Sidhant Pai

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Sidhant Pai

2014 Global Fellow
Founder of Protoprint

Sidhant Pai 2014 Global Fellow

Bold Idea 

Drive economic development across India by equipping waste pickers with low-cost technology to recycle plastic into price competitive, fair-trade, 3D printer filament.


Protoprint is a social enterprise based in India that empowers urban waste pickers with the technology to convert waste plastic into 3D printer filament. The organization markets the filament globally as a price competitive, fair trade alternative to virgin filament while simultaneously using it locally to provide affordable 3D printing services to students and professionals in India. Waste pickers sift through unsegregated garbage dumps, separating plastic from organic waste. Protoprint partners with waste picker co-operatives to convert the HDPE plastic they collect into 3D printer filament, enabling them to earn over fifteen times more for the same amount of plastic.


Born and raised in India, Sidhant is the CEO and founder of Protoprint, a social enterprise that empowers waste pickers in India and drives innovation using 3D printing technology. He is interested in low-cost technology solutions to large scale problems and, prior to his work on Protoprint, has worked on development projects in Nicaragua, Tanzania and India. He also founded the Indian non-profit, Social Seva, that works to provide broad access to educational instruction for underprivileged communities. Sidhant has a degree in environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (S.B. '14). His academic interests focus on air quality, atmospheric modelling and climate change. Sidhant is a 2014 MIT D-Lab Scale-Ups Fellow.

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