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SandervG

Community Contest, let's hear it!

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Hi All,

We really enjoyed the contests we have been organizing last few weeks and all the creative entries it generated.

It would be really cool to continue these, and I wanted to bounce some ideas off with you all on what you think the best format should be for these contests.

These past contests were fun, but also relatively short. We choose to go for one week per contest so we could

announce more winners, i.e. making more community members happy!

But at the same time this is limiting the time people can participate, or think about a good entry.

So we need to come up with an appropriate timeframe for how long a contest will run.

I'll make the first suggestion, 1 month.

That way we can start a new contest every (for example) 5th.

So January 5th. February 5th. March 5th and so on.

Themes!

To stay in line with the Olsson Block a big part of the past contests were printing small objects.

This could be very informing and educating, but variety is the spice of life!

To keep things low entry and fun we added some 'creative free' topics in it as well, but at the same time this is hard to rate. So what do we want as themes? As much variety as possible?

What about we let the winner choose the topic of the next contest?

I also like the idea of adding CAD modelling in it, but I am aware I would probably limit the audience severely when doing so. It is very time consuming and still a difficult skill to manage. What do you think about this?

Does it depend if the prize is good enough? Or if the theme is fun enough?

Talking about prizes. A proper contest also has a prize!

Besides eternal honor we may need to add a little extra in the mix.

I am thinking, maybe no one cares about this but I like it; to add a community contest winner badge.

Forever the eternal fame will be connected to your profile, pretty amazing eh? ;)

Also.. I have received some suggestions (i.e. persistent requests:p) about coffee-mugs. That is a ball which is currently rolling... As previously mentioned, coming up with the next contest will also be part of the prize.

That's it? .. anything else?

Uploading.

Sometimes I had the impression some of the requirements of the previous contest were not clear.

So we may need to make the rules a bit simpler.

A few things which I consider important;

- printed on an Ultimaker

- modifications are allowed (we are all hackers aren't we?)

- uploaded in print section. This is important for me because it creates a clear overview of entries, and if this section is regularly updated with new entries it is a great section to visit and see what everyone is doing.

- winner commits to sharing his settings and 'recipe to victory'. (Thanks @Neotko)

- ... ?

I think these are the most important parts to get clear.

Let me know what you think, curious to hear your feedback!

Edited by Guest

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Maybe the conquest could be technical stuff to help others have that nice cool prints. For example:

- Weird overhangs no supports.

- Longest bridge no supports.

- Small foot print print stick. A small area as base print that grows into a tall print and don't falls.

Winner I think that should also share aceleration and jerk settings of their machines, filament brand used, gcode profile and mods installed.

Edited by Guest
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So as a theme select one of the 'boarders' / challenges in 3D printing and see if we can push that back?

Sounds great!

In terms of bridging, a difference in materials could also do a lot.

I am already getting curious about the results! ;)

Ah yes, I will add that requirement to the rules. Important that we all learn from these contests.

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I like the wider timeframe, one week was quite short that's why i didn't participate in any of the previous contests (altough it would just be for fun, but a coffee mug would be nice to have on my desk :p)

The badge is also cool to show off :)

Regarding themes i liked the last one and the UMO tribute one because it had to take some imagination for the pictures.

It's also good to have challenging prints like overhangs or tiny prints. Maybe some voronoi stuff would be a nice challenge (even if i hate these models :p). Or something tricky that you have to find the best orientation to print.

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My 2+ cents:

In a contest I simply can not win when certain people from this community are participating. Both times I (almost) won were due lack of participants. At the same time it made me happy (I won stuff!) but mostly sad as I couldn't watch the amazing entries and learn from them.

I don't care about the fact that I can't win in a straight up printing contest with most people here. I'm in it to keep printing, keep challenging myself, keep learning and the hope to win when I actually am proud of my entry.

That being said I believe there are multiple ways this can go @SandervG:

Those creative contests are fun. Lots of fun. But they mostly require time and inspiration into the design of the story and the props etc. At the end (if you didn't win) you had some fun, and some extra experience. Therefore I believe the prize has to be stimulating enough for some of the real talented printers we have here, to participate. And I'm sure we all want to see them compete for the love of seeing amazing prints. A few reels of filament? An interview for a feature on the site? An invitation to Ultimaker HQ if they are ever in the vicinity. Offering them stuff like upgrades probably wont work, as they either already have it, or don't need/want it.

However the other path I see is the following, briefly mentioned earlier in this topic.

I'm in it for learning stuff. I learned from @tinkergnome that I could pause the printer and park it, switch filament and have my multi color print just the way I want. Perhaps most of you knew, I didn't. The fact that I didn't means others didn't. Cue enter Ultimaker to do a write up on this functionality, get your fancy time lapse studio out and show this to everyone so not only the forum people learn about it, also the other UM users and even others that use cura.

