There’s only a week until submissions close for the Polypanels design competition, so it’s time you thought about entering your designs and/or makes.
This 3D design competition is centred around the MyMiniFactory community creating wonderful, wacky and workable 3D printable designs and 3D printed inventions using Make Anything's signature Polypanels.
Before the 3D design competition comes to an end, we thought we’d take the time to inspire those of you who’ve not yet entered, to have a go at designing and entering. We will also share some incredible designs from the MyMiniFactory 3D design community to help you get the most out of the adaptable world of Polypanels.
What's In It For You?
The winning designer will be awarded the brand new, not yet released but highly anticipated Snapmaker 2.0: Modular 3-in-1 3D Printer (Check out their Kickstarter, you wont believe it)! 3D enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting this new printer to be released from the company that brought you the Original Snapmaker, with early reviews calling it “a huge upgrade" and "a seriously good machine"!
This printer not only has cutting edge 3D printing capabilities, it also has laser engraving and CNC (Computer Numerical Control) carving capabilities. That’s the 3 you get in the 1. Its modular design allows it to be transformed or expanded into another machine. It also features a more linear design, that not only looks cool, it’s incredibly functional, allowing it to be cleaned easier and reducing dirt and dust build upon the inside screws, as they are fully enclosed. This printer is also very intelligent. Its new controller, known as the ‘brain’ of the printer, has a filament sensor, Wi-Fi connection and supports up to 11 concurrent linear functions. With all these pros and many more, it’s certainly a worthy prize.
Plus with Snapmaker, you don't have to be number one to win big, there’s also prizes for second and third places.
Second place will win the Snapmaker 2.0: Modular 3-in-1 3D Printer (Basic)! The same printer that first place wins, just with a slightly smaller build volume and work area. Still a very impressive piece of 3D machinery to win!
Third place will win a $100 USD coupon to spend in the Official Snapmaker Online Store!
Now that you know what you’re up for, you should definitely want to start designing the perfect Polypanel. Here’s an idea of what this competition is all about.
Who Is Make Anything?
Devin Montes, the creative behind the name, started his Make Anything 3D Printing Channel on Youtube in April 2016, as a way to inspire people to see the world through the eyes of a creative problem solver. His channel focuses on using the process of 3D printing to make cool 3D designs, solve problems, review products and much more. In the last few years the channel has grown rapidly, now having over 350K subscribers. Devin is also a member of the MyMiniFactory Studios community, a community of dedicated and talented designers who share a passion for 3D design, creation and education. He is also designs Premium 3D files which he sells via the MyMiniFactory Designer Store.
But where did Devin get the inspiration to make a career out of 3D printing in the first place? And how did that evolve into the development of his Polypanels? He told us:
“I got introduced to 3D printing while studying Product Design at Art Center College in Pasadena, CA. We were meant to use the tech for prototyping designs, but I saw the potential for 3D printers as a consumer tool that could give anybody the ability to design and customize the products and the world around them. Polypanels are an extension of that vision, making it easier than ever to make anything in a snap!”
What Are Polypanels?
Polypanels are a system of snap together parts designed by Devin that allow you to build ‘whatever you want’!
The Polypanels come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from small simple triangles to large pentagons.The one thing that is always consistent are the connectors on the edge, allowing any and all Polypanels to snap together neatly. Due to the wide range of panels possible for creation, Polypanels are incredibly versatile for innovation.
The open source nature of the Polypanel project means that you’re working collaboratively, co-creating and expanding on designs created by your peers while allowing them to do the same with yours. This kind of democratized design has proven in the past to produce exceptional and original solutions in the form of 3D models. The OpenLOCK project for tabletop gaming for example has allowed 3D designers to create their own 3D printable scenery for their games. Since they’re compatible with other OpenLOCK scenery, it allows for greater customization and a unique player experience. On MyMiniFactory, we also have many great 3D printable RC car designs which expand on Daniel Norée’s OpenRC project.
The open source library of Polypanels is forever growing, with panels being designed in new shapes with different purposes. Devin encourages his community through the Make Anything Competition, sponsored by Snapmaker, to design and create using his original files as a base.
“I realized the best way to create a thriving Polypanel ecosystem is by encouraging collaboration within the 3D printing community, and what better way to kickstart that than with a competition? So now it's up to you to come up with some awe inspiring Specialty Panels. What panel will add a ton of versatility to the system, or help produce incredible creations? How can you make Polypanels the perfect solution for something nobody else has considered? The more Polypanel designs that we make, the more versatile and useful the entire system becomes, so enter your remixed Polypanels into the competition to help the cause (and possibly become the newest owner of a Snapmaker 2 3-in-1 3D printer!)”
This is a 2 part competition, so you have the opportunity to enter into whether you’re a 3D designer or a 3D maker or both! So now, you may need some inspiration.
What Will You Design?
Part 1 is all about 3D design. You’re asked to design a new type of Polypanel.
