These days you’re pretty hard-pressed to find someone who’s wearing a watch. In large part, cell phones have been responsible for the radical decline in the use of watches because of their use as, should we say, “personal timekeeping devices.” Consider it for a moment. You’re out and about and you need to know what time it is. Rather than reflexively lifting an arm and consulting your wristwatch, you pull out your smartphone and not only to you get the correct time, you have access to an almost infinite amount of other information.
It’s a little ironic, then, that the same folks who essentially made watches obsolete are bringing them back — and they’re doing it with tremendous fanfare. With the April 24th release of its iPhone-compatible smart watch, Apple is turning the trend around and we imagine that the new smart watches may catch on even with the younger crowd.
One online 3D printing company, Lithuania-based CGTrader, hopes to heighten the enthusiasm leading up to the Apple Watch’s release by launching a design competition. CGTrader, an online hub for professional 3D designers and enthusiasts alike, said in a recent press release that they’re hoping “to open a new opportunity window for talented 3D artists seeking additional income.”
CGTrader, a community-backed 3D model marketplace, was founded in 2011. Its mission was, declared its CEO, Marius Kalytis, to “democratize the 3D modeling and 3D design market.” While the emphasis with developing 3D printing technology is often placed on its role as an alternative to traditional manufacturing, Kalytis thinks that the vast potential for home-based innovation can at times be overlooked.
“3D printing is a tool,” said Kalytis. “If you learn how to use it, a whole bouquet of opportunities opens for you. Following trends and trying to figure out the next big thing is every businessman’s headache, so we’re trying to shift our designers’ attention to the most-promising ideas and save them time and effort wherever possible.”
The competition, which runs until April 1, 2015, challenges both budding and experienced 3D designers to create 3D printable objects that are compatible with the Apple Watch, which works in concert with your iPhone.
Entrants are encouraged to submit 3D printable accessory designs such as “watch stands, cases, buckles and straps, travel pouches” and more. The top designs will be showcased on CGTrader’s website in a special accessories collection dedicated to the release of the Apple Watch.
Designs can be uploaded to CGTrader — and they must have the “apple-challenge” box ticked in order to enter with a tagged model that counts for the challenge (just uploading to the gallery won’t enter the design). They also note that “cool renderings are optional but we will definitely consider this when judging,” so if you put your design forth, make sure to show it at its best! You can put in as many designs as you want — more than 10 models entered will make you eligible for the Portfolio category. The contest is open to participants across the globe, and entries can come from individuals or teams.
In addition to cash prizes and credits on CGTrader’s website, the winners of Best Model and Best Portfolio categories will receive 3Doodler 2.0 printing pens. Runners-up in the best model category will receive some cash, CGTrader credit, and promotion of their designs.
It’s a great opportunity for 3D designers and for CGTrader itself to sync 3D printing with other innovative technology and to remind the growing community of 3D printing enthusiasts that the realm of possibilities where 3D printing is concerned is basically limitless.