In an effort to encourage more 3D printing in higher education, twice yearly Shapeways offers five $1,000 grants to college professors and students whose work “push(es) the boundaries of the materials and technology available in the 3D printing.” It looks as if this year’s winners plan to do just this, push boundaries, and Shapeways’ blog summarizes their projects. Shapeways also talks to a few of last year’s winners to find out how the grant helped their own work, and to check out their projects’ progress in general.
In the past, grants have supported a range of academic fields, including mathematics, applied psychology, and product design. This year’s winners also reflect quite a diverse range of academic subjects and 3D printing applications. For example, one winner, Shawn M.V. Jones, will use grant money to prototype a scuba flipper for amputees that can also function as a prosthetic on land. Pablo Gonzalez, from New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology, will use the grant toward his senior fashion show — where he will display “3D scanning along with printing and traditional fabric draping.”James Madison University’s Jonathan Gerhardt will be “transforming complex mathematical knot studies from theoretical 2D problems into tangible objects mathematicians can hold in their hands.” Gerhardt’s fellow grant recipient, Akshay Goyal from Harvard University, has an equally complex project. His Soft Tectonics “investigates systems for design and production of transformative objects through a study of structural collapse and functionally graded material.”
The last grant winner is Tom O’Mahoney of the University of Manchester, who accurately reconstructs human fossils for use in research. He makes this research available through the open source website African Fossils. Finally, Shapeways talked to three recipients from last year’s pool of winners to hear about their progress.
Shanna Chan, Catherine Zheng and Melissa Zucker’s Lunar Gala 2016 Strain – Abraxas is part of a twenty-year-old student organization at Carnegie Mellon University called Lunar Gala. This organization sponsors an annual show with a different theme each year. According to the website:
“Lunar Gala is a student-run organization at Carnegie Mellon University invested in cultivating inter-disciplinary creative talent within the community. Every February, student designers, models, dancers, videographers, motion designers, technicians and a creative team bring their skills together to produce a fashion show.”
The students who worked on Lunar Gala 2016 Strain – Abraxas reported to Shapeways that 3D printing was essential for their project because their finale dress used intricate parametric patterning impossible to achieve without 3D printing. They also explained to Shapeways how the grant helped the project overall:
“The Shapeways Grant allowed us to increase our budget and physically be able to 3D print the more detailed pieces within the last look. This helped us realize our whole concept of our line, which depended on a transformation of flowing geometric lines into more complex parametric form…We explored alternate ways of fabrication and learned to expand our knowledge of both digital fabrication and mixed media design. We pushed ourselves to learn and use digital modeling software and to design various design iterations that allowed for any buffer room within modular 3D printed pieces.”
No doubt this year’s grant recipients will utilize these EDU 2016 grants to realize their own 3D printing visions, and we look forward to seeing the work produced by this year’s recipients at a later date. Discuss in the 3D Printing Shapeways Grant Money forum over at 3DPB.com.