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The GrabCAD Community has an impressive array of members possessing a wide variety of knowledge and creative skills.

Which is why, when NASA came to us and asked if we could host a design challenge that showed a short animation to 3D print a thermal protection shield for a spacecraft, we knew our members wold be more than up for the challenge.

And, with almost 70 entries, they certainly did not disappoint.

Here are the winners and some other designs that really stood out to the judges:

1st Place:
NASA Challenge Entry 2 – Tommy Mueller by tommy.mueller-1

Judges called Tommy Mueller‘s submission “a stunning animation of the additive manufacturing process,” and it really is. It’s realistic depiction of the assembly process and the concentrical spiral design were inspired by a cement mixer.

2nd Place:
3D printing of aerospace metallic structures and 3D printing of ablative material on a carbon fiber honeycomb matrix by dario.d.amico-1

Of ‘s second place entry, the judges said: “We could easily see this process depicted in this submission being used in a NASA manufacturing warehouse.”


3rd Place:
3D Printing Plant for Human-Rated Spacecraft by ralph.zoontjens

Judges called Ralph Zoontjens‘ entry “simply stunning,” particularly noting that the “attention to detail and the full facility walk through was outstanding. Nice work!

Honorable Mentions

NASA Challenge: Human Rated Spacecraft 3D Printing Process by flaviano.crespi

‘s submission impressed the judges due to its “great renderings and amazing attention to detail.”

NASA Challenge Entry-Pablo Morales Higueras by pablo.morales-15

Judges said they were impressed by ‘ due to its attention to detail. “From the workers to the danger signs this submission had some of the most detailed renders,” judges said.

Turret 3D Printer by ashish.verma-19

The judges said they liked ‘s entry due to how fast the multiple robotic arms might allow the project to be completed: “The use of three robotic arms looks like a very creative and possibly speedy solution to the 3D printing challenge.”

Heat Shield Printing and Pressure Vessel Printing by paul.sims-1

Paul Sims‘ entry was hailed as “incredibly unique” by the judges, and they praised his attention to even the most minute detail: “This submission by Paul Sims was incredibly unique compared to many of the other submissions. Paul’s attention to the description of even some of the smallest details in the submission was fantastic.”

3d printer for capsules by nika.alavidze-1

‘s design looks a lot like a diving bell, and it relies on mixing and loading materials into containers that mix and send them to a nozzle for the additive manufacturing process.

“The submission by NIka Alavidze contains a lot of great design details as well as a detailed description of the floor layout. Really creative design,” judges said.

NASA Challenge: Spacecraft Manufacturing Process Simulation by aria.djavid-1

‘s submission relied heavily on inspiration from real images that he used to come up with a manufacturing process for the heat shield, which judges said was “spot on.”

“The attention to detail Aria displayed in this submission was outstanding. Drawing inspiration from real pictures to help make this submission clearly worked,” judges said.

3D Printer Head by hidayat.heru.sasongko-1

Hidayat Heru Sasongko‘s entry impressed due to the level of detail he paid  to the design of the head of the printing arm, the judges said.

Inspired? Show off your own designs in the GrabCAD Community Library

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