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UC Berkeley Holds 3D Printing Designathon

The University of California Berkeley held its second 3D Printing Designathon recently, with several of the university's engineering design-oriented organizations hosting the event to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

More than 100 students participated in the event, which challenged them to design assistive technology (AT) devices to improve the daily life of individuals with disabilities. The 3D Printing Designathon brought in volunteers who talked to participants about their specific disability and the challenges it creates for them in their daily life. The students then worked in teams to come up with 3D-printed conceptual solutions to help individuals with disabilities overcome those challenges.

A total of 27 teams completed their designs and prototypes on deadline. They presented their assistive technology devices to a panel of judges that included representatives from Autodesk, Shapetizer, Northrop Grumman, PocketMe, Eucled and you3Dit. Participants also voted for their favorite of their peers' designs.

The two first place winning teams, one chosen by the judges and one chosen by participants, each received a Printrbot 3D printer. Other teams won their choice of a PocketMe full scan and print of each member, a $250 cash prize or a Eucled Customized Colored Trophy.

Some of the teams plan to continue working on their designs and prototypes, and Shapetizer, a 3D printing marketplace, will upload several of the projects so anybody can access and print them.

The university's first 3D Printing Designathon was held in April 2015. The most recent designathon attracted nearly twice as many participants as the inaugural event.

University of California Berkeley's engineering design-oriented organizations that hosted the event included Shapetizer, the 3D Modeling Club, EnableTech, and Biomedical Engineering Society.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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