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A hip group of Vancouver, Washington makers and tinkerers, Proto-pasta, has launched a contest for budding or professional designers. The protopastacontest precedes Proto-pasta’s release of a new 3D printer filament, which will hit the market in early 2015. Entrants are asked to create an original design for the spool labels of the currently top-secret, new filament. If your design is selected, it will be featured on limited edition spools, which will be showcased at major events like CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas in early January 2015 as well as major Maker Faires around the country.

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Proto-pasta filament is manufactured by ProtoPlant. Proto-pasta staff Dustin Cram, founder and lead engineer of ProtoPlant and Proto-pasta, Alex Dick, 3D innovator, and Aaron Cram, co-founder and software engineer, refer to themselves as “tinkerers and makers, starter packdriven by endless curiosity and empowered by the supportive, worldwide community of 3D printing enthusiasts.” Proto-pasta arose from the group’s desire to make high-quality materials available to people with personal 3D printers. They observed the serious limitations less expensive 3D printers presented, particularly the limited filament options, and decided to devote themselves to expanding the options of home-based makers and tinkerers in the 3D printing community.

Proto-pasta came to life thanks to the support of the online community, which responded with tremendous enthusiasm to the Kickstarter campaign that got Proto-pasta up and running. The earliest batches of innovative filament were produced thanks to the successful crowdfunding campaign.

Proto-pasta currently offers a variety of PLA filament: Carbon Fiber Reinforced PLA, High Temperature PLA, Polycarbonate-ABS Alloy and a starter pack of the three different filaments so customers can experiment and determine which filament works best with their 3D printers and with specific projects.

Download the spool label template on the contest website.

Download the spool label template on the contest website

Proto-pasta will reveal its new exotic filament shortly after the spool label design contest ends. In the meantime, those interested in entering the contest should download the 8”-diameter template for the spool provided on the contest website and submit designs by the December 1st deadline. There’s no limit to the number of entries and the medium may be traditional or digital. Entries should be submitted as high resolution scans or digital art files. See Proto-pasta’s contest website for details and contact information.

The winning design will be distributed under the Creative Commons International Attribution license, which permits others to “distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation.” The winning designer’s name will appear on the limited edition spools. There’s no cash prize but the winner gets both recognition and publicity and a free spool of the still-top-secret filament. They also endear themselves to the huge, thriving 3D printing and maker community — everyone wins!

protoplant makers

The makers of ProtoPlant

Will you enter this contest? Have you used Proto-pasta’s other filaments? Let us know what you think of them over at the Proto-pasta Spool Design Contest thread at the 3DPB.com forum.

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