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article imageCAD Crowd Covid-19 3D Printing Design Challenge takes off Special

By Paul Wallis     Mar 31, 2020 in Technology
Toronto - OK. imagine an open-source, 3D printable range of useful portable things for managing this damn virus. Things like automatic sanitizer handles, DIY face masks, and oxygen valves. Cad Crowd’s new challenge is all about doing these things well.
There’s some very healthy thinking going on here. 3D printing is a very practical response to creating things needed for hygiene and basic amenities in a time of quarantine and general angst. If you can print everything you need, or have it printed and shipped, it’s a big plus.
Mackenzie Brown is a long-time part of the 3D printing scene, and his Cad Crowd initiative has generated a lot of interesting new ideas. This challenge is one of them. You really do have to see these ideas to appreciate the sheer range of practical things these guys are designing.
I had a few questions:
• The 3D printing crowd is famously non-apathetic when it comes to designing anything and everything. What sort of response have you been getting to the COVID-19 3D Printing Design Challenge?
We’ve had a fantastic response so far. It’s a 31-day contest, with 19 still remaining, and we already have over 65 unique entries. We’re proud of our community, who are eager to do their part to combat the spread of the pandemic.
• What are the prizes for winners?
There’s a modest prize funded by Cad Crowd of $500 split between five winners. The contest is non-profit—we just wanted to put together a small initiative geared toward preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
Users do get points on our Cad Crowd system, which goes a long way toward helping them secure future projects. We’re also making the designs open-source and downloadable to other users, which we believe has some value in and of itself.
• How long is the contest open?
The contest began on March 18th and will close on April 18th.
Image courtesy of Cad Crowd
Image courtesy of Cad Crowd
Mackenzie Brown
Many of the ideas are pretty impressive baseline hygiene assets with other applications for general use.
There are some designs geared toward medical professionals, like a protective face shield. However, the goal of the contest is to generate designs that can help to slow down the spread of COVID-19 in social spaces, like the workplace and stores.
We hope to do our part in flattening the curve to allow medical professionals time to make treatments, more ventilators, and eventually a vaccine.
There are the expected designs like no-touch door handles, but there are also some out-of-the-box solutions to problems we’re facing. One user designed a door handle that automatically sanitizes itself.
These are a lot of good ideas which have wider uses, too. There’s way too many to list them all but consider this for accessibility needs in general:
• Modular elevator buttons for safer, easier contact with these heavy usage things.
• Door openers.
• Wearable sanitizers.
• Multiple types of masks
• Fist bump toilet flush button
One thing I’ve learned over the years – It’s the people who solve the problems who invent the things that lead to the next levels. Cad Crowd is proving that 3D printing is a very agile approach to dealing with multiple issues in a time of crisis. They are helping companies who are looking to 3D print and manufacture products take advantage of global talent and get high-quality prototypes.
It’s truly fascinating. Do make sure to have a look.
More about Cad Crowd COVID 19 Challenge contest, 3D printing antiviral equipment, CAD Crowd, Mackenzie Brown
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