For this section you don't need to own a 3D printer, all you need is your CAD software. Here’s a little instructional video from Devin himself on how you can use TinkerCAD and Fusion 360 to make your own Polypanel designs:
Now that you know how to design a Polypanel, it’s time to decide what your panel is going to be. The most important thing is that your design be original. Start by having a look at what’s out there before you begin.Check out what other people have submitted for the 3D design competition as well.
We can’t tell you what to create, that’s all on you! But we can share what some other 3D designers have come up with, to get your creative juices flowing.
Trevor DePodesta has decided to use the competition to design something perfect for tabletop gaming. Buildingon the square Polypanel, Trevor remixed the panel by adding holes to make Polypanel dice. He even made it easy to print the die in multiple colors without using a dual extruder printer. This playful design is a great use of polypanel and an enjoyable addition to any board game.
Moritz Gellerman invented a practical, more specific accessory with his Polypanel design. While Polypanels exist for regular pegboards, Moritz recognized that these panels would be incompatible with IKEA’s own Skadis pegboard. Creating both normal and double panels, Moritz entry is a perfect solution for anyone with this pegboard who wishes to attach their own Polypanel creations.
Angus Deveson designed a perfect Polypanel platform for any fan of 3D printable robotics. This starter kit features panels for mounting micro gearmotors or servos. With this design it’s now possible to experiment with creating your own RC vehicles from your collection of Polypanels. You can see the incredible results and Angus’ inspiration in his YouTube video dedicated to his creation.
Watch Strap broken? Neil van der Merwe’s 3D design has you covered. Using the snaps he made Polypanels wearable and made it possible to attach this neat chainmail style strap to your wrist watch, perfect for anyone who’s watch strap is broken or those who want to have a more personalized piece of wristwear. The snapping function of the Polypanels also means that the strap is adjustable to all wrist sizes by simply adding or removing a panel.
Though they can’t all win, every polypanel design will remain uploaded in the polypanel catalogue to share with the world.. So in a way, they're all winners.
But designing new Polypanels is only half of this competition.
What Will You Make?
Part 2 is all about 3D printing. Choose any polypanel you like,even your own, and create an object from the pieces.
Certain Polypanel designs, like Trevor’s die, are designed to be made into a specific 3D model. But the fun of Polypanels is that you can use them to make anything! For this section of the competition you will need to show us that you can make something unique and exciting from your 3D printed Polypanels. To give you an idea of what you can create using Polypanels, here’s some of the objects that Devin made from his.
This bag was made by simply combining a lot of triangles, some squares on the bottom, and then two specialty panels on top, the clutch handles. The resulting 3D printed handbag is sturdy enough for Devin to carry his sketchbooks! It’s what he calls a ‘functional print’. He also made another bag using a similar technique; using the handles on each side as places to attach straps, meaning you can carry your Polypanel bag on your shoulder.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to make models with a practical use. We’d also love to see designers entering 3D designs they've made for the purpose of fun and games. In fact, Polypanels are perfect for sustainable, amusing creations, as Devin says:
“I’ll admit in the 3D printing community oftentimes we end up printing things just because we can, because it’s fun. And that can be quite wasteful frankly. But with Polypanels that’s not really such a big problem because as soon as you get tired of something you can tear it apart and use those same pieces to make something completely different”
Devin had a lot of fun himself making this slingshot style blaster to shoot little foam balls. Made simply by connecting Polypanels of various shapes and sizes, it also utilizes the special feature of the flexy strips Polypanel for that springy action any good slingshot needs.
Devin isn't the only one utilizing his creation to make awesome objects, we’ve seen people make robots, LED lamps, LED lights & RC cars. We've even seen David Shorey create fabric by 3D printing the Polypanel connections onto textiles, and he plans on creating an entire dress!
Trevor Deposta returns here, with a 3D printed catan board made from Polypanels he designed himself, a perfect example of being able to incorporate an entry into both parts of this competition in one. Played with his Polypanel die, you can now enjoy an entire board game made of Polypanels.
Your makes can be whatever you want them to be, Stremnev_AY wanted to make something majestic. This stunning Drakkar model highlights another way that you can usePolypanels to make 3D printed collectables. As a bonus, if you have the necessary Polypanels you can build your own Drakkar to showcase the system’s potential in your home, Simply watch this assembly guide.
In this competition there’s no limit to what you can create with the versatile panels. Start experimenting and see what you can come up with. When you’ve got the perfect creation, take some pictures and share them in the community print gallery on the object page of the design you used to assemble it.
This Competition Can Help You Make Anything!
As designers and makers, sometimes it’s tough coming up with new ideas, or deciding where to start on a project. The great thing about Polypanels is that you can create easily, and rework just the same. Snapping together parts to create something new and original, and then getting inspired to build a whole new object, or even a new kind of Polypanel.
We’re impressed by the enthusiasm and creativity of the community, and hope this competition has ignited your passion for designing objects for 3D printing and/or making your own products from 3D printed objects. As Devin says, “You can make beautiful things, you can make functional things, you can make fun things, you can make anything”
Just as Devin’s career sparked from an idea, remember that when you create for design competitions like these or share your designs across MyMiniFactory, it may be your 1st step in being just as successful. Never stop creating!
Go forth and Make Anything!