It was just several months ago when Pinshape announced that they were closing due to lack of finances, only to be rescued in the 11th hour by Formlabs. Since then, the popular online marketplace for 3D printable models has hosted a number of contests including the current Within Reach 3D Design Challenge sponsored by Ultimaker, MatterHackers and e-NABLE. Not only does Pinshape hold similar challenges throughout the year, but every month they also sponsor a print to win contest. The print to win contests task Pinshape users to download a file from the site, print it, and then upload pictures of their prints. Contestants are judged based on the quality of their prints and on their photos. Good composition is the key and the prizes are free filament, from a different manufacturer each month. For September, Pinshape turned to Proto-pasta for their newest filament contest.
For those who don’t already know, Proto-pasta produces high-quality filament, which come on their eco-friendly corrugated cardboard spools. The 5 best prints will each win 1 roll of Proto-pasta’s newly released Matte Fiber HTPLA, or winners can choose from any other Proto-pasta material such as their highly-regarded carbon fiber or steel filament. What’s interesting about this contest is that 20 winners will be chosen at random to win a 150g roll each of Proto-pasta’s exclusive, unreleased HTPLA in a selection of colors and finishes, like glitter or pearl, that may never be reproduced.
Matte Fiber HTPLA sounds like good stuff. It can be heat treated to retain more stiffness to higher temperatures. It has a low luster, textured surface and texture, color and sheen can be somewhat manipulated by printer settings, as well as post-processing. Dimensional stability is improved compared to HTPLA without fibers. Performance of Matte Fiber HTPLA is similar to Proto-pasta’s Carbon Fiber HTPLA, but processing of Matte Fiber does not require to use of a wear resistant nozzle. It will print on non-heated beds like standard PLA. The suggested print temperature for Matte Fiber PLA is 190 – 230º C.
It doesn’t cost anything to enter and contestants can enter as many times as they like. Each unique print uploaded to Pinshape counts as 1 entry. I’ve won a roll of filament each of the 2 times I entered a print to win contest on Pinshape… you really have nothing to lose by entering. The top 5 functional prints will be judged on the following criteria: Complexity of Model (25 points), Print Quality (25 points), Image Composition (25 points) and Image Clarity (25 points). Things to keep in mind are that the more complex the print the more points it will receive. The better the print turns out, the more points you’ll get, so get your print settings right! Make sure that the photo is framed well, is in focus and well lit, is a creative composition and is, in a word, beautiful. I suggest that you find a good background. Maybe bring your model outside to give your photos more context and interest, for example a castle print with a real forest as the background.
The Print to Win Proto-pasta Filament! contest is sponsored by Formlabs and Proto-pasta and ends September 30th. So, download a model, print it, post it and cross your fingers. Maybe you’ll win a roll of a unique, unreleased filament that won’t ever be reproduced. Good luck and get printing!