3D technology is developing at a furious pace and, while there is plenty of competition, complete with races to the finish line between innovators in the field, there is also vital collaboration in the industry that is just as significant a factor in the advancement of related technology. One prime example of an important collaborative effort is that of haptics and 3D printing. Brought together by topcoder,“the world’s largest Crowdsourcing Development, Design and Data Science Platform,” haptics and 3D printing technology is preparing to make a giant leap forward.
Topcoder has announced a competition — the 3D Systems Touch Haptic Stylus Challenge — to call upon the globe’s innovators to find diverse applications for 3D Systems’ recently released Touch Haptic Stylus. In October 2014, 3D Systems released its new Geomagic Sculpt and 3D Modeling Software, which features the Touch Haptic 3D Stylus. The software lets 3D designers interact with their models in a process that mimics traditional sculpting by using the haptic stylus. In essence, you have the ability to “feel” the objects you are designing.
Recognizing that the possible applications for this new technology are virtually limitless, topcoder, which is managed by Appirio, a company that specializes in cloud technology, is challenging the global tech community to submit ideas for applications for the Touch Haptic Stylus. The competition, the first of a series of 3D printing- and haptics-related competitions, is called the “3D Systems Education App Idea Generation Challenge.” The overarching goal of the challenge series is to “make tactile experiences accessible to the masses.” With the first competition, the emphasis is on changing the way we teach with the use of haptics and 3D technology.
To stimulate creativity, topcoder provided some examples of education-related, practical applications for the combined technologies, the Touch Haptic Stylus and 3D printing. “What does music feel like?” “What could be made with a Virtual Reality Haptic Erector Sets?” “What if you could go inside a graphing calculator?” they ask. Entrants are asked to submit paragraph-long abstracts that describe the application they plan to design and to explain why they think their idea is important. Additionally, they must provide two or more scenarios in which the app would be utilized and describe possible future enhancements and extensions for the app. All entries should ideally include mockups or screenshots for visualizing the app whenever possible.
There are no limits to the number of entries that topcoder will accept but each submission must be thorough and unique. Also, significantly, entrants must be members of the topcoder community and US Citizens. Submissions are to be completed in two stages. The first stage is the early one, where entrants describe their projects; the second stage requires contestants to have worked out all of the bugs from the early stages and to submit the fully fleshed-out idea. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners — with $50,000 in total prize money available. Currently 26 entries have been submitted, and the deadline for the competition is November 26th. Winners will be selected by judges from topcoder.
Let us know if you participate in this challenge, in the TopCoder Haptics & 3D Printing forum thread on 3DPB.com.