3D printing is a technology that we will only continue to see an expansion of uses for. Starting out several decades ago as a means for rapid prototyping, the technology has suddenly become available to just about anyone. We are no longer inhibited by large price tags and huge machines, which only the world’s largest corporations previously had access too. Now, just about anyone can gain access to the technology, either through services such as Shapeways, Sculpteo, and 3DHubs, or by purchasing their own desktop 3D printers themselves. Even libraries, universities and an ever growing list of high schools are beginning to provide access to these machines to the general public.
One of these universities is UC Berkeley, and recently on April 4th and 5th, they held their first ever 3D Printing Designathon, asking students to design and 3D print a prototype to improve the life of UC Berkeley students. Held at the school’s Sutardja Dai Hall, the event was hosted by several design oriented organizations at the university, including the 3D Modeling Club, Design Engineering Collaborative, and Design Council.
“With over 70 initial participants, the event started at noon on Saturday and lasted 24 hours,” representatives at Berkeley tell 3DPrint.com. “Corporate sponsors for the event included Autodesk, Sculpteo, MadeSolid, and Type A Machines. In addition, Brad Kohlenberg, Business Development Engineer from Made In Space, gave a presentation on 3D Printing and the exciting new frontiers it presents.”
By 10:00 AM the following morning, 14 different teams had finished their designs and were prepared to present for the 3D Print Designathon showcase. The judging panel included Autodesk CEO Carl Bass, Brade Kohlenberg of Made In Space, Ricardo Corona of MadeSolid, Bryan Allen from Type A Machines and Glenn Katz of Autodesk.
Participants also took part in voting, as they were asked to choose their favorite project from among their peers’ designs. Once all the votes were cast, they were tallied up and the winners were announced. As for the winners, two teams tied among the judge’s vote, with Team Eggman and Team Nice Guys taking home the prizes. Team Fennec Fox took home the prize for the popular peer vote.
Team Eggman won for their 3D printed “Berni”, which was a customizable attachment that transforms glass bottles into furniture legs, while Team Nice Guys won with their “Compact Storage Solutions”, which were a set of Ferris-wheel shelves and a bunk bed desk that helps maximize storage space in cramped dorm rooms. Team Fennec Fox presented their 3D printed “Lattice Light”, which is a decorative awning that provides light at night.
The winners from all three teams took home a 3D printing credit for Sculpteo as well as a free tour of Autodesk’s famed Pier 9 Workshop in San Francisco. You can see images of some of the other designs below, which included the following from the listed teams:
Various Fried Cephalopods – Cup Holder
Shppr – Built-in external hard drive and battery cellphone case
Oski – Bike Lights
Cake N Bake – Volcano Bubbler
WACEC – Computer Suction Lock
Rack City – The Kitchen Rack
Sensual Engineering Squad – SpaceFunnel9000 Drink Pourer
Golden Bears – Ideal Lecture Hall Seat
CalBand-Pass Filter – Desclip and Desclamp
RAT – GOOB (Get Out Of Bed!) Alarm
Triangle – Triangle Light
The turnout was significant, proving that these students really have a passion for a technology which they will most likely become quite acquainted to, using it in the workforce in the near future. The event was so successful that UC Berkeley plans on hosting another 3D Printing Designathon in the Fall semester, in collaboration with the newly formed Jacobs Institute of Design at the school.
What do you think about these designs? Which were your favorites? Discuss in the UC Berkeley 3D Printing Designathon forum thread on 3DPB.com.