3D printing parts and supplies retailer E3D and Rich from RichRap are throwing a 3D printing contest for October and will be giving away some free stuff for the best print. The subject is dragons, and E3D and Rich want to compare how different 3D printers and materials handle printing the same model in different sizes. Those looking to participate are even being encouraged to remix and change up the model, showing off not only their 3D printing skills, but their 3D modelling and design skills. At stake is a box full of cool 3D printer stuff, a nifty trophy and your work featured prominently on RichRap’s blog.
What started as a friendly contest between Richard Horne, aka RichRap, and E3D’s Sanjay Mortimer to see which of them could 3D print the best version of the amazing Aria the Dragon model got out of hand pretty quickly. Not only have they turned their personal challenge into a full blown contest open to everyone, but they’ve put together a bunch of great prizes and free stuff for the winners. The dynamic duo even roped the designer of Aria, Louise Driggers’ aka Loubie, herself into the contest to act as the official judge. And she’s also agreed to design a 3D printed (naturally) trophy to be awarded to the competition’s overall winner.
“It’s about understanding your machine, learning what you can and can’t do with desktop 3D Printing, and hopefully some new tricks and tips to produce better prints – especially things that are thought to be impossible or difficult for FDM – like small objects with fine details,” Rich told me.
To enter just 3D print a version of the Aria model, or any other dragon related objects, and upload a picture of the final print to Twitter with the hashtag #DragonOff. Rich, Sanjay and Louise will check out the entries and then Louise will pick the overall winner. They will be looking for examples of high quality 3D printing and an innovative use of materials or printing techniques. That includes printers using dual extruders, multi material prints and remixed Arias. Bonus points will be awarded for the best small, special and surprising entries as well as the best use of materials and material mixes.
“Aria is the daughter of Adalinda and her voice is as beautiful and magical. A kindly dragon, she sings to the land every spring, ensuring good weather and a bountiful harvest for those people and animals who share her kingdom,” – Louise Driggers (Loubie)
Not only is the Pern-inspired Aria the Dragon statue just a really great model to 3D print because of its wonderful design, but it also makes an ideal subject for a 3D printing contest. It can be printed at almost any size, and Louise designed the dragon to be printable without any supports, making it accessible to a wide range of 3D printer models and 3D printing enthusiasts of varying skill levels. But Aria is also remarkably detailed, making it well suited to being used to highlight the variances in resolution, accuracy and quality between different 3D printer models and 3D printing materials.
The DragonOff competition will run for the entire month of October and there is no limit to the number of 3D printed Arias that can be entered, so 3D print and show off as many as you can. Rich will be writing a blog post about the competition over on the RichRap blog and will be featuring the best entries, including the winner. The competition winner will receive a gift box full of 3D printing goodies supplied by E3D-Online, including some of their new new Scaffold water soluble support material. And of course, as the judge of the competition Louise will be designing a one-of-a-kind DragonOff shield for the overall winner.
The competition is already off to a roaring success and you can follow all of the entries on Twitter by following the #DragonOff hashtag. So what are you waiting for, download Aria the Dragon and get 3D printing! Let us know if you participate in this contest. Discuss in the 3D Printed Dragon forum thread on 3DPB.com.