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The 3D Print Cup 2014 winners announced

By 3dtotal staff

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Date Added: 30th July 2014

The 3D Print Cup 2014 contest to win a Makerbot Replicator has ended, with great success! Check out the winners and these 3D-printing video guides...


Following on from last year's competition, Cartridge Save's 3D Print Cup contest was a resounding success, with freelancers and professional companies alike all vying for the coveted spots of Best Non-Mover, Best Student, Best Individual, Best Team and Best Character (overall winner).

The challenge? To create a highly original character complete with at least one moveable part. The moveable parts had to be the result of one print only. They were then sent to the entrants to finalize, clean up and paint, before the judges cast their scrutinizing eye.

The prize for the overall winner was a MakerBot Replicator worth £2,000, so it was no surprise that competition entry and quality was so high. As Michael Snowdon, graphic artist at Draw and Code states; "The competition allowed us to enter the world of 3D-printing, putting our design to the test, against both the other companies and the capabilities of the MarkerBot machine."

Time for a group photo – say "Cheese!"

So, as entrants enjoyed the pleasure of receiving their design – in the plastic – often using them as company calling cards or simply enjoying the tactile nature of bringing something to life, they were also able to benefit greatly from the help offered by the contest judges. The judges supported them throughout, sharing their insights and experience, while providing helpful video guides about the process of 3D-printing. Want to know more yourself? Check out these three guides from Cartridge Save:

3D Printing – How to make moveable parts

3D Printing – How to finish off your 3D print

3D Printing – How to avoid common pitfalls

"Sometimes you can have something looking great on screen, and in reality, it's either miniscule or gargantuan!"

In order to create these models, each entrant used what software they had at hand. As Mike Mead, head judge of the 3D Print Cup states, "Creating the 3D models varied for each user and will most likely have been constructed using 3ds Max or Blender."

In addition, Mike highlighted the fact that the artists had to avoid some common pitfalls; "Firstly, scale... sometimes you can have something looking great on screen, and in reality, it's either miniscule or gargantuan! Secondly is that these 'mesh' models need to be watertight – i.e they have to have either closed or joining faces, otherwise some of the print softwares have trouble manufacturing the part."

As for the software used to actually make them, "That was makerware – the proprietary software for MakerBot which the models were printed on."

Best Team

Winner of the Best Team award was Draw and Code, with Michael Snowdon stating that; "With the aim to move into the toy market, the 3D Print Cup gave us a fantastic opportunity to test the technology, and with the award for Best Team we're confidently moving forward in that direction."

Draw and Code's entry concept

Draw and Code's 3D-printed model – winner of Best Team

Check out video footage of Draw and Code's design process

Best Individual

Ashley Sparling is a 3D designer and was the winner of the Best Individual category and was understandably happy: "I start my new job on Monday as an award-winning 3D print expert. I was already a competent 3D designer before but now I have finessed my skills in the printing and finishing process – a skill my new company can use in pitching new and growing business."

Ashley Sparling's entry concept

Ashley Sparling's General Spike giving a 3D-printed salute

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