Right before Thanksgiving, we told you about the third annual Habitat for the Holidays: 3D Printed Ornament Contest in North Carolina, which we have enjoyed seeing in years past. The contest is hosted by the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity and Asheville-based Spectra3D Technologies. On Saturday, at the Asheville Habitat ReStore, the contest winner was announced! Drumroll, please…the winner of the fun and interactive contest, meant to highlight 3D technology and raise funds and awareness for Habitat, is Colt Greer, a student at West Caldwell High School in Lenoir, NC, which is less than two hours from Asheville.
Word about the contest traveled fast last month, as there were a total of 44 ornament designs entered before the contest ended on November 22nd. This number is down a little from last year’s 60, but the entries spanned five North Carolina counties, and even Miami, Florida! So the contest is clearly gaining in popularity.
Contest rules outlined that the ornament designs had to incorporate the holiday season and an allusion to Habitat for Humanity, as well as represent the spirit of the holidays in western North Carolina. Greer’s design was a unique standout, with icicles hanging from the bottom, a frontier house featuring a Christmas tree in the window, and a cutout star shining over local Lake James and Grandfather Mountain. Five judges chose his winning design, based on the criteria of creativity, overall concept, theme, quality of the design, and printability. This last one created some issues for contest entrants new to 3D printing.
“We’re finding that the most challenging criteria with the entries is printability. Some submissions just aren’t printable because pieces aren’t connected or they have structures that need support pieces in order to properly print. That’s something we’ll expand on more in next year’s guidelines. We’re able to make minor edits to some designs to make them printable, but we stay away from doing too much to alter an entry. Colt’s design needed no tweaking – it printed quickly and perfectly,” sad Jerry LePore, CEO and Chief Innovator of Spectra3D Technologies.
The contest is advertised to 3D printing newbies as a learning opportunity, and even offered some helpful resources, like instructional webinars and links to 3D design software such as Autodesk Fusion 360, Tinkercad, and Blender. Spectra3D, which works to promote the 3D printing revolution throughout the Asheville region, gave a live printing demo after Greer’s winning design was announced at the Asheville Habitat ReStore the morning of December 3rd.
Right before the big reveal, they 3D printed at least 50 of the ornaments on a CraftUnique CraftBot Plus. Copies of the winning ornament are available for sale at the ReStore. They cost $5 each, and 100% of the sales go to Habitat’s building programs. Greer won a free print of his ornament, and a nifty 3Doodler 3D printing pen.
Founded in 1983, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity was the first Habitat affiliate in North Carolina. Through Habitat homeownership and home repair programs, more than 1,350 adults and children in Buncombe County have achieved the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build a better future. A decent place to call home and an affordable mortgage enables Habitat homeowners to save more, invest in education, pursue opportunities, and have greater financial stability. Discuss in the 3D Printed Ornament forum at 3DPB.com.