A 3D Printed Ornament Contest You Can Feel Good About, from Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity & Spectra3D Technologies

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habitat contest2015 has been quite a year–and there’s still almost a full two months left in the year! But we all know what that means: the holiday season is approaching, and fast. (Don’t believe me? Just walk into any retailer and be bowled over by the I-still-think-preemptive carols blaring and lights a-twinkling.)ornament 1

In early June, my husband and I honeymooned in the mountains of North Carolina–and now beautiful Asheville is back in my sights. Not, this time, as a newlywed, but rather another heartwarming bit of cheer and festivity, as the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity is gearing up for its second annual “Habitat for the Holidays: 3D Printed Ornament Contest,” having partnered up again with Spectra3D Technologies.

It might seem early to think about hanging ornaments, but it’s certainly the time to start thinking about designing them! Through December 1st at midnight EST, the contest is accepting submissions for 3D designs that celebrate the spirit of both the holiday and of the incredible work that Habitat for Humanity does in the Asheville area. As accessible to everyone as Habitat for Humanity itself, this contest is ready and willing to help potential entrants have all the tools at hand, so even first-time designers can come out on top with models they can be proud of. The contest provides instructional webinars, links to easy-to-use 3D software, suggestions, and every other measure of help–so the only limit here is truly the imagination!

Suggested 3D design software includes user favorites Autodesk Fusion 360, Autodesk 123D Design, SketchUp, TinkerCAD, and Blender. Several ornament design tutorials are available for Fusion 360 and 123D Design, to inspire the novice toward creation. You can also find more details at Spectra3D Technologies’ Facebook page.

“3D printing is changing the way we create everyday items and making design a more customizable experience. That is why we are so excited to invite the community to put their creativity to use designing a holiday ornament that will help support the important work of Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity,” said Steven Schain, President of Spectra3D Technologies.

ornament 3

The winning design from the 2014 Ornament Design Contest

The winning design in the 3D Printed Ornament Contest will be 3D printed using Spectra3D Technologies’ MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation, and made available for sale at the Asheville Habitat ReStore, with all proceeds going directly to benefit Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity. Additionally, 3D printable files will be available for sale at Spectra3D Technologies’ store to download and print at home. To the winner will go a free 3D printed version of their ornament, as well as the choice of either a $100 gift card to the ReStore or a 3Doodler 3D printing pen.

December 5th will be the day of the big reveal, as the winner will be announced at the ReStore at 10 AM–just in time for a live 3D printing demo, which will run from 10 AM to 2 PM.

Any contest has official rules, and among those for this one are that:ornament 2

  • Your ornament should portray the holiday season and represent the spirit of the holidays in Western North Carolina
  • The ornament should include a reference or allusion to Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity
  • All submissions MUST be in the STL file format and less than 10 megabytes in file size
  • The maximum ornament size should be 4″ x 4″ x 4″
  • If your creativity is running wild, feel free to submit multiple entries
  • We respectfully reserve the right to modify any winning design in order to improve the quality of the final print
  • Winners acknowledge that their design could be mass produced or their files made available for download to be sold with profits to benefit Habitat for Humanity
  • No copyrighted images or 3D models will be accepted; all work must be original

Criteria the judges will be looking at during the selection process include creativity, overall concept, design quality, theme, and printability.

horizontal_2_color-300x100Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity has, since 1983, provided 278 safe, decent, and affordable homes to Buncombe Countt families. Homes built are Green Built NC certified, sold at no profit to partner families, and use a 0% interest loan. The organization also offers low-income homeowners a home repair program.

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