Remember that breathtaking challenge from YouMagine? Yes, they’ve chosen the winners.
Just to recall, the challenge was to identify a new kind of 3D printing technology. It’s a concept contest, with the winners being awarded new Ultimaker 3D printers. We’re glad we didn’t have to choose the winners of this event, but evidently the mandarins of YouMagine have done so.
Two winners were selected.
The first winner was Laird Popkin, who proposed a new type of 3D printer that includes two extruders, one for fine details and the other, a much more bulky unit capable of fast internal fills. This concept should be possible with appropriate hardware and software changes - and could significantly increase the speed of printing.
Even better, Popkin wishes to extend the concept a bit. If you can print faster, then it becomes more practical to print bigger, as the time factor becomes less relevant. He also proposes to increase the print volume to do so.
The second winner was Aidan Leitch (aka “Just a kid with a 3D printer”), who did not let his age hinder his creativity. In his video above, he explains the essence of his idea: to print silicone, mix the two base materials on the printing surface instead of in the nozzle. Silicone, as you know, hardens, and this is a significant problem for extruders that would become frozen with material. Instead, print each layer twice: once with each of the base materials, which, when mixed together become silicone and begin to harden.
This is a very intriguing idea, but we suspect someone would have to do a great deal of testing and experimentation to get it to work, be efficient and accurate. Nevertheless, a very deserving idea.
Both participants were awarded a new Ultimaker Original 3D printer kit, which we suspect will be put to very good use.