Brandeis University in Boston will be a 3D printing hot spot on the weekend of March 7th and 8th with their first Printathon 3D Printing Competition.

Image 10It’s organized by Deis3D, Brandeis University’s 3D printing club, a group who say their goal is to expose students to cutting-edge technologies like engineering and robotics, beta-testing 3D printers, 3D modeling using CAD, hosting speaker events, building 3D printers, and 3D scanning. The group also competes in intercollegiate events, and design and print challenges, as well as holding various inter-club events.

“The Printathon is a 24-hour event in which teams formed by students from various universities gather logoand compete to produce a 3D-printed creation adhering to criteria revealed at the beginning of the competition by a panel of invited judges,” says Deis3D President Eduardo Beltrame. “Our goal is to be like a 3D printing hackathon. We are partnering with sponsors to offer awesome prizes for the winners, so far got filament, Simplify3D licenses, and Shapeways will print the winning design.”

Teams of 3-6 students can enter at no charge, and the only stipulation is that they need to bring along their printing gear and design software for the 24 hour event.

Beltrame says judging will be based on the creativity of entries and their “complexity and functionality,” and they’ll also need to adhere to the “secret theme” of the contest which will be announced at the start of the eImage 9vent.

To throw another twist into the event, the organizers say entrants won’t be allowed to print using ABS plastic, and they add that the rule is due to potentially toxic fumes being released. Any other “procedures that release strong fumes or smells” are prohibited as well.

If you’re an interested undergraduate and would like to attend, you can find the Google Docs form on the Printathon’s website to submit an application to the registration lottery for the event for your team. Check out the event’s Facebook page for event information.

“All university students are welcome to form a team and participate in the Printathon,” say the reps for the event.

It works like this; teams of 3-6 makers will design and 3D print their objects using FFF printing process, and they’ll be provided with a theme or challenge during the beginning of the Printathon. While the theme isn’t a mandatory requirement, following it will influence the judges’ decision. The printing Image 8begins on Saturday morning and continues on for 24 hours straight.

The event is completely free, and the organizers are even providing food and drinks.

Teams should bring their own printers and any specific filament they plan to use, but due to the expected size of the event, the organizers say they can’t provide individual printers for every team. There will be some PLA filament available, but teams should bring their own filament.

Entrants will be required to register as a team, but teammates can be from different universities, and all undergraduate students — from any college or university — are welcome. Teams can make more than one creation, but a maximum of two creations will be judged.

“We’re going to be having some big name sponsors, including Shapeways, MakerBot and more,” says Noah Fram-Schwartz of Deis3D. “We see these inter-club events as a way to spread the joy and innovation-inspiring edge of 3D printing around campus and, ultimately, beyond our university and into the local Boston area.”

Fram-Schwartz says this contest collaboration is just one of the projects the group has in the works at their Deis3D Lab, and he adds that the list of sponsors also includes Fenner Drives, Sketchup, Simplify3D, ZenToolworks, and PolyMakr.

Student groups are taking the lead in popularizing 3D printing technology, and the Deis3D Lab at Brandeis are doing their part. Do you plan to take part in their March 7-8th 24-hour Printathon? Let us know in the Deis3D Printathon 3D Printing Competition forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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