A Peek into the Maker Zone at 3DEXPERIENCE World 2024

Ironman suit by @Carlos3DPrint


This year’s Maker Zone was all about diving hands-on into creativity and collaboration, powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS for Makers offer. Sean O’Neill from 3DEXPERIENCE Works and SOLIDWORKS Live summed it up perfectly as “Edutainment at its finest.”  Here’s a rundown of the standout moments that made the event unforgettable.

Droid Assembly Line – A First Time Feat

We kicked things off with a bang with a Droid Building Assembly Line, a first for the event. Attendees had the chance to design and build their very own Star Wars-inspired droid. With the guidance of SOLIDWORKS-savvy prop makers and engineers, each participant journeyed through the stages of droid creation – from casting wheels to remote controlling their droids in a dedicated arena.

A special thanks to our Droid Assembly Line Host Makers, Luke and Karen Daley of JJ Industries UK, Matt and Jessica Long of Mad Scientist Workshop, Jonathon Harrison of Kessel Run Creations & The CORE Podcast,  Kirby Downey of The CORE Podcast, and Christian Bagg of Bowhead Corp.

Combat Robotics – Innovation in Action

The Brandeis University Maker Lab brought the excitement of combat robotics to life. The Brandeis Maker Lab pushed the envelope of innovation with SOLIDWORKS to visualize, simulate, and efficiently create robot designs. Partnering with RE:3D, they demonstrated the power of rapid prototyping and the value of iterative design in the realm of combat robotics.

This interactive experience had participants diving into the design process, driving smaller weight class robots, and even battling away with battle bots inside the combat cage, complete with obstacles. If you want to talk about an impressive build, the combat cage took two days to assemble with over nine hundred screws!

Dedicated experts like Tim Hebert (Ranked #2 in 3 Pound Combat Robotics Globally) were on hand to lead the combat robotics team and we also had front row seats to competitions from local Battle Bot teams.

Magic Wheelchair – Creating Unforgettable Moments

Magic Wheelchair is a nonprofit organization that builds epic costumes for kids in wheelchairs — at no cost to families. They bring communities together to craft smiles and fulfill dreams for children around the world by transforming their wheelchairs into magic.

At the Magic Wheelchair booth, Christine Getman, the Executive Director Magic Wheelchair and Caleb Kraft, from the Controller’s Project and Senior editor at Make: Magazine offered a glimpse into how community, technology, and a bit of magic can bring joy to children’s lives.

“Magic Wheelchair matches kiddos with disabilities, with makers in their community. And those makers can be anyone from home builders and cosplayers to hobbyists build shops, prop shops, maker spaces.” – Christine Getman, Executive Director Magic Wheelchair

By demonstrating an affordable way to craft adaptive buttons with simple 3D printed parts that click together, they underscored the power of creativity in accessible adaptive solutions.

Magic Wheelchair also shared actual costumes designed by local builders from Dallas and even launched a few more builds for 2024!

Our Next Make – Physical Craftsmanship with Digital Intrigue

The duo behind the YouTube channel Our Next Make, Chin-Loo Lama and Sal Lama, shared beautifully crafted one-of-a-kind puzzle boxes. Puzzle boxes have been around since the 1800s but one nagging issue with most puzzle boxes is that once it’s solved, the mystery is gone and the solution to the puzzle will always be the same.

Chinloo and Sal’s innovative design not only challenges the mind but also demonstrates the vast possibilities within the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform ecosystem. The puzzle boxes have 3D printed locking mechanism and combination controls that adjust to create multiple puzzles. QR codes brought up a digital model inside of 3DPlay that contained clues for figuring out the combination.

It was this unique experience of combining a physical object with a digital model that got people most excited – creating a mini escape room just with a tiny box. If you love puzzles and want to make one of these boxes for yourself, you can download the design files from Our Next Make’s YouTube Channel.


The @Carlos3DPrint booth captivated attendees with the centerpiece of its display: an incredible golden Ironman suit. Carlos Reyes, an electromechanical engineer with a deep passion for cosplay, completely 3D printed the components for this Ironman build. The armor was scaled specifically for Carlos, ensuring a perfect fit.

Thanks to SOLIDWORKS, he was able to design the mechanics that brought this armor to life, including the missile launcher, helmet opening and aileron deployment. Carlos engaged attendees in discussions on both the fun and the practical applications of 3D printing. Carlos even brought functional Spiderman web shooters to life through 3D printing. The @Carlos3DPrint booth and innovative Cosplay builds demonstrated the transformative potential of 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS for Makers and 3D printing, proving that with the right tools and imagination, the boundaries of creativity and functionality are limitless.

MIT Fab Foundation & Center for Bits and Atoms – The Reimagined Selfie

The MIT Center for Bits and Atoms and the MIT Fab Foundation previewed a project that’s as mind-bending as it is ground breaking – a self-replicating robot capable of creating detailed portraits. It can produce a portrait of a live subject while leveraging the apps within the 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS portfolio to plot the photo instantly. See the detail in the plotted portrait of Suchit Jain! Participants were able to take a copy of their portrait and leave one behind as part of a larger community building project.

This robot was adapted from an exhibit at the MIT museum, a modern twist on the selfie that displays how the SOLIDWORKS portfolio aims to push the boundaries of what’s possible.

Closing Thoughts – A Celebration of Making

The Maker Zone in The Playground at 3DEXPERIENCE World 2024 was a lively mix of innovation, learning, and sheer fun. It was a space where technology met creativity, and where everyone came together to share in the joy of making. As we look back on this year’s event, we’re reminded of the limitless potential of the Maker community and the tools that help bring their visions to life.

What’s Next on Your Maker Journey?

Whether you’re a hobbyist, a DIY enthusiast, or someone who just loves to create, the power to make anything you can imagine is at your fingertips.

Learn more about 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS for Makers, CAD for DIY, and personal use projects.

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS [for Makers] is an incredible tool and putting it in the hands of hobbyists and makers is tremendous. It offers real, industry-leading software to anyone with a passion for creating and creates an incredible pipeline for people to make their dreams a reality.”

– Brian Adamson, BattleBots designer, maker, Make: Magazine


Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.