Organized by Deis3D, the Brandeis University 3D printing club, the second Printathon event exposes students to cutting-edge technologies like engineering, robotics, and 3D printing and modeling using CAD. The 24-hour event includes teams from educational institutions who gather and compete to produce a 3D printed creation which will be judged by a panel of industry leaders, technology specialists, and educators.
The participants will compete for an array of prizes, but there’s more at work during the event than competition.
Eduardo Beltrame, the president of Deis3D, says the goal of this second event is, like it was for the first, to create a sort of 3D printing hackathon through partnering with sponsors. Teams of 3-6 students can enter at no charge. The only criterion is that teams need to bring along their printing gear and design software for the 24-hour event.
Beltrame recently met with Colton Robtoy, a junior at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany, New Your, and a co-founder of Airscrew, a group which focuses on 3D printing education. Robtoy told him that, after being inspired by the Printathon, his group created the Printathalon 2015, a weekend-long event.
Beltrame says he was thrilled to hear that story as it fit the mission of the Brandeis event.
“This is exactly the kind of thing we wanted to inspire, and I’m very happy we’re succeeding. In that regard, Lucian, president of the UConn 3D printing club and who was in the first Printathon winning team, says he’s oftentimes recognized for winning the Printathon, and that’s how he met Colton and introduced him to me,” Beltrame says.
The Capital District Printathalon 2015 is an all-weekend 3D Printing Event set for Friday, September 18 which will include 3D Printing talks at SUNY Poly CNSE. The group says they’ve been hard at work with CNSE Summit to bring a number of industry experts who will provide insight into 3D printing technologies and practices. On Saturday and Sunday, entrants will have an opportunity to meet directly with 3D printing company representatives at the Ramada Plaza in Albany. The 24 Hour 3D Printing Competition which will take place from noon on Saturday to noon on Sunday.
Deis3D’s Printathon Fall 2015 will take place on the weekend of October 3rd.
Any student can participate in the Printathon; Deis3D and the MakerLab will bring about 20 printers altogether. The group is currently in talks with printer vendors to make additional printers available during the weekend as well.
At the last event, a list of sponsors including Deltamaker, Zentoolworks and NVBots all provided filament spools, and Simplify3D and Netfabb sponsored licenses.
Beltrame notes that the CEO of netfabb, Alexander Oster, happens to be a Brandeis alumnus.
“He started coding netfabb as a math major at Brandeis, and he is super awesome,” Beltrame says.
So far, Quantum 3D and Toner Plastics provide filament, while Simplify3D will sponsor licenses and Shapeways will sponsor print credits.
A theme for this latest competition will be revealed, but only at the beginning of the competition.
Of the Printathon, Beltrame says the team behind the event are pleased with the progress of the effort.
“Our goal was not only to start something new and captivate people’s interest in 3D printing, it was also to foster our growing community, and demonstrate to Brandeis that we had built something valuable,” he says. “In talking to other universities and institutions, we knew we were doing well, but not how much. All of that keeps shaping my opinion of why the maker culture and the Printathon are important. Seeing all the amazing things that spawned out of this, I think the right word is innovation, or, as I prefer, creativity. That’s what the Printathon is about. That’s what we strive to foster within and beyond Brandeis as much as possible, pushing these ideas and the establishment of creative environments.”
Student groups like the one at Brandeis are helping to popularize 3D printing technology with events like the Printathon.