It’s high time for another unique 3D design contest from 3D printing community and marketplace Pinshape, which has just announced the winners in its Mechanical Design Challenge. This time around, Pinshape has partnered up with Mold3D Academy, which offers 3D printing and modeling classes, for a design challenge that’s inspired by virtual sculpting. The Design Your Future Avatar Contest is pretty self-explanatory: design an original avatar character that represents your spirit and personality. You can design an avatar that resembles you, or let your creativity run wild and design a character that you aspire to be.

The contest description reads, “Imagine a future in which Virtual Reality is just as commonplace as cellphones and social media are today. In this future, everyone is represented in virtual space by an avatar of their own creation. What would you look like? What would you be wearing? Would you be human? Animal? Something new altogether?”

3D printing and virtual reality have combined to improve surgical planning, shed a light on and improve water issues around the world, and even to offer amazing special effects during concerts. Virtual sculpting software, like Oculus Medium, has really helped integrate the two technologies, and VR company Oculus is one of the Pinshape contest sponsors, along with 3D design software ZBrush, 3D Artist Magazine, and Formlabs, which acquired Pinshape last year.

Oculus and Mold3D have partnered up to offer a Virtual Sculpting class in Los Angeles next month, where students can learn to create 3D models in virtual space; the models can then be 3D printed.

“Technology like VR and 3D Printing allow artists to express their creativity with a level of immersion never seen before. Now you can step into your art with VR sculpting tools and bring that design to reality by 3D printing it,” said Edward Quintero, one of the co-founders of Mold3D and a judge for this contest. “I’m really looking forward to seeing what is produced through this contest and by creative folks in the next few years. Keep your eye on this space, you are likely to see a glimpse of the future!”

The challenge began on June 18th, and runs through August 31st. It’s open worldwide, though entrants must be registered with Pinshape, and all entries have to comply with its content policy. There is no entrance fee, and you are allowed to submit as many unique entries as you want, so long as designs are original works and have not been entered into a previous Pinshape contest.

The judges, which include a Pinshape ambassador and 3D artists from Oculus and Blizzard Entertainment, will be judging on ease of printing and technical excellence, design creativity, the overall presentation (including print settings, image quality, and assembly instructions), and documentation of your design and your avatar’s background story. If you’d like to 3D print your model to help illustrate its quality and how easy it is to print, but don’t have access to a 3D printer, use this thread in the Pinshape forums to find a maker in the community who can help. Once your design is ready, upload it to Pinshape and check the box that says, “Submit this model to the Avatar Design Contest.”

The first place winner will receive an Oculus Rift headset and controllers, a ZBrush Core License, a complete Formlabs Form 2 3D printer package, and a Mold3D Academy 3D Character Creation for Video Games class. Second place gets a ZBrush 4R8 License and a one-year subscription to 3D Artist Magazine, and the third place winner will get a one-year subscription to 3D Artist Magazine and a Mold3D Academy 3D Printing for ZBrush Artists class.

If you want a chance to win a free SLA print of your design from Formlabs, just post a link to your original avatar design on social media and tag @pinshape and @mold3D. Also, check out this video to learn how to export your VR-created 3D models from Oculus Medium into ZBrush so you can 3D print them:

Discuss in the Pinshape forum at 3DPB.com.

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