Archive for the ‘Challenges’ Category

Win a MakerBot Replicator for Yourself or Your School

Thingiverse Summer STEAM Challenges

School might be over, but the MakerBot Thingiverse will keep you learning all summer long. Thingiverse is launching five challenges, one for each STEAM subject: science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. The first challenge closes on July 19, and the last closes on August 16, so you get the summer to design, iterate, and learn. The winner of each challenge will win a MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer.

Don’t know how to design for 3D printing? We think everyone can learn by using free and accessible tools like MakerBot Printshop, Tinkercad, MeshMixer, OpenSCAD, 123D Design, Sculptris, Sketchup, Morphi for iPad, and Blender.

Your School Can Win, Too

If you’re a schoolteacher or administrator who dreams about what your students could learn if only your school had a MakerBot Replicator, join the Our School Needs A 3D Printer group on Thingiverse. Each STEAM Challenge winner gets to choose a school from the group that will receive a MakerBot Replicator printer as well.

That makes ten lucky winners: five designers and five schools.The Thingiversity Summer STEAM Challenges are open to all ages and skill levels, and sometimes the simplest designs are the best ones.

Learn more >>

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Thingiverse | Birdhouse Challenge Winners


We’ve received an incredible number of #Birdhouse Challenge entries during the past month. More than 160 designs on Thingiverse are tagged “birdhouse!” And we are excited to present the winning entries. Also, birds around the world should rejoice.

The decision wasn’t easy. Every one of the 160 designs showed an incredible amount of design and innovation. Our judges scrutinized each on three factors: functionality, creativity, and printability. We’ve made so many printouts that we’re considering starting an Official MakerBot Aviary.

Our three winners stood out from the flock. First, Second, and Third place winners each get spools of MakerBot PLA filament and have their designs displayed in the MakerBot Store at 298 Mulberry Street in NYC. The First Place design will be featured on Thingiverse and its creator will receive his very own Eggbot! Congratulations to all our participants, and all our winners:


The American Craftsman Bungalow Birdhouse by ErikJDurwoodII

So much for this being a house for birds – many of us would like to live there. Though it took about 20 hours to print, the resulting model was flawless. Make sure to stop by the MakerBot store if you’re in NYC and check it out.

Printed in True White MakerBot PLA filament



Birdhouse Rook, Castle Tower by Valcrow

With a bird bath on top, plenty of ventilation, and a rain channel, this chess-inspired birdhouse thoroughly impressed our judges. It’s sure to make any tree look especially regal.

Printed in True Blue MakerBot PLA filament



Nested Birdhouse by Gyrobot

Who wouldn’t be impressed by a print-in-place, expandable birdhouse? This model prints all in one piece and then unfolds to create this layered bird house!

Printed in True Red MakerBot PLA filament



Honorable mentions go to:

“Birdhaus” High End Birdhouse Design by Doodle_Monkey

Robins Birdhouse by DaleUK

Google Maps Pin Birdhouse by wgss

But of course, let’s not forget that the birds are the real winners here.


If you want to print some birdhouses of your own, stop by our online store. We’re celebrating our winners with a special offer. From 7/19 through 7/26, when you buy one spool of filament, you get 15% off the second. Just use the promotional code ‘BIRDHOUSE’. Happy printing!

Which birdhouse did you like best? Tell us in comments.

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MakerBot Thingiverse | #Birdhouse Challenge


Birds need houses, and you, the 3D printing community, can be the ones to help. Enter the Thingiverse Birdhouse Challenge by designing a creative and functional birdhouse to shelter the newly-hatched!

PRIZES | First Place Prize: One Eggbot, the open-source art robot that lets you draw on spherical or egg-shaped objects. The winner will also receive a spool of True Black MakerBot PLA filament. The winning design will be featured on Thingiverse and the MakerBot Blog, as well as printed out and displayed in the MakerBot store at 298 Mulberry St. in NYC. Second Place Prize: A spool of True Blue MakerBot PLA filament. Third Place Prize: A spool of True Red MakerBot PLA filament.

TIME OF CHALLENGE | Thirty days. Monday, June 17 through Tuesday, July 16 at 11:59 PM ET. We will announce the winning entry on the MakerBot Blog on Friday, July 19!

HOW | You upload a design for your unique birdhouse and the printing instructions to Thingiverse. Tag each of your entries with “Birdhouse.” Once you’ve uploaded, encourage others to like and make your design.

JUDGING | Our panel of judges will subjectively pick a winning design based on functionality, printability and creativity. Enter as many designs as you want! A first place, second place, and third place winner will be selected. Get started with Thingiverse today. The race is officially on!

Please read the OFFICIAL RULES.

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MakerBot Customizer Challenge Winners!

The results are in! We called a close on Friday to the MakerBot Customizer Challenge, and before you read down to see the winners, you have to know one thing: this Challenge was outstanding.

Everyone who participated rocked our socks off, including those of you who were already doing great stuff with parametric design and adapted your files to work with Customizer. The participation was also huge. There were hundreds of entries spread out among the three categories (Useful, Artistic, and Wearable), and the quality of the designs made judging much harder than we expected.

So, huge kudos to the winners, who have each won a new MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer, and all the runners-up, who are fast becoming Thingiverse celebrities. Results after the jump!

Read the rest of this entry »

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One Week Left In The Customizer Challenge!


The MakerBot Customizer Challenge has over 200 entries and over 100 participants, and there are still eight full days to go. Whoa. It’s the home stretch with just over a week left, so let’s have an update and make sure everyone gets the chance to enter.

If you’re just hearing about the MakerBot Customizer Challenge for the first time, get some background information here. We’ve seen a ton of great activity for this challenge. It’s great that MakerBot Customizer has given a lot of you who were already being awesome with OpenSCAD a chance to spread your designs a bit. Big shout out to you parametric veterans.

It’s also encouraging people with no experience in this kind of design to jump into the game, and quite a few of you have uploaded your first thing to MakerBot Thingiverse just for this Challenge. Score!


●  You have a week left to enter. Enter as many times as you want.

●  There will be a winner in each of three categories: Useful, Wearable, Artistic.

●  We’re announcing the winner during SXSW in Austin, Texas.

●  See all of the entries here!

Questions and Answers after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

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GrabCAD Challenge Winners Announced!

Imagine the year 2040. What will we eat or wear? What will Congress argue about? Where will we get our cat pictures?

Most importantly, how will we get around? That’s what we asked the participants in the GrabCAD 3D Printer Challenge to consider in designing the vehicles of the future. The entries sort of blew us away, and we’re thrilled to announce the winners.

MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis, a huge car enthusiast, says judging a vehicle design contest was harder than usual. We were pretty excited to sponsor this challenge with GrabCAD, and are especially excited that the Winner and the Runner-Up will both be MakerBot users now. Think of what they’ll make!

Okay, time to ogle.

1st Place —  Alpha by user Omega from Germany



This entry from user omega includes a great synopsis of a future just a few decades from now where our technological breakthroughs make space travelers of us all. First, though, we need to get off the ground. The Alpha  pod takes traffic above the roads and into three dimensions. We asked entrants to optimize their models for printing on a MakerBot, and we can confirm the Alpha looks amazing. The prospect of omega owning a MakerBot is very exciting.


2nd Place — 2040 Direct Drive Vehicle by user Gabriel Ortin located in Canada

2040_directdrivevehicle_gabrielotrinnaturalcarSIZEDGabriel Ortin presented one of the most detailed car models we’ve ever seen (left), and it looks incredible when printed on the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer (right). You’re asking yourself right now whether this was printed in one piece. Nope! This does require assembly, but as you can see, the effort is very worth it. Gabriel calls the 2040 Direct Drive Vehicle the “rugged automobile concept for the year 2040 is designed for individuals that can’t live without a fundamental driving experience.”


3rd Place — Personal Hot Rod by user Matthew Gueller


How cool is this single-person hot rod from GrabCAD user matthew gueller? It’s beautiful and classic, but the minimalist body suggests there will be some pretty interesting changes to car engines in 2040. Great work, Matthew!


4th Place — Firanse R3 by user Luis Cordoba from Mexico


GrabCAD user Luis Cordoba envisions a car that’s totally customizable, since you could simply print out the components you want. And not to worry: ” if something is broken it can simply be reduced to its original material and reprinted again.” We like the sound of that. Kudos, Luis!


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Nokia 3D Printing Design Challenge!


Something rad happened recently on Thingiverse when the mobile device company Nokia uploaded a design for the shell of a Nokia Lumia 820 that can be downloaded and 3D printed. Killer!

We saw this at MakerBot and took the liberty to adapt the design to work perfectly on the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer. The result is impressive and a perfect fit for this phone.

Now Nokia is holding a 3D printing challenge to let designers from anywhere join in the action. Here’s what they say about the challenge.

Express to impress

There are a couple of things you need to take into account to impress the judges. Firstly, you should consider how to make an aesthetic and artistic design, which most appeals to smartphone users. Secondly, you should try and consider the practical aspects as well. For example, perhaps you might want to create a shell that allows for a bigger battery or one with a heavy-duty speaker. Go crazy and let wishful thinking and imagination combine.

The fantastic five

Your idea will be judged on very clear criteria, broken down into five categories, each of which will have equal representation in the final decision.

  • Clear articulation of designs in written language and visuals where possible
  • Real life possibility of being made into a mobile phone cover
  • Aesthetic design and creativity
  • Likelihood that mobile consumers will take interest in your design
  • Community support for your idea

We’re thrilled that our own design master Matt Kroner will be involved in the judging! Go to Nokia’s announcement post to get all the details. Good luck!


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Win A MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer!

