MakerBot Thingiverse announces winners of summer STEAM student challenges

By MakerBot news release

Aug 27, 2015

MakerBot Thingiverse, the world’s largest 3D printing design community, is pleased to announce the winners of the education-focused Thingiversity Summer STEAM Challenges.

Over the course of two months, nearly 900 members of the Thingiverse community submitted designs across the five challenge categories of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM). After much deliberation, the first-place winners in each category were each awarded a MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer. All of the winning designs are available free on Thingiverse.

“We are blown away by the creative designs the Thingiverse community submitted for the Thingiversity Summer STEAM Challenges, ranging from solar-powered LED lamps to a gravity battery to a 3D printed version of the Vienna Giant Wheel,” said Eric Mortensen, Thingiverse community manager, who oversaw the judging process. “Thingiverse is a place where educators, designers, and engineers come together to exchange ideas, and the winning designs are a testament to the creative power and innovative potential of this community.”

The Thingiversity Summer STEAM Challenges are part of MakerBot’s broader education initiative, which aims to provide teachers, professors, librarians, and students with access to the resources and tools they need to embrace 3D printing.

Challenge 1 - Science: Make It Float

The goal of this challenge was to create a 3D model of a boat or other floating object to test the principles of buoyancy, displacement, and the scientific method. The object was required to be able to float in water while holding the largest amount of coins. The winning entry was GO-GO AirBoat by David Choi, an electronics designer in Brooklyn, NY. David’s design consists of a 3D printed boat that is rigged with a payload sensor and motor. Choi hopes the AirBoat will help teach the fundamentals of mathematics, physics, and electronics.

Challenge 2 - Technology: Light It Up

The submissions for the Light It Up challenge had to incorporate LED lights for wearing, using, or watching. Entrants were encouraged to incorporate switches and solar power in order to teach basic circuits, designing for assembly and LED components. The winning entry was Solar Hive by Christoph Queck, a mechanical engineering student from Germany. The Solar Hive is an LED lamp that consists of random, 3D printed boxes in the shape of a honeycomb. The resulting design combines geometry and electronics to create a work of art that blends in with the environment.

Challenge 3 - Engineering: Catch the Wind

In this challenge, participants designed a 3D model that harnesses the power of the wind such as a pinwheel, a bubble-maker, or a kite, to teach the principles of energy transfer and movable assemblies. The winning entry was Wind Energy Stored in Gravity by Mike Blakemore, the CEO of a software development company in Santa Barbara, CA. Mike developed a printable machine that transferred energy generated from a wind turbine into a “gravity battery.” The design demonstrates the transfer of energy from one form to another and examines a new model for renewable energy storage.

Challenge 4 - Art: See the World

The See the World challenge asked participants to create a 3D model of an outdoor landmark from around the world in order to teach how to design from a reference. The winning entry was Vienna Giant Wheel (Riesenrad) by Chris L. from Vienna, Austria. Chris’s design is a fully functional model of one of Vienna’s most famous landmarks. His goal was to create a model that was both highly accurate and easily scalable. Keeping 3D printing in mind, Chris designed, printed, and painted 15 gondolas, two stands, and one wheel.

Challenge 5 - Math: Build a Castle

The goal of this challenge was to make your own 3D printed sand castle molds to showcase innovative use of geometry, mold design, and tessellations. The winning entry was Math at the Beach by Will Webber, a collection of math-based things that can be used to enhance sand castle designs. The collection includes rollers to add texture to the sand, mathematical shape and bucket molds to create 3D shapes, polygon cookie cutters, and more.

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