I have yet to try it, but I believe I learned some tricks to print smaller with a .4mm nozzle. More stuff I learned. What is stuff I want to become better at?

-Print smaller

-Print with more detail when printing smaller

-Printing multiple objects at once without worrying

-Printing stuff with overhangs, with or without support

-Printing stuff that actually fits: Where dimensions match the model, i.e. holes etc.

-Stuff with much retraction without stringing and ugliness

What have I learned by myself that could still be useful:

-Auto prints! (including writing Gcode yourself)

-Make music with your UM

These technical things are interesting for most users on the forums, either to learn, to improve, or to teach/show off. Go crazy with technical stuff, people here love it! We are tinkers, hackers, but also the artist love it, as they see something they can use to make their next piece even better!

Worst example that still makes a point: Who can print the shiniest mirror, as in most flat and homogeneous surface? You can't measure it, it would be silly to award prizes, but people could see it as a challenge and a way to learn.

Take challenging prints, that are not always about how small can you scale it. Take a mail armor part, or dress part. Take a voronoi thing, take crazy bridging, take something that needs supports.

Take stuff like this, shamelessly saying I'm proud of this print, but I know people here can do so much better:

IMG_2758.thumb.JPG.a5f61268b8c4198ecbaf794181654b21.JPG

Trying to wrap up I would like to express 1 fear: From experience I don't always print larger things as I don't have that much filament. The prospect of being able to win something/filament helps but it can still be an issue. There are multiple ways around this, i.e. not selecting the largest objects all the time. It doesn't have to be about small, but 20 cm high skulls are quite expensive, even in voronoi ;)Last thoughts on this: Ultimaker sponsored/discounted filament when entering multiple contests could help with this problem, but also make sure most entries use the same material for maximum comparison/learning potential. Probably not feasible with budget and logistics, but just putting it out there.

For these technical contest you could award smaller prices, such as spare parts(that new coupler), bowden tubes, fans stuff like that. The incentive here is to learn, not to earn big prizes.  That being said, you can award points into a competition ranking, and give out some bigger prizes after a more contests. Roll(s) of filament for the top 3 after 6 months, a (refurbished) printer for the most points after a year. Free stuff is nice, but I don't really need a second printer :PPerhaps the coffee mugs/HQ tour is appealing to more people. I don't know, poll us ;)

Note that I think these type of contest are not contests where random non community members would participate in. The prizes simply isn't appealing enough for people to become part of the community. Is that a bad thing? Not in my opinion.

2+cents turned into 2+ extended cents

IMG_2758.thumb.JPG.a5f61268b8c4198ecbaf794181654b21.JPG

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Like the midi2cnc thing?

The pen plotter is also a cool source of inspiration for a contest.

Two folds; come up with an alternative usage for the printhead, and make an amazing (dual color?:O) drawing on the Ultimaker.

 

I like the idea, but (read my long post first) I fear the amount of entries would be low, as many users won't learn anything they can use when actually printing.

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I really got a lot of value for only those 2 cents, they must have really been 2 Extended + cents! :p

Thanks for your elaborated email @Titus!

I like to put the emphasis on learning.

I also like the idea to collect points based on your ranking, and these can be added to collect different prizes. This is more complicated to build/structure, but it is a nice idea.

Will definitely give it some more thought.

Given the global audience a tour through HQ probably won't be realistic.

Having prizes available which usually aren't for sale is something I like, like the coffee mug.

Given the release of the Ultimaker 2+, a new PTFE TFM coupler makes sense, or something else related. But usually a not perse expensive but thoughtful and unique present has my preference.

I'll try to keep my reply a bit shorter than yours, but you strike some good points and will bring them along.

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Like the midi2cnc thing?

The pen plotter is also a cool source of inspiration for a contest.

Two folds; come up with an alternative usage for the printhead, and make an amazing (dual color?:O) drawing on the Ultimaker.

 

Yeah simular to those. I saw a guy was making hair.

It could be very low numbers participate. But with a few creative minds something interesting could come of it.

Maybe a separate challenge that people can just share ideas that others can code.

Yes I like the coffee mug idea. T-shirts would be cool also. Stuff like that. As Titus says printer parts maybe not so useful.

