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Future Engineers’ Mars Medical Challenge Finalists Win MakerBot 3D Printers

Desktop 3D printer manufacturer MakerBot teamed up with Future Engineers for their Mars Medical Challenge, supported by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) with technical assistance from NASA. Participants of different age groups were asked to design a model to be 3D printed that could be used for a variety of medical needs – from first-aid, to emergency, to surgical, and much more. The 3D printing focused challenge is the fifth of its series and strives to engage the next generation of bright minds by incorporating design, 3D printing, and space exploration.

This year’s winners were: Lewis Greenstein, 18, of Seattle, WA, who developed the Dual IV/Syringe Pump (for the Teen category) and Lauren Lee, 12, of Cupertino, CA, who built the Drug Delivery Device (for the Junior category). The Challenge was open to K-12 student in the United States and asked to create a digital 3D model of an object that could be used by an astronaut to maintain physical health on a 3-year mission to Mars.

The design had to be intended to be 3D printed and could be used for a range of medical needs including diagnostic, preventative, first-aid, emergency, surgical, and/or dental purposes. Exercise, psychological, and nutritional health, while important, were not priority areas for this challenge. Retired astronaut Scott Kelly’s historic one-year mission on ISS provided insights on how the human body reacts to long duration spaceflight, but the Journey to Mars will take approximately 30 months. What health-related items do you think an astronaut will need on that journey, and why would these items require a 3D printer? The challenge asked to start flexing problem-solving and design skills to find a solution.

The competition’s 8 finalists each received a MakerBot Replicator Mini+, then in turn donated the printers to schools of their choice.


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