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ScratchyCAD Launches Coding Challenge for Realistic 3D Designs, Kickstarter Launches Tomorrow

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scratchyIt’s so inspiring to hear of the innovations being produced via 3D printing, with incredible impacts being made nearly everywhere, from transforming diagnostics and surgeries to helping us get further into space—and faster. But whether babies or kittens are being saved in the headlines, most of us are eager to see the technology begin to seep into our regular lives. If it’s so powerful, when will it start helping us on a more regular basis there?

This is exactly what ScratchyCAD wants those who enter into their Creative Coding Challenge to use their creativity and resourcefulness to show us.

“The strength and power of 3D design can truly be felt when one applies this technology to their personal life to help to solve real issues. Equipment like a 3D printer can bring these designs to life quickly and inexpensively,” said Sam Weatherly, co-founder of ScratchyCAD.

You may have heard a lot more lately about coding too, and how most new graduates who are skilled in it will be getting the best jobs—not only that, it may just become a prerequisite for most. As ScratchCAD points out (see their video at the end of this article), ‘coding is the new literacy.’


As they launch a challenge and get ready to begin a Kickstarter campaign (set for October 1), ScratchyCAD has been demonstrating and putting their software to use in numerous workshops recently. They have gained valuable information and feedback from teachers and students, with the most recent workshop ‘tasking’ 12- to 13-year-olds to make 3D models of pyramids. There, they learned that students did very well when they were given independence in designing. They were able to research, experiment, and use their imaginations.

“They are not only learning what we ask them to learn, they forge their own learning path. We only set the goals and spark the interest, the students do the rest. We need our new generations to actively learn, seek answers, and create solutions, no matter how radical they sound,” said Patrick Rogers, Education Director for ScratchyCAD.

The ScratchyCAD team will be releasing a list of courses for novices as part of their Kickstarter campaign. Each course highlights ScratchyCAD applications, from parametric modeling to videogame design and virtual reality. Turn-key STEM packages will also be available for educators.

Turning to the challenge at hand, the ScratchyCAD team asks for original content, of course, and recommends using as many types of blocks in design as possible from different shapes to colors, varying textures, and physics. Try to imagine something that will have an impact on your life as you begin the design process.


“We challenge you to design something simple, or complex, that fixes some issue in your life, or in the life of another,” states the ScratchyCAD team. “This could be something simple like a pencil holder for your desk, or something super complex like an e-NABLE prosthetic hand.  We don’t expect you to master ScratchyCAD the first try, and that’s okay, but we do expect you to be creative.”

This contest is unique in that their emphasis is truly on the concept. While judges will be looking at the complexity of the 3D objects submitted, they are just as interested in how much of an impact it will have on your life, or that of others. What transformation will it offer?

To enter, you must do the following:

  1. Create an account.
  2. Begin designing with code, using the ScratchyCAD ‘Try Now’ tab to begin. Here, they recommend checking out introduction videos on the YouTube page for additional help.
  3. Export your design (it must be in .sc format) and email it to ScratchyCAD by no later than 11:59pm EST Wednesday October 26th, 2016. See the challenge page information for further specifics on preparing your file.

Winners can look forward to receiving the following:

  • Grand prize – MakerMex Mi3 3D Printer, Full ScratchyCAD License and Downloadable Native, all training courses outlined in the Kickstarter Campaign (beginning October 1), and a ScratchyCAD Kickstarter T-Shirt
  • Second place – Full ScratchyCAD License and Downloadable Native, all training courses outlined in the Kickstarter Campaign and a ScratchyCAD Kickstarter T-Shirt
  • Third place – Full ScratchyCAD License, Downloadable Native, and a ScratchyCAD Kickstarter T-Shirt

If you need extra help, the team asks that you check out their YouTube channel, join their Facebook group at ScratchyCAD Creators, and if all else fails, send them an email so that they can help you learn (although they cannot help you with your design). See their website for more on ScratchyCAD, as well as their Kickstarter campaign just about to gear up. Discuss further in the ScratchyCAD 3D Design Challenge forum over at



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