Edited by Guest

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+1 on the month long time frame

+1 on the PLA prizes: 3 spools for 1st place, 2 spools for 2nd, 1 for 3rd

+1 coffee mug prize, t-shirt, lapel pin, underwear, handkerchief, etc

AND at least 2x a year give away a printer. I was really bummed I did not get the UM2 from the ornament contest you ran with MakeMag, but I agree the winner was amazing! HEY don't you have a butt load of UM2s stilling around looking like the proverbial ugly step-child? I'ld take on of those for a prize. ;)

I like the innovation and learning type contests, but if you want to get more participation you'll need to (at least every other month) run a more pedestrian contest that would be open to more new and basic users. (I'm thinking th!ng!v#rse style contests)

also don't shy away from design contests, I think plenty of people have the basic cad skills to modify or make something totally new.

and make sure you require a tag be applied to the post in youmagine for the contest so I can easily type that in youmagine's search field and see all the entry. Just like the #makingmerry contest

get a corporate sponsor in there too, (again like the make magazine partnership) this will also give more visibility. adafruit might be cool

what ever you do , do it! I think it's a fun thing to watch

Edited by Guest
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Short answer.

I like the monthly frequency.

What about alternating between a technical and a creative theme?

For me the price won't be the motivation  I'm in it for the fun when I find the time.... but I like t-shirts :)

 

How do you envision technical contests?

Like multi parts which you have to assemble, getting accurate dimensions? What would be the criteria? Or technical in a way that it requires 3D printing skills, like a chainmail?

And what about creative themes?

Did you like or dislike any of the ones we already did?

Would it be too demanding to do a contest which may require the purchase of something? (for example, paint.. or a primer.. or something like that?

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How do you envision technical contests?

Like multi parts which you have to assemble, getting accurate dimensions? What would be the criteria? Or technical in a way that it requires 3D printing skills, like a chainmail?

And what about creative themes?

Did you like or dislike any of the ones we already did?

Would it be too demanding to do a contest which may require the purchase of something? (for example, paint.. or a primer.. or something like that?

 

When it comes to technical contests, I would actually not limit the scope to much. Anything that enhances, hacks, modifies some aspect of the ultimaker printer would do (like the pen plotter , that is actually a fantastic example, combines 3d printing with custom settings etc.). Also maybe even something technical that was made possible using an ultimaker. Let's say a combination of electronics, 3d printed parts, code ... or a problem solved with a 3d print. But still an ultimaker would be required of course :).

Creative would be more figurines, painting, priming, cool designs, like lamp shades etc. Not sure where to draw the line.

I don't think it's to demanding to ask to buy paint etc. It's a your choice at the end of the day if you want to enter the contest or not.

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diversity is always good, to see that every one can participate,

things I can think of:

-understanding of combining codes; change layer heights, infill, etc in one code for getter and/or faster prints, detail and speed combined.

-how to use the pause function; possibilities, functional, design, etc.

-combing different materials; in one print, or assembling afterwards..

-resume failed prints or intentionally resuming a part (different than pause)

-using a second printhead for a different material (for all those who buy the upgrade kit, but already have an Olsson block..)

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Short answer.

I like the monthly frequency.

What about alternating between a technical and a creative theme?

For me the price won't be the motivation  I'm in it for the fun when I find the time.... but I like t-shirts :)

 

How do you envision technical contests?

Like multi parts which you have to assemble, getting accurate dimensions? What would be the criteria? Or technical in a way that it requires 3D printing skills, like a chainmail?

And what about creative themes?

Did you like or dislike any of the ones we already did?

Would it be too demanding to do a contest which may require the purchase of something? (for example, paint.. or a primer.. or something like that?

 

With technical I was thinking about printing skills, quality prints of a more difficult object.

For creative it should be a bit of an open idea, maybe similar to what has been done, but maybe with to option to alter the files, so it would be ice to start with a theme of which not only the STL's are available but also the real design files ...

I would not mind the need to purchase stuff when I like the subject, but It might limit the # people joining in...

edit: I would also like a CAD/design challenge, like, create the best hack / improvement on the new geared feeder for example, but this may attract a very limited audience

Edited by Guest

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Just because I already tried to do this and would like to see how others would solve the problem.

Contest: Design a good test print for teaching CURA and the effects of changing settings. This should be a single stl which has these features.

 

  • Objects prints in under 3minutes at 0.2 layer and 30mm/sec
  • object will maintain true print speed up to 70mm/sec with min layer time=4sec
  • shows difference between 0.2 layer and 0.1 layer
  • show stringing
  • show overhang
  • show effects of print speed, like sharp corners
  • show loss of fine detail , less than 0.8 thickness
  • show bridging
  • show difference of temp
  • show retraction blemishes
  • show shell and infill setting

 

I needed something like this for my UMO build workshops and classes so I tried to make such an object.

Edited by Guest
forgot some stuff
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I like where this is going!

Something @Peggyb said triggered a thought, writing new plugins for the new Cura.

Doesn't need to be the next level, but something like lithography, or the ability to load midi (these things already exist, but to give you a direction). Or something more serious like being able to select a group of items. But just like with CAD, this may limit the # of entries.

Edited by Guest
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