AMS Spring 2023

YouMagine Selects Winners of Contest to Create a New 3D Printing Technology

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YouMagine, a community of makers who help people remix, share, and learn by making 3D printed items, say they’ve decided on a winning entry for their “Develop a New 3D Printing Technology Challenge.”

Laird Popkin

e-NABLE Raptor hand to be 3D printed with technology from Laird Popkin’s entry, photo courtesy YouMagine

After reviewing the entries for innovation, feasibility, and how achievable the technologies were, the first winner of the contest was Laird Popkin for his “High Speed Large Format 3D Printing with Detail Finish” concept.

Popkin says his idea was aimed at speeding up 3D printing by creating a dual nozzle 3D printer. In this conception, the printer would feature two extruder nozzles — one very large at 1.2mm and a much smaller one of 0.4mm. Popkin then said he’d configure and modify slicer software to use a single perimeter layer of very fine resolution with the small nozzle in 0.1mm to 0.2mm layer heights, and then complete the interior perimeter and infill using the much larger nozzle in 0.5-1mm layer heights.

According to Popkin, he wanted to “make the modifications to the open source slicer software and configurations to optimize print speed and quality for such [a] configuration.”

“Once the software and configuration are validated on standard hardware, my ultimate goal is to ‘hack’ the Ultimaker to support 2x dimensions, for 8x the print volume, in order to be able to extremely rapidly print prosthetics for entire adult limbs in a single print,” Popkin says.

Popkin says he wanted to start with the Gigimaker design for a large format machine.

The contest also want to select “entries (that) would revolutionize 3D printing and be a step change in 3D printing for the desktop 3D printing user.”

The promoters say they tried to choose technologies which weren’t already being implemented within the open source 3D printing community.

It was, of course, ultimately impossible to select just one winner.

medium_Screen_Shot_2015-01-03_at_12.19.01_PM

XYZAidan’s entry, photo courtesy of YouMagine

It was an entry from a younger maker, Aidan Leitch, who goes by XYZAidan, that received the second of the two top prize Ultimaker Original 3D printers with his “Silicone 3D Printing Process.”

The second winner’s process was an attempt to introduce new materials and a new way of 3D printing. In a nutshell, the second winner proposed a silicone mix for printing. Aidan says that he hopes that one day his process will be capable of extruding the silicone material and having it cure within a 3D printer’s nozzle. Check out the video below in which Aidan expounds upon the idea behind his entry and its potentially game-changing use of materials.

What do you think of these contest winners? Let us know in the 3D Printing Technology Challenge forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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