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zorFirst, Zortrax came out with an amazing 3D printer, the M200. And then the Zortrax robotic arm. Then they opened the first 3D printing store and retail hub in Poland. Programs, partnerships, and amazing incentives have followed via this dynamic 3D printing solutions company that simply has not let the momentum stop. And now, they have a winner. Following on the heels of a new software update and a free download, Zortrax also launched a 3D printing contest asking for entries regarding their new Model Library–part of their Z-Suite Software package.

cansDesigners were simply asked to register their original designs in the Zortrax Model Library, using a specific hashtag, in order to win a Zortrax M200 3D printer. The Z-Fridge, by Konrad Kowalski, is the winning design for #Contest2015, and it is, our pun totally intended, a very cool one indeed.

Not just a smart design, the Z-Fridge is as utilitarian as it gets–and in our book–much needed. Kowalski is already a well-known figure in 3D printing due to his Jelwek Watch, which is actually now an entire collection of functional, elegant wristwatches made of a wood-based 3D printing filament.

A Polish engineer, Kowalski designed the 3D printed Z-Fridge as a complete, standalone refrigerator for that can that holds your diet soda or fruit juice and has a tendency to get warm as you get busy, walk off to a lengthy meeting, or just sip slowly over a period of time.

The Z-Fridge is able to fully cool–as well as heat–your drinks, powered simply by your computer’s USB port. Experienced with 3D printing, as well as choices in materials, this time around Kowalski stuck with the basics, using Z-ABS filaments in both black and sky blue. It took Kowalski around 75 hours to 3D print this prototype, which is in the Zortrax model library. If this is something you are interested in making yourself, keep in mind that it will also require components such as a radiator, fan, and a Peltier module.

“During the judging process, the jury took into account the device’s stylish design but also appreciated the fact that this particular prototype can be directly implemented by the end user,” the Zortrax team told 3DPrint.com. “The project is available for download today in Zortrax’s Model Library through their Z-suite software.”

DSC_0784Kowalski’s design may prove to be a big hit not only with Zortrax, but the public in general, as it’s definitely one of those ‘why didn’t we think of this before” handy dandy ideas–that’s also quite aesthetically pleasing. We’ve seen many streamlined designs over recent months geared toward appliances like the refrigerator, but most of the 3D printed innovations are focused on remaining inside an appliance. With the Z-Fridge, you actually have your own 3D printed mini-appliance that can be placed anywhere you have a USB connection.  More details on the winner can be found here.

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