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Category: Engineering, Secondary Education

Winners: Brenner Kar and Jake Klahorst, Grand Haven High School, MI

Design: Nail shield

The challenge

Brenner Kar wondered why using nail clippers was a pain – and why the 100-year-old design had never been improved. He said: "You have to think about where you’re aiming and be careful not to step on any nails that may have missed the trash can."

The solution

Brenner and his friend Jake Klahorst devised the nail shield, a circular add-on device designed to fit almost any nail clipper. It would protect the user from flying clippings and encase them in a removable vessel for easy disposal when finished.

The result

As they reveal in our blog, Brenner and Jake had access to 3D printers in their classroom, so they were able to print a prototype as part of their engineering class. They were delighted with the result – and it even worked when tried on a set of clippers for the first time. Suddenly, a frequent chore didn’t need to be so painful.

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Category: Engineering – Secondary Education

Runner-up: Paul Sperling, Newberg Senior High School, Oregan, USA

Design: Circular Centrepiece

The challenge

Speedcubing sees enthusiasts compete against the clock – and each other – to solve twisty puzzles like the Rubik’s Cube. But as sophomore Paul Sperling explained: "Once in a while, the spring inside gets caught on a screw and moves and pings back, making a distracting sound when you’re solving.”

The solution

Paul’s design, the Circular Centerpiece 3x3, separated the interior components so the centerpiece became just a rotated profile, with the face turning around it. Special prongs ensured the centerpiece and core didn't rotate relative to each other, while still letting the center slide out a little. And as he reveals in our blog, Polyjet also made it possible to print without stickers, which can get caught under a nail.

The result

In a game where every second counts, Paul's entry would help his fellow speedcubers by eliminating a range of factors that could slow them down.

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Category: Engineering – Post-Secondary Education

Winner: Thomas Salverson, University of Alabama, USA

Design: Adjustable ratchet wrench

The challenge

Inspired by his passion for aerospace, Thomas Salverson wanted to create a resizing ratchet suitable that could be used in orbit. However, he didn’t have the necessary CAD skills to develop the idea further.

The solution

Thomas met with the manufacturing specialist at the University of Alabama to get some insights on 3D printing his design. As he explains in our blog, he then discovered a measurement disconnect in his original design. So using the lab’s Fortus 900, he was able to iterate, adjust and create a fully working ratchet.

The result

Thomas says his ratchet could be useful in many applications, from automotive and aviation use to standard home repair. He said: "I could see it being used for just about anything."

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Category: Engineering – Post-Secondary Education

Runner-up: Jacob Koch, Iowa State University, USA

Design: Modular hydroelectric generator

The challenge

Sophomore Jacob Koch wanted to design a humanitarian project to help under-developed countries. He knew electricity brings many benefits to such communities, so started designing a generator that would give everyone access to vital power.

The solution

As part of his coursework, Jacob designed a modular hydroelectric generator to provide small amounts of electricity to individuals in rural, off-grid areas. As he reveals further in our blog, villagers could add as many as they need to fit their needs, with a battery box storing energy for later use.

The result

Jacob says his device provides easy and portable electricity. He added: “Initial estimates show it could generate about 5W of continuous electricity – enough to charge a battery as a power source for community needs.”

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Category: Art, Architecture, Jewelry and Design

Winner: Paride Stella, Gabriele d'Annunzio University, Italy

Design: Corallo jewelry

The challenge

Architecture student Paride Stella wanted to stretch the traditional boundaries of jewelry making, fusing his passion for algorithmic design with his experience of 3D printing.

The solution

Paride created unique shapes and intricate jewelry that could be customized for all tastes. As he explains in our blog, one such shape was inspired by coral, with its organic and delicate appearance reproduced in any material and finish.

The result

Paride’s unique jewelry can be tailored to whatever material its wearer considers attractive. By doing so, Corallo demonstrates how 3D printing continues to both drive mass customization and stretch the very limits of design.

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Category: Art, Architecture, Jewelry and Design

Runner-up: Jade Akim, Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, USA

Design: Table lamp

The challenge

Jade Akim wanted to create a lamp incorporating stars or constellations – but then took her idea even further. She said: “I liked the idea of a shade that used transparent material with lines and waves to create a softer and less harsh light.”

The solution

Built from a variety of 3D printed pieces, Jade's unique design beautifully blends simple sophistication and a futuristic aesthetic. As she explains in our blog, it brings a totally fresh perspective to light.

The result

The spherical shade and its sweeping base create a form that elegantly and warmly emits light and casts shadows in a unique way. As well as the ultimate in relaxation, it’s made quickly and easily for a specific user experience.

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Category: National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC) Winner

Winners: Kaylee Spears, Myles Archambeau, and Chase Brokaw, Mott Community College, Michigan, USA

Design: Multipurpose cooking utensil

The challenge

Kaylee Spears wanted a cooking utensil that took up less space in her kitchen, yet also provided ergonomic comfort to even the most mundane of kitchen tasks.

The solution

Along with Chase Brokaw and Myles Archambeau, the trio crafted their design and used classmates to help them iterate each version. As they reveal in our blog, only after receiving feedback on what could improve it did they settle on a final design.

The result

Rapid prototyping helped the team bring their idea to life – and also ensure it was large enough for a man to hold comfortably, yet not too large for women. A final round of slight changes also made it suitable for those with arthritic conditions.

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