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 Gabriel 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!