If you haven’t explored the MakerBot Customizer, the tool that lets basically everyone be a designer on Thingiverse, check it out! Customizer is an app built on the 3D design program OpenSCAD that designers use to upload customizable designs. When designers with the OpenSCAD know-how upload these designs, any Thingiverse user can take the basic template and customize it to suit their tastes. Read all about it here, or login to Thingiverse to get started. Read on to find out how this new tool can win you something even more awesome.



Now for the fun part! The MakerBot Customizer Challenge is a chance for those of you who know how to use OpenSCAD, or are excited to learn, to upload amazing new customizable designs that the entire MakerBot Thingiverse community can use and be inspired by.

PRIZE One MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer to the winner of each category.

CATEGORIES Useful, Wearable, and Artistic.

TIME OF CHALLENGE January 23-March 8, 2013, 11:59 PM ET. We will announce the winning entry at the giant annual arts and technology festival SXSW, and make sure the press knows about the winner and other great participants. We want to make you a star and famous 3D designer!

HOW You upload a design that works with MakerBot Customizer. You can learn about that process here. Tag each of your entries, with “Customizer,” “Customizer Challenge,” and the category you are submitting into (see below). Once it’s uploaded, encourage people in your social networks to use your design to create their own custom things. The more times it’s used, the more points for you, so get the word out!

JUDGING Our panel of judges will pick a winning design in each of three categories: Useful, Wearable, and Artistic. Enter as many designs as you want! Designs will be considered subjectively by the judges and objectively by the number of times people use your design to create new things. There will be one winner per category.

Get started with MakerBot Customizer today. The race is officially on!


UPDATE! You can see all the entries here.


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Win A Replicator 2 From Chris Anderson And Instructables

Are you waiting to get your hands on a MakerBot Replicator 2? Chris Anderson, the Editor-in-Chief of Wired Magazine and the author of the new book pictured above, Makers, is ready to give you one.

Check out the give-away contest over at Instructables, which calls for you to submit your “ultimate 3D design.” The submissions page explains that each entry will have to be in the form of an Instructable, which can be a step-by-step project explanation, a photo, or a video, and it should involve “the creation of a 3D design.”

Okay, that’s a little vague, so allow me to make a few suggestions. When we launched the Replicator 2 just under three weeks ago, Bre wrote a MakerBot Operator Manifesto for BoingBoing. Here are a few ideas that we think could merit the “ultimate” tag.

Where we’re going, there are no limitations: create your working flux capacitor by glueing MakerBotted components together for installation in your DeLorean.

Go big. With the MakerBot Replicator 2‘s 410 cubic inch build volume, you can finally create the trumpet you’ve been dreaming of.

Compete with the industrial machines. With the MakerBot Replicator 2’s 100 micron layer resolution you can create models that will look like they were made on a refrigerator sized machine that costs 100 times the MakerBot Replicator 2.

Make the unreal real. Use your MakerBot to manifest unicorns, dragons, or a functional sonic screwdriver.

Resist buying things that you can make on your MakerBot Replicator 2. There is no deeper nerd cred than MakerBotting frames for your glasses.

Optimize the world. That contraption to hold your microscopes glass slides together in the dishwasher is just waiting for you to design and MakerBot it.

Repurpose everything. The springs in pens and motors pulled from old technology can be used to create the replica of that V8 supercharged hemi you’ve been lusting after.

Repurpose the models in Cornell’s wonderful mechanical library to power your perpetual motion machine.

Prototype your inventions. We’re still waiting for you to align the lasers with your MakerBotted oscillation overthruster.

Use what you’ve got. If you are a programmer, use the openSCAD tool to create parametric gears If you are a photographer, learn to use 123D Catch to scan the greatest works of art at your local museum.

Ignore the naysayers. Your jackalope powered hovercraft is achievable and don’t forget to MakerBot a helmet for the jackalope.

Submit yours before midnight on October 12, 2012 (that’s 11:59 pm on 10/12, for you sticklers), and be sure to select “3D Design Contest” in the check boxes when you do. That will get it in the running, and Instructables staff will let you know if your entry is accepted. At the end of the contest, Chris and other judges will select one grand prize winner, and five runners-up, who will each receive a signed copy of Makers.

A little note from MakerBot: we highly encourage you to share your designs on Thingiverse, too! In the past, many Instructable contest ideas have received good feedback from the community on Thingiverse.

Get started here. Good luck!


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Your Mom Made You – Make Her a Flower!

Mother’s Day: Say It With Flowers

Mother’s Day is fast approaching and MakerBot wants you to say it with flowers — 3D printed flowers!

Mother Nature has decorated our planet with an endless variety of flowers, trees, ferns, and vines. Let’s model some original, printable flowers for the awesome Mamas in our lives– maybe even some that can sing, dance, or squirt water in her face — and share them on!

We’ve asked our own Mothers to *pick* their favorites, so c’mon, MakerBotters! Let’s make ’em proud.  Read the rest of this entry »

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