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Canada Makes announces finalists for its 3D Challenge

Montreal March 21, 2018 – Canada Makes announced its five finalist for the 3D Challenge at the Design for Additive Manufacturing workshop at McGill.

The finalist are; Lisa Brock University of Waterloo of Waterloo, Haley Butler University of Prince Edward Island, Gitanjali Shanbhag also of the University of Waterloo, Ken Nsiempba McGill University and Nathaniel Claus Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Congratulation to theses five students for their innovative design and concepts. They will be receiving a prize of $1,000 and a a chance at a one-year paid internship.

The theme of the Challenge Design solutions for a sustainable future Canada Makes invited student designers to participate in the 3D Design Competition with a focus on creating innovative tools or products that reduce our environmental footprint using additive manufacturing in tandem with conventional manufacturing approaches.


Lisa Brock proposed the design of biodegradable packaging made from mushroom roots and agricultural waste using binder jetting additive manufacturing. The packaging design was created by optically 3D scanning the object. The data was imported into a computer aided design (CAD) software to create the custom packaging structure conforming to the unique geometