Meet the finalists

Over the summer, nearly 50 ideas were entered to the Shape the Future competition from people of all ages across Ireland, looking for new ways to use 3D printing to help create a sustainable future.

The judges were incredibly impressed with the standard, variety, and creativity of the ideas. In the end though, they had to select just five to go through to the public vote next week.


Let’s take a look at the final five:

Wearable biosphere

I have designed a piece of wearable art- a hollow 3d object to be printed in hard transparent plastic which would house a small terrarium or water biosphere – a tiny self sustaining system of plants, micro organisms, algae and bacteria.The print would be attached to a pin at the back allowing it to be worn as a brooch. The design is inspired by natural elements, rock and coral. It would be worn as a constant reminder of the delicate balance of our planet and the role of humans within the system of all living things. The dimensions are:Length 6cm, Width 6.5cm, Height 4.5 A scaled up version could be printed as a sculpture that could house larger plants and organisms.

Water filter

My idea is a water filter which will cost very little and will give people in poverty clean water to drink. Hopefully this will stop some of the diseases. My idea will incorporate multiple filters which should take most of the dirt and diseases out of it. I think this contraption could potentially save lives in poor countries. 3-D printing will help me reach finer detail with the holes in the filter and will help to get the bacteria out. Preferably the cup will have a straw to get the water at the bottom.

Personalised speakers

We are proposing to design and 3D print personalized speakers – not larger than 15 cm x 15cm x 15cm – where about 80% of the materials used would be either recycled materials or recyclable ones and only some of the electronics would need to be purchased. Using recycled or recyclable materials would help prevent the environment from further harm and depletion of natural resources. Giving electronics/batteries a second life would help reduce landfills and carbon footprint.

Guitar capo

I decided on my guitar capo, a spring loaded plastic clamp that is used to adjust the tuning of a guitar. It claps to the neck of the guitar and holds down all 6 strings. I plan to make it using the generative design function of Fusion 360. I have not designed the part or run the simulation yet so my drawing will be approximate to the final design. This will produce a capo using the minimum possible amount or material in the minimum possible amount of time using a 3D printer.

3D painting

Tons of feedstock material is wasted during 3D printing process every day. Currently, there is no compelling technology for optimum recycling of these leftover materials because many applications require to use fresh feedstock only. However, I believe that recycled materials (e.g. plastic or polymers) could be used to promote equality and happiness among the society.


During Science Week 2019 (11th–15th November), voting will open to school students across Ireland, as well as the general public. Finalists will answer questions and join live chats to champion their ideas and show why they deserve to win.

The winning idea will be turned into 3D printed reality by researchers at I-Form, with the winner receiving €500 to promote their sustainability work.

Teachers, take part with your students

Register below to take part with your students during Science Week 2019.

Teachers register to take part

Posted on November 6, 2019 by ModJosh in News. Leave a comment

Leave a Comment