Announcing the 3D Printing Olympics, July 21At the 3D Printing Camp

One of our goals for this 3D printing camp on July 21st is to get as many different types of 3D printers as we can at the event. And in the spirit of friendly competition we would like to give the operators of their printers the opportunity to show off their skills.

Below are five objects from Thingiverse. These objects are meant to challenge the limits of your machines as well as your ability to operate it. Each object is described as well as how it will be judged. (There might be bias to plastic based extrusion printers, I am assuming that most people will bring a printer of that type.)

1. Bridge Torture Test.

The goal of this object is too see how long of a distance you can span and still print out the circle on top.

This object will be judged specifically on the distance between the two struts and condition of the circle on top. It could look ugly and stringy, but if the circle is there than it will be accepted.

2. Willis Tower (Formally Sear’s Tower)

The goal of this object is how tall can you print it. The taller the better.

This object will be judged specifically on how tall the object is.

3. Screwey Screw

For this object you print out the bolt and two nuts. One nut will tighten down clockwise, the other will tighten counter clockwise. This object is all about the functionality.  The smoother the nuts turn the more points you will get. The secondary judging criteria is for a smaller object. So if we have two screwy screws that work equally as well, the smaller one will win out.

4. Lego Brick

Everyone should know what this is. The challenge with this object is a durability or reliability issue. Most printers print in ABS plastic, the same as Legos. So it would seem like a printed Lego would be just as good as a commercial lego. The issue is commercial legos are injection molded, and not created via additive manufacturing. When I tried printing off a lego brick it worked, but didn’t quite snap in as well, had as strong walls, or hold as tightly as the commercial version. So this object will be judged by those criteria. So I am assuming trying things like smaller level thickness and more infill or even slower feed rate would create a more durable lego.

5. Tiny Planetary Gear Set

This is a very cool device that has a single build plate for all of the components. When you are done printing you put all of the pieces together. For how complex the object seems, the print is very straight forward. When I printed it off for the first time I had to scale it up a little. One of the bolts broke on me when I was putting it together. This object will be judged on how smooth and functional the motion is. The secondary criteria will be on how small it is.



The final judging or judges haven’t been decided on, but this is the general criteria of the event. We invite everyone who is bringing a printer to try their hand at printing these objects. We encourage people to print these objects before the camp or the day of. We will finalize the judging towards the end of the event.

We also encourage people to bring their first attempts or failures. Part of this conference is to learn something that will make you a better operator. I would really like to see a good discussion between operators of different printers describing if they had any issues printing a particular object or how they got to their final submission.

We will pick a Goal, Silver and Bronze winner. And remember, you aren’t just representing yourselves, you are representing your printer as well, be it Rep Rap, Ultimaker, Printrbot, Makerbot, or your own Frankenstein monster. Good luck.

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