An Irish PhD student has been awarded first place in the Stratasys Extreme Redesign Challenge, winning a free Stratasys FDM 3D printer for the University of Oxford for a year and a $2,500 scholarship. The student, Daniel Fahy, was recognized for his design of a 3D printed Hoberman Sphere that represents the world globe.
Currently completing his DPhil in Engineering Science at the University of Oxford, Fahy is excited to be recognized by Stratasys for his 3D printable design in the category of “Art, Jewelry and Architecture.” But this is not the first time he has won. In 2017, Fahy took home first prize in the same category for another innovative design, an intricate floral centerpiece.
“I feel privileged to have won this competition,” he said. “The main reason I entered was because it allowed me to be creative and explore my passion for engineering and design via a project of my own. While the Extreme Redesign Challenge provides guidelines, 3D printing gives you the design freedom to bring ideas to life that I previously thought not possible. This can be liberating, but also challenging, as you need to create a design that looks good but also functions as a 3D model.”
The design in question is a Hoberman sphere—an isokinetic structure that folds down into itself—that is designed to look like the Earth. When contracted, the design looks like a standard globe but when it expands it reveals the earth’s core at its center. The impressive model was reportedly designed from scratch in just a few weeks.
“Daniel’s winning design perfectly exemplifies the level of creative innovation we receive globally each year as part of our Extreme Redesign Challenge,” commented Gina Scala, Director of Marketing, Global Education, Stratasys. “15 years on from the inception of the competition and students still continue to amaze us with their ability to push the boundaries of design and creativity with 3D printing. The bar was particularly high this year, with our panel impressed with so many diverse designs – making the winners this time round truly deserving having shown exceptional levels of creative design.”
The Extreme Redesign Challenge is an annual contest hosted by Stratasys and GrabCAD that invites students from around the globe to redesign an existing piece of art, jewelry or architecture—or, create a wholly new one. The entries are then judged based on criteria like creativity, mechanical function and feasibility. The winner of the design challenge, in this case Fahy, is then awarded with a $2,500 scholarship and a Stratasys FDM 3D printer, which can be used at the winner’s educational institution for one year. The winner also receives a 3D printed version of their design.
Fahy said of the prizes: “I’m particularly delighted to have won a Stratasys FDM 3D printer for our university for the coming year. Having utilized 3D printing throughout the latter years of my education, I believe all students should have access to this technology. Not only helping to bring out creativity in design, but also showing students how they can turn their ideas into physical products in ways traditional engineering methods don’t allow. This is very important for those pursuing engineering careers in the future.”
The Stratasys 3D printer has been installed at the Oxford Thermofluids Institute in the university’s Department of Engineering Science, where students can use it to rapidly transform research or design ideas into functional prototypes.
“3D printing is going to be around for a long time, especially as the technology becomes more mature, less expensive and as a result more accessible to different fields,” Fahy concluded. “Since it provides such a valuable opportunity to accelerate learning and development, I believe it is critical that students, educators and people within industry know this technology is available and learn to use it.”