The National Hockey League’s Anaheim Ducks recently involved 3D printing in an educational initiative.
The team, like many in the NHL and other sports leagues, reaches out to their fan bases, focusing on children. One of their several initiatives is to encourage more student interest science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through demonstrations. Their recent “Build a Better Puck” contest did just that.
At an in-person event, 16,000 students from 160 local schools were spoken to on STEM topics. They were provided with access to an online workbook that, with the help of Autodesk’s Tinkercad 3D modeling tool, challenged them to design a new kind of hockey puck.
The Ducks expect saw over 500 applications to the “Build a Better Puck” contest. With several designs selected as worthy of printing (one shown here), which was done by Autodesk. Apparently these puck prototypes were tested on-ice by Ducks players.
While we’re certain these particular designs will not soon make their way into NHL games, the point here is that 3D printing is a tool for the future. Leveraging the popularity of sports team players to introduce this technology to the very people that will make heavy use of it in future years cannot be anything but a wonderful idea.
Via Anaheim Ducks