By now, I'm guessing that most of you know all about rapid prototyping and 3D printing, and how they make it infinitely easier to visualise your design concepts before actually making a working prototype. But if you're not familiar, imagine being able to manufacture pretty much any challenging shape, any prototype, any design in a few hours. Pretty cool, right?
Take for example the above below, which was designed in CATIA, and which the original designer calls “The Mush.” The design naturally amplifies and changes the sound coming from an iPhone. The designer recently used a 3D printer to create a real working prototype, and was actually able to test the acoustic properties. From what we hear, it sounded great.
So why are are talking about this? Well, last month at the Cumulus Conference “Crossing Talents” in France, Dassault Systemes announced the Made in 3D Challenge. Designers are invited to submit their best 3D models, and it's open to all designers, as well as any members with a free 3DVIA account.
The person submitting the best model will win an iPad2 as well as a 3D print of his or her design, and will will also be featured in TL Magazine, a quarterly magazine dedicated to innovative talent, materials and trends in the field of design, fashion, retail and urban environments.
Full contest details are available here. As you're designing, bear in mind the object scale, as you'll be printing in a maximum of 15cm x 15cm x 15cm. Any standard 3D file format is accepted. Just upload your 3D file on a free 3DVIA account before September 18th and tag it “madein3d”. And remember, SolidWorks includes a Publish to 3DVIA function starting with SolidWorks 2009, making the process even easier.