The call for entries for MakerBot’s Thingiverse Filament Challenge asks 3D printers to clean up their acts and possibly win a prize for doing so. That’s a better deal than my parents used to offer me to clean my room. “You’re an expert designers and your 3D printer is perfectly configured,” reads the text of the challenge posted on the Thingiverse Challenge page, “but your filament isn’t getting the love and attention it deserves. The time has come to get that mess under control!” No question about it: that has a familiar ring to it.
The Filament Challenge, which tasks 3D designers with creating a new-fangled filament spool holder–from something seriously basic for that single spool you’re running through the extruder right now to something more extensive for like all of your spools, which don’t currently seem to fit anywhere you’ve tried to store them up ‘til now. If you’ve been frustrated in that regard and had one of those “Eureka!” moments in which you figured out a solution (or multiple solutions) to the problem, then Thingiverse would like to hear about it and, moreover, see what kind of concrete solution you arrived at. Even if you haven’t yet had one of those at least moderately life-changing moments yet, we imagine that once you put your thinking cap on you’ll come up with something cool that you can share with Thingiverse and possibly even be rewarded with some pretty respectable and relevant prizes.
But first things first. The deadline for submitting your idea is September 6, 2015, 11:59 p.m. EDT. That means the only thing you have to lose right now is precious, creative time. Aside from the deep personal gratification you’ll feel by having helped the Thingiverse community (and those people who love them and/or clean up after them), you will also have a chance to win a 10-pack of MakerBot Filament in either PLA or ABS if your Filament Challenge entry is selected as the top prize winner.
Besides the reward for winning First Prize, there’s a Runner-Up prize: the four designers selected as runners-up get a free, year-long membership to MakerBot MakerClub plus 10% off of filament purchases, free shipping on filament, and other discounts. The four runners-up will be selected from the following categories (one runner-up each): Best Multi-Spool Holder, Best Spool Holder Customizer (using MakerBot’s Customizer app), Best Novelty Spool Holder, and Best Simple Spool Holder.
MakerBot encourages both novice and experienced designers to test their mettle. Contestants must be Thingiverse members and if they are younger than 13, they need permission from a legal guardian to enter. Once contestants have designed their spool holders, they must be uploaded to the Filament Challenge contest page before the deadline. They’re also expected to tell the story of their design and to provide instructions for making it.
It probably goes without saying that all designs must be 3D-printable. You’re interested but you don’t own a 3D printer? That’s not a huge obstacle. According to the contest rules, “While owning a 3D printer is not a requirement for entry, printing and documenting printability will go a long way toward winning.”
Winners will be announced on Thingiverse.com by September 18, 2015 and all entries, including the winning ones, of course, will be posted on the site. See the contest page for details and get busy designing as time is of the essence! Let us know if you enter this challenge in the Makerbot Filament Challenge forum thread on 3DPB.com.