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What is the challenge?

We ask students to redesign an existing product to improve how a task is accomplished, design something entirely new that addresses an unmet need, or create a design that is a piece of art or jewelry. This is a quest to find the most creative, mechanically sound and realistically achievable design using 3D printing. This year’s Challenge winners are listed below. Visit GrabCAD to view all the innovative entries!

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Here are the 2018 Winners

Nail Shield

1st Place, Brenner Kar and Jake Klahorst

Engineering, Secondary Education

Grand Haven High School, MI

Engineering solutions for everyday life, that could possibly impact almost everyone isn't always what comes to mind when you think of Additive Manufacturing. But Brenner Kar and Jake Jake Klahorst are hoping to disrupt the 100 year old design of the nail clipper with their Extreme Redesign Challenge entry of the nail shield, in the Engineering Secondary Education category. A simple, frequent chore inspired Brenner and Jake to create the design as an assignment for an engineering class that later led to the entry. The nail shield is a circular add-on device designed to fit on almost any nail clipper, protecting the user from flying clippings and encasing them in a removable vessel that would allow for easy disposal of the clippings when finished. Brenner first came up with the idea after clipping his own nails and wondering why the irritations of the task had never been addressed. "I just realized that it was a pain, for the most part to clip your nails. You have to think about where you are aiming and be careful not to step on any nails that may have missed the trash can, because it can hurt."

Brenner and Jake had access to 3D Printers in their classrooms at Grand Haven High School in Grand Haven, Michigan, so they were able to print a prototype of their design. Their experience with FDM technology and ABS material greatly impacted their design considerations, and they were pleasantly surprised by the outcome of their first prototype print. After the first print Brenner stated that the final product was very similar to how he envisioned it during the design process, and it even worked when he tried it a set of nail clippers for the first time. Brenner and Jake's instructor, Mr. [CASE] said that he's not surprised by the positive outcome of the first print, as Jake and Brenner have both been in his engineering class before. He also said that the " Using modeling software is great, but having access to 3D printing and having a machine in the classroom helps the students from getting lost in the scale. Many times they will print something and say, 'Oh, that's way smaller than I thought it would be, or this is WAY too big to work. Access to 3D printing has opened up areas of opportunity in design thinking and collaboration processes that are beneficial to learning in many ways."

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The Circular-Centerpiece 3x3

2nd Place, Paul Sperling

Engineering, Secondary Education

Newberg Senior High School, OR

Paul Sperling is a sophomore at Newberg High School in Newberg, Oregon, and his entry, the Circular Centerpiece 3 x 3, in the Engineering: Secondary Education category of the Extreme Redesign Challenge. His entry is a testament to his commitment to speed cubing, a game that brings competitors together from all over the world. Paul's entry would benefit players in the 3x3 category, helping to eliminate a variety of what might be perceived as speed reducing factors.

"In a normal Rubik's cube there is this interface between a screw and a spring that has to spin, and every once in a while the spring will get caught on the screw and move, and ping back, making a distracting sound when you are solving." Paul explained. This design features a circular-centerpiece that solves this problem simply by disconnecting the centerpiece from the face. The centerpiece is just a rotated profile, which allows the face to turn around it. The core has some prongs on it to make sure the centerpiece and the core don't rotate relative to each other, while still letting the center slide out a little. Additionally, using Polyjet to print the redesigned cube would enable another seemingly minor irritation to be eliminated. "There are these sticker-less cubes on and they are nicer to use. You never catch a fingernail on a sticker in competition. Since the cube design is a little complicated, it'd be hard to print without soluble support material, and Polyjet is the only solution to that." No matter what technology platform the final design is printed with Paul's vision will bring the competitive advantage the speed cube market fans will embrace.

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Adjustable Ratchet Wrench

1st Place, Thomas Salverson

Engineering - Post-Secondary Education

University of Alabama in Huntsville, AL

To those around him, Thomas Salverson may seem ambitious, after all, he could technically be referred to as a college junior after finishing his fourth semester at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. He's also been a finalist in the GrabCAD Extreme Redesign Challenge before. This year, Thomas was an entrant in the Engineering: Post-Secondary Education category, and is a finalist with his adjustable ratchet wrench design. Thomas hopes to take his ambitions and education in additive manufacturing into a career in the aerospace industry, his true passion, and he said he's particularly interested in what's currently happening with 3D printed Metals and propulsion components of rockets.

This same interest in aerospace also was the seed of inspiration for Thomas's ratchet wrench, the idea for which came to him many years ago after learning about another contest that centered around CAD design challenge for a space tool. He wanted to create a resizing ratchet, but quickly learned his CAD skills weren't quite at the level they needed to be to enter that particular contest. After the original idea fell to the wayside, Thomas was talking with his younger brother over his winter break this past year, and his brother reminded him of the idea of an adjusting ratchet. This conversation re-engaged Thomas, and with his current skill set in CAD design, he moved forward with confidence.

When Thomas returned to school from his holiday, he met up with the machinist who runs the manufacturing center at the University to get his insights on printing his ratchet design. "He told me what dimensional tolerances I would need after looking at my first design." After discovering a measurement disconnect in his original design, Thomas was able to iterate and adjust based on the printing specifications of the Fortus 900 that was in the lab, creating a working ratchet that would be useful in many applications, from automotive and aviation use, to standard home repair, Thomas exclaimed,"I could see it being used for just about anything!"

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Modular Hydroelectric Generator

2nd Place, Jacob Koch

Engineering - Post-Secondary Education

Iowa State University, IA

Jacob Koch Is a sophomore in mechanical engineering at Iowa State University, and his coursework includes designing a project with a humanitarian focus that serves the betterment of lives of those living in under-developed countries. For both his submission into the Extreme Redesign Challenge, Engineering: Post-Secondary Education category, and his University coursework assignment, he designed a modular hydroelectric generator that would provide small amounts of electricity to individuals in rural, off-grid areas. Villagers can put as many as they need on the rope to fit their energy needs. The plane in the design is held in place by a rope that goes from one side of river or stream to the other,and is tied to a tree on each side. On one side of the design there is a battery box that stores energy generated for use later in the day.

His idea for the generator stemmed from the importance of electricity and it's benefits in everyday life. Jacob believes that if everyone has access to electricity that there would be a positive cascade effect in the communities that a generator like his could serve. Jacob mentioned that there are currently similar products already on the market, like smart hydroelectric, that produce electricity generators for communities on a much larger scale that what his project answers the need for. "My project is more for a rural area, providing an easy and portable solution to electrical needs. We have tested this device, and the initial estimates are that this solution could generate about 5 watts of electricity continuously, enough to charge a battery as a power source for the community needs." Once the design is finalized, Jacob foresees this project being best suited to a strong material like ABS, one that can withstand the outdoor elements, allowing the generator to keeps its shape even in the most strenuous of conditions.

As Jacob contemplates his future in engineering, he thinks the experiences he's gained in design and 3D printing will be nothing but beneficial for him as he enters the workforce. "I want to go into consumer plastics after I graduate, and those items are typically created using injected molded plastics. 3D printing is a fantastic way to prototype injection molded plastics, and so these skills will enable me to prototype consumer products in the future."

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1st Place, Paride Stella

Art, Architecture, Jewelry and Design

Gabriele d'Annunzio University, Italy

Paride Stella doesn't consider himself a 3D designer or engineer by trade, he's currently attending the University of Pescara, in Italy, studying architecture. As a member of the GrabCAD community for over eight years, Paride was inspired to stretch traditional boundaries of jewelry design and enter the competition for a second time this year in the Art, Design, Architecture, Jewelry category with his corallo jewelry collection.

Paride had the idea to fuse his experience with algorithmic design, which applies techniques that encompass the discipline of generating ideas and solutions for computational problems which arise in practical applications, such as sorting and searching, with his 3D design and printing experiences. As he began the design process, he realized that he could create unique shapes and forms and intricate jewelry pieces that could appeal to almost anyone, and create it in a very customized way. One of the shapes in his design that he focused on was inspired by coral, which has a very organic and delicate appearance, and can be designed and printed to incorporate aesthetic material properties and artistic finishing qualities of any individual. Even when he was considering a material for the design, Paride doesn't think these choices should be limited to his imagination alone, but tailored to what the final wearer of the pieces might consider attractive. As 3D printing continues to drive the quality of 'mass customization', and algorithmic design continues to stretch design limitations, the intersection of these technologies will most certainly be both unique and beautiful as corallo demonstrates.

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Table Lamp

2nd Place, Jade Akim

Art, Architecture, Jewelry and Design

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, WI

The industrial design industry has rapidly changed over the last thirty years, going from CAD design and engineering to more holistic approach of an end-to end user centered experience. This user experience centered design, and lighting design specifically, is exactly what motivated Jade Akim, a student at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design to enter her table lamp into the Extreme Redesign Challenge, in the Art, Design, Architecture, Jewelry category this year. On suggestion to her class from their instructor, David Proeber, Jade looked at the opportunity to enter her unique design in the contest as a way to further engage with a community she was already familiar with. "The class was already members of the GrabCad community when Mr. Proeber pointed out the opportunity to submit our designs to this year's challenge. Although it wasn't an academic requirement, this was an opportunity we couldn't pass up."

Jade's entry, a unique lamp design that beautifully blends simple sophistication and a futuristic aesthetic comprised of a variety of pieces, that can be 3D printed. The shade inspired by the simple clean spherical shape supported by a sweeping base to create a form that elegantly and warmly emits light and casts shadows in a unique way. "I had played around with the idea of creating a lamp that incorporated stars or constellations but liked the idea of using a shade that used a transparent material with lines and waves to create a softer, less harsh light, perfect for relaxing." As industrial design moves into the modern era of user-centricity, 3D printing will likely play a continued role in introducing concepts and designs that bring fresh perspectives to light.

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Multipurpose Cooking Utensil

1st Place, Kaylee Spears, Myles Archambeau, and Chase Brokaw

NCATC Winner

Mott Community College, MI

A trio from Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan are the NCATC scholarship winning team in this year's Extreme Redesign Challenge. Kaylee Spears, Chase Brokaw, and Myles Archambeau are all working toward or recent graduates of the CAD based degree programs at MCC. Their shared interest in design thinking and the iterative process of rapid prototyping helped the team to bring their idea for the multi-purpose cooking utensil to life. The idea for the tool was borne out of Kaylee's practical desire for a cooking utensil solution that didn't take up so much space in her kitchen and provided ergonomic comfort to even the most mundane of kitchen tasks. The team went to work crafting their design and using their classmates to help them iterate on each version of the utensil. They asked the class to try out the tool and offer feedback on what could improve it before settling on a final version of the design. They realized that designing a tool that was large enough for a male to hold comfortably, yet not too large where it was uncomfortable for females to use was a nuanced process. Additionally, one of their classmates shared that she has an arthritic condition, and so with another round of slight changes, the final prototype seemed to answer the test sampling usage needs.

The team was also keen to give credit for their success to their CAD Design class instructor, Dennis Hughes, for helping them to realize the design, and bring it into its final, winning form. "Dennis encourages us to try things, to do new things, so that our experiences aren't just conceptual. This helps to exercise the analytical and creative sides of our brain." Myles said. This exercise in design thinking and creative agility has definitely paid off for this team of CAD designers to the benefit of home chefs.

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  • MakerBot