Pitch your idea to I-Form

Entries are now closed

The finalists will be announced on 4th November, and voting will open during Science Week from 11th to 15th November.

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What is this?

What does sustainability mean to you? Efficiency? Recycling? A better way of living? One thing is clear: our planet needs bright ideas and new ways of thinking, consuming and living.

Pitch your idea and I-Form, the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Manufacturing, will turn the winning idea for sustainability into 3D printed reality.

We are inviting you to draw and describe your idea. The winning entry will be turned into a 3D design file by I-Form researchers and printed on I-Form’s cutting edge 3D printing systems.

The catch? It’s a tough judging panel: Irish school students and the public. Each shortlisted entrant will be teamed up with an I-Form researcher and their idea will be quizzed and voted on.

Who can enter?

This competition is open to both students and adults who are resident in the Republic of Ireland. Entries can be from individuals or teams. (However people working in or studying 3D printing full time are excluded from entering.)

We have five categories:

  1. Art – What expresses sustainability? What does a third dimension add? A sculpture, a piece of jewelry? How will 3D printing help you impart a message about sustainability or the environment?
  2. New Product – We’re looking to help entrepreneurs make their vision real. What’s your idea to help the environment? Let us create a prototype for you.
  3. Rebuild – Missing a part to an engine, vintage car or old piece of kit? 3D printing gives us a chance to avoid replacing broken machinery and appliances. Show how this can help the planet.
  4. Under-18s – Advanced manufacturing is changing the way we develop and build the products we buy and use. It’s going to affect young people more than anyone else. At least one final space is being held for someone under-18.
  5. Surprise us – We don’t know what ideas are out there so we have a wildcard category. Let your imagination run free!

What can be printed?

The final printed part will be:

  • No larger than 150 by 150 by 150 millimetres (15 cm x 15cm x 15cm)
  • Printed using a hard or rubbery polymer (plastic) material
  • The colour may be black, white or transparent

An I-Form researcher will do their best to turn your idea into a printable .STL file and to print the winning entry on one of our 3D printers. 3D printing involves a lot of trial and error, so the final print may differ slightly from the original drawing/idea.

What happens then?

Entries close Monday 14th October at 5pm. Our shortlisting panel will choose a finalist from each category based on technical criteria and print feasibility, as well as strength of connection to the sustainability theme.

Each finalist will be paired with a researcher from I-Form and together create an entry page on the judging website.

During Science Week in November (11–15th) the site will be open to the public and Irish schools will ask questions and book live chats to quiz the finalists and researchers about their idea and 3D printing. They will also vote for the entry they want to win.


The entry with the most votes will be designed and printed by a researcher from I-Form. A €500 cash prize will be awarded to help the winner promote their sustainability work.
I-Form Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. Launch of an I-Form SFI research centre in UCD. Iain White - Fennell Photography.

All intellectual property in the entries will be retained by the person entering the idea. All entrants must be sure that they are not infringing upon someone else’s intellectual property and grant permission for the competition organisers to promote their ideas. Every effort will be made to produce a print as similar to the submitted idea as possible; however, adjustments may need to be made to ensure print feasibility.


This competition is funded by Science Foundation Ireland, with support from I-Form. It is run by Gallomanor Communications Ltd, the team behind I’m a Scientist.

The competition is open to anyone resident in the Republic of Ireland who has an idea to help create a more sustainable future. Entries can be from individuals or teams. (Note: People working in or studying 3D printing full time are excluded from entering.)