgin.

    • Or possibly sandals...
  • print oil or other kinds of fuel?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      print oil or other kinds of fuel?

      Cut down on the Star Trek, dork, and learn some real science. Even if rearranging atoms were possible, conservation of mass/energy means you have to also feed in the energy difference between the energy you get from the fuel that comes out and the energy available from whatever you put into the machine. That's the bare minimum; it's more because of process losses.

      In other words, there's no free lunch (or oil).

      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        I knew a guy in grad school who made oil by putting animal crap in the microwave. I guess you could call the microwave an "oil printer" if you wanted to be colourful. You also didn't want to warm up your lunch in his lab.

    • by mark_reh (2015546)

      Ghee?

  • Nobody gets hurt, everybody stays safe
    • Teddy Bears (Score:5, Funny)

      by rwa2 (4391) * on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @08:44PM (#43799533) Homepage Journal

      Guns are tools of the weak and afraid. They clutch them close to their chests to make them feel like they have some power in this crazy, cruel world.

      But all we really want is love, approval, and security. Hence, teddy bears.

      At least it's better than my first impulse to print a vagina.

  • Despite all that talk and hype, despite guns being printed by 3D printers, it is not what the poorer nations need. Simple technology well designed cheap to make and maintain. That is what they need. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_open-source_hardware_projects [wikipedia.org]
    • by ShanghaiBill (739463) * on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @08:01PM (#43799303)

      3D printers, it is not what the poorer nations need.

      Poor countries often have problems getting spare parts. They tend to have old no-longer-supported gear, such as tractors or irrigation pumps. Even when the parts are available they are too expensive to ship, or are pilfered by the postal workers. If a part for your pump or manure spreader arrives two months late, you have already missed the planting season. A printer that can make a part from a spec downloaded over a cellular network would come in very useful. You don't need one on every farm or in every shop, just within a day's walk.

      • by Immerman (2627577)

        An even better solution? Stop buying fragile first-world machines that are designed with the assumption that first-world infrastructure is available. Something like the Global Village Construction Set makes *far* more sense in a developing nation. Sure, you pay as much for your butt-ugly DIY tractor as you would for a second-hand mass-produced model that's probably a bit superior when operating well. But your DIY mostrosity is damn near indestructible, easy to fix if you do break something, and the few

  • by Richard_J_N (631241) on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @07:27PM (#43799033)

    I think Mother Theresa would choose not to print anything.
    She was a friend of poverty, not of the poor, and considered suffering to be a state of grace.
    She was a rather nasty piece of work, who kept the poor in poverty, and prevented many dying people from getting access to medicine.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WQ0i3nCx60 [youtube.com]

    • by glitch0 (859137)
      Wish I has modpoints today, you're absolutely correct.
      • by EETech1 (1179269)

        You can has some of my cheezburger since I blew all 15 of mine already...

        Tomorrows another day...

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      She was a friend of poverty, not of the poor, and considered suffering to be a state of grace.
      She was a rather nasty piece of work, who kept the poor in poverty, and prevented many dying people from getting access to medicine.

      Yeah, that sounds like a good description of someone who won the Padma Shri, Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, Bharat Ratna, Ramon Magsaysay Award, the first Pope John XXIII Peace Prize, Pacem in Terris Award, Honorary Companion of the Order of Australia, Order of Merit, Honorary US citizenship, Albanian Golden Honour of the Nation, Balzan Prize, Albert Schweitzer International Prize, Nobel Peace Prize...

      A real nasty piece of work she is, yup. It's amazing it's gone on for so long

      • Hmm... it's not the relations with dictators that I find so repulsive, nor even her absolute opposition to abortion. Those might be what you call "slip-ups".
        But she did, in fact, preside over awful standards of care, people were denied access to medical treatment, and suffering was not alleviated, because it was considered "spiritually noble". MT also campaigned agains family planning and contraception. So while, by religious lights, she might have been "moral", the effect was deeply cruel and wicked, keep

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          But she did, in fact, preside over awful standards of care, people were denied access to medical treatment, and suffering was not alleviated, because it was considered "spiritually noble".

          I have previously looked into those allegations. While she may have believed "suffering is good for the soul," it wasn't so much a denial of pain medication as a lack of access to them. Many of these clinics that were setup were in places where access to any medical care was absent.

          MT also campaigned agains family planning and contraception.

          Which, as someone who isn't a medical professional, I have no special problem with. I disagree with it philosophically, but I defend her right to say it.

          ...keeping people in poverty and away from real medical care.

          You should point the finger at the governments that turned a blind eye to t

          • There seem to be quite a lot of references, usually well researched and with eyewitness testimony about poor care. Cases where her victims suffered and died because they went to her care centers, rather than to the existing hospitals. Not to mention the awful waste of giving money to support missionaries rather than medical care. Another example: http://futiledemocracy.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/the-curse-of-mother-theresa/ [wordpress.com]

            As for defending the right to oppose contraception... yes, I agree with you in a Weste

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              Of all the things you say you can cite about this, you choose something with the words "futile democracy" and "the curse" in it? Do I even need to look at it to know it's biased?

              But in many less secular societies,

              Where, exactly, are you going with this? So what if some people think that; It doesn't make it right. You even say so. So at best this is a populist argument.

              Also, we do actually need the occasional contrarian. Our democracy is weak enough without further deference to the strong, wealthy and powerful! Also, to be a "troll", it's usually implicit that the argument itself is weak. I've not yet seen Hitchens lose a debate.

              He lost to Death. I have yet to see anyone win that argument. And I get that you're some kind of Hitchens fan, but maybe he won every last debate he had... but he lost in the c

          • by brit74 (831798)

            MT also campaigned agains family planning and contraception.

            Which, as someone who isn't a medical professional, I have no special problem with. I disagree with it philosophically, but I defend her right to say it.

            There's a difference between "defending someone's right to say something" and arguing that they are a model human being. I'm sure you can think of a few examples of nasty things that people have said in the past (e.g. Fred Phelps or the KKK) where you might say "they have a right to say it" bu

            • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

              There's a difference between "defending someone's right to say something" and arguing that they are a model human being.

              Hey, I'm glad you figured that out man. But I'm not arguing she's a model human being... Those twenty-odd rewards, public opinion polls, and numerous committees and governments are arguing she's a model human being are.

              Pointing out that some governments acted worse than Mother Teresa doesn't elevate Mother Teresa into a model human being. That's a cheap tactic, actually.

              See, I'm a [wo]man of simple tastes. I like dynamite and gunpowder and gasoline. Do you know what all these things have in common? They're cheap. ... And effective.

              If I went and robbed my neighbor and people blamed me for doing it, it would be a poor arguing tactic to start pointing out other people (serial murderers, etc) who are worse than me that "everybody should be pointing the finger at".

              Oh look, a strawman. Okay, let me point out the epic fail of you here:

              Scenario A: A government neglects its citizens medical care

              • "But I'm not arguing she's a model human being... Those twenty-odd rewards, public opinion polls, and numerous committees and governments are arguing she's a model human being are."

                Those are not 'arguments'. Those are statements, and the apparent unanimity you highlight emphasizes just how much they are NOT arguments at all, but blind, popular adoration on par with Bieber fever.

                If you wish I could drag out a very long laundry list of once-popular things (people, social customs, 'scientific' ideas, wha
                • Those are not 'arguments'. Those are statements, and the apparent unanimity you highlight emphasizes just how much they are NOT arguments at all, but blind, popular adoration on par with Bieber fever.

                  If all those awards were granted based on popularity, you might have a point. But these aren't just committees of private people, but governments offering things like honorary citizenship and awards that are only rarely handed out, and the people handing them out vet it carefully.

                  You're saying that entire branches of major world governments have "bieber fever". I'm sorry, but that's an incredibly stupid thing to say. I'm not even going to dignify the rest of your post with further commentary -- it's suffici

      • by foreverdisillusioned (763799) on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @10:22PM (#43800001) Journal
        Hitchens was not the only one. I've seen interviews with people who worked at her hospice were shocked at the degrading, restrictive, at times deadly treatment of people who weren't always terminally ill. Her and her church's despicable decision not to return stolen money (they probably could and would have been criminally charged if they weren't the Catholic Church) is a matter of public record, not anyone's opinion. Her decision to not spent the donations she received on improving her original hospice's conditions, but instead on a religious-geared order modestly bearing her name, is also public record.

        The fact that there was virtually no controversy over these events is not evidence that they didn't happen. It is evidence that the public at large didn't care because once she reached a certain level of fame she was far more useful as a figurehead for anyone to bother looking at what she'd actually done.
        • I forgot to mention, not only did she not return stolen money but she wrote a letter to the judge asking him to be lenient on the thief who took it. I can't think of a more vile way to handle such a situation, especially when you are a promenent member of such a fabulously wealthy institution.

          And was any of that money spent on painkillers for the people dying in agony (apparently not all of whom came in with fatal injuries) in her hospice? No. Didn't you know that suffering brings you closer to Jesus? He
        • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @12:38AM (#43800491)

          The fact that there was virtually no controversy over these events is not evidence that they didn't happen.

          Everyone moderating me down on these later replies, because if there's one thing us Americans love more than sex, it's watching famous people get cut to pieces. But for your statements to be true, thousands of people who's credibility is at stake if they get it wrong vetted this person and found no problems. She didn't get a Nobel Peace Prize for eating babies and screaming "SATAN!" ... she got it for improving the lives of millions.

          Now you can pitch your conspiracy theory like everyone else here, and collect mod points from the "We Love Watching Bigger People Than Us Fall" crowd, or you can look at this objectively: There's no way so many people could look at her life and so few find a problem.

          We laugh when people deny climate change here and call them retarded, but the moment someone says someone who was fiercely religious has done real and considerable good, it's grab the pitch forks and haraaaaaah...

          Who's wearing the tinfoil hats now, mmm?

    • I suspect she would choose to print statues of Mary.

    • by sed quid in infernos (1167989) on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @10:25PM (#43800009)
      The contrary view to the attacks of Hitchens and others of Mother Teresa deserves ahearing [firstthings.com], too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @07:27PM (#43799039)

    2,000 years of history says they have the wrong idea.

  • How about we put down the guns and 3D print a Peace Pipe [vice.com].
  • If Mother Theresa or[sic] Ghandi had access to 3D printing what would they print?

    That's easy!

    Mother Theresa would 3D print destitite people suffering from horrible diseases, so that she could lock them away in 'hospice' where they will be denied medical care, pain management, and be denied visitors -- even their 3D printed family.

    Ghandi would print naked, pre-pubescent girls to sleep with, so that he can 'prove his piety'.

    Come on Slashdot, what's with the softball questions?
  • just google '3d printed hand boy' and bring the tissues

  • The NRA told me so. The more guns we have the safer we will be.

    Oh, and chocolate rations are being increased again.

  • The two causes are not mutually exclusive, and I say this as a gun enthusiast who would not fire a 3D-printed gun with his own 2 hands.
    • by ravyne (858869)
      You'll get my 3D printed gun when you pry it's sprinters from my cold, bloody stumps!
    • The two causes are not mutually exclusive, and I say this as a gun enthusiast who would not fire a 3D-printed gun with his own 2 hands.

      I shoot with my 3D printed hand. You should see the looks on peoples' faces when I have my hands in the air, and suddenly the 3D printed hand whips out a 3D printed gun and shoots them right between the eyes.

  • Because the media and all their "analyst" guests are ignorant, myopic, ratings-chasing, fear-mongering drama queens. Their reaction to "the potential for 3d-printed guns" is just one more manifestation of this. The Liberator may have been downloaded 100k times, but I bet at least 80% of those people don't even have a 3d printer (and never will), and less than a dozen of them will actually get printed.

    • by Migraineman (632203) on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @08:39PM (#43799505)
      The tag line "The potential for guns made from commodity parts found at the local hardware store" just isn't sensational enough to move copy. Folks have been hand-crafting zip guns for the better part of a century now, if not longer. Hell, half a century ago you could order a firearm (long or short) through the Sears catalog and have it delivered to your doorstep via the Postal Service. No oversight. No license. No FFL. Wasn't the end of the world until the ignorant, myopic, ratings-chasing, fear-mongering drama queens made it so.
  • Teeth. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @07:44PM (#43799179) Journal

    Sintered ceramic teeth -- dentures and bridges, faster and more accessible dentistry.

  • Gandhi would have printed salt. Of course the machine would have required salt as an input, so he would have just taken the salt.
  • Peaceful Printers (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kwiqsilver (585008)

    If Ghandi had been able to print guns, maybe the Indians would have been able to eject the British sooner, and with fewer innocent Indian deaths.

    Mother Teresa would not have printed anything to help people. She spent most of the money she raised on building convents, not on the poor. Mother Teresa wanted the poor to suffer, because she thought it made her closer to Jesus. [slate.com]

    I have a great suggestion for using 3D printers to promote peace: build guns, since the worst violence of the 20th century was from auth

  • "Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest."

            - Mohandas Gandhi, an Autobiography, page 446.

  • Humans are pretty much obsessed with 2 things, well, actually, all lifeforms are: Killing and Sex.

    Things eat other things to live, even trees try to poison the ground or overshadow undergrowth to kill the other plants so that they may survive... So, if we can't do the violence thing, then it's the other one.

    DILDOS FOR ALL!

  • by SternisheFan (2529412) on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @08:06PM (#43799345)
    instead of printing weapons to hurt and kill each other, how about using this tech for good-ness, and not 'bad-ness? (just a crazy thought) Like, oh I don't know..., this:

    USAToday, May 22, 2013 - Researchers at the University of Michigan have used a 3-D printer to create a custom-made, life-saving implant for baby boy, they report in a letter in 'The New England Journal of Medicine.'

    Researchers at the University of Michigan have used a 3-D printer to create a custom-made, life-saving implant for a baby boy, they report today in a letter in The New England Journal of Medicine.

    The baby, Kaiba Gionfriddo, suffered from a rare disorder in which one of the airways in his lungs collapsed when he exhaled. The problem caused him to stop breathing and turn blue when he was only 6 weeks old. Even with a mechanical ventilator, Kaiba stopped breathing virtually every day, requiring doctors to perform emergency resuscitations.

    "We'd recently had a child in the hospital who died of this, and I said, 'there has got to be a solution that we can find for these kids,' " says co-author Glenn Green, Kaiba's doctor and an associate professor of otolaryngology.

    So Green and his Michigan colleagues tried something new.

    Using a 3-D printer, they custom-built a tiny, flexible splint that will grow with Kaiba. Researchers used a special material designed to be absorbed by Kaiba's body in about three years, says co-author Scott Hollister, a professor of biomedical and mechanical engineering.

    Instead of making a cast of Kaiba's airway with plaster, they used a CT scanner, which gave them a 3-D blueprint.

    Like a vacuum-cleaner hose, the C-shaped splint is flexible enough to move when Kaiba breathes. But it's also firm enough to prevent his air tube from flopping shut, says Green.

    Kaiba was able to come off the ventilator three weeks after his surgery in February 2012. "Our prediction is that this will be a cure for him," Green says. "The splint will go away and the process will be done."

    The porous splint is made from the same material as dissolvable stitches, Green says. Just as a wisteria vine grows through a trellis, Kaiba's body will create new cells to permeate the scaffold. By the time the splint is completely absorbed, doctors hope that Kaiba's own tissue will be sturdy enough to keep his airway open.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/22/3d-printer-implant-baby/2348091/ [usatoday.com]

  • by dbIII (701233) on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @08:29PM (#43799461)
    There's been a lot of progress with organic materials and it's almost at the point of printing organs. Livers are at the top of the list.
  • That's a typo (well, 2), but it is interesting that they picked these two, which shows that they understand basically nothing about the philosophy and work of either figure.

    Here is a hint - Mother Theresa did not treat the dying, only comforted them, and Gandhi believed in rejecting technology and returning to a simpler era. So, the simplest answer for both is, nothing.

  • Another 3d printer. Everybody knows that capitalism is peace. This way, the 3d printer is just another form of money that creates its own interest. Eventually we'll be up to our necks in printers. We'll be so rich and it'll spawn fabulous new businesses like 3d-printer landfill operations, 3d-printer recylcing, and 3d-printer central banks to slow or speed up the production of 3d-printers.

  • by wvmarle (1070040) on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @08:45PM (#43799537)

    Why would they limit this to the US? That's only a small portion of the world's population. And not the most peaceful country in my mind, too, with all those guns around and wars they started and so.

    And on top of that, both Mother Teresa and Mahatma Ghandi are not Americans either.

  • by Dave Emami (237460) on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @08:49PM (#43799557) Homepage

    I really, really want to be for this. Not because I have anything against 3D-printed guns, I'm all for those, but because some of the things on their list are good ideas and make sense. Some of the other stuff is pure nonsense, however.

    "Low-cost medical devices." Excellent idea. "Tools to help people out of poverty." Also excellent. Lots of potential in both of these to improve, and in many cases save, people's lives.

    But then we get to "Designs that can reduce racial conflict." Err, what? Someone is waaay overestimating how effective their "Coexist" bumper sticker is. It would be nice if 3D printers could produce some sort of object for people to brandish at racists like crucifixes at vampires, but it's not going to happen. "Tools that would reduce military conflict and spending while making us all safer and more secure." Look, I'm for reducing conflict and increasing safety and security, too, but if an object to do that hasn't been created using more-mundane fabrication methods, a 3D printer won't be able to make it, either -- and there aren't any such objects, unless (like me and apparently unlike the folks sponsoring this) you think that being armed makes you more secure.

    This is being run by Michigan Tech's Department of of Material Science and Engineering, but it looks like someone from one of the squishy majors snuck in and added items to the list. I hope there are a lot medical and tool ideas submitted (pity they don't have a way to donate money to increase the prize), but I really wish they hadn't included the silly, groan-inducing stuff.

  • Engineers at Michigan Tech believe there is far more potential for 3D printers to make our lives better rather than killing one another.

    Guns aren't for killing one another.

    They are either for sport, or for keeping people from killing/harming you.

    Guns have historically protected groups that might otherwise just have been removed altogether. Travel back in time, ask Martin Luther King and his followers how "bad" guns are.

    It's nice that 3D printers can make our lives better in other ways too, but we should n

  • by Dunbal (464142) *
    Well, reading through all of these responses I see that we have managed to prove that 3D printers are basically useless toys.
  • In a bit of convenient timing, found this news story [cnn.com] via Instapundit a few minutes ago, about medical use of a 3-D printer saving a baby suffering from a rare lung ailment.

    With hopes dimming that Kaiba would survive, doctors tried the medical equivalent of a “Hail Mary” pass. Using an experimental technique never before tried on a human, they created a splint made out of biological material that effectively carved a path through Kaiba’s blocked airway.

    What makes this a medical feat straight out of science fiction: The splint was created on a three-dimensional printer.

    Here's hoping that the competition helps stuff like this.

  • by Roblimo (357) on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @11:24PM (#43800249) Homepage Journal

    $20 or less at Home Depot will buy you everything you need to make a .410 or 12 ga. shotgun. No machining required, either.

  • by advocate_one (662832) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @04:04AM (#43801083)
    It's because the rich who own the means of production are absolutely terrified of teh disruptive power this tool gives the poor. They can see what's coming and they want it legislated such that the machines have to be registered because you know, people might print up a gun or knife... but they really want them tied up with loads of red tape to keep them out of the hands of the people.

"If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem." -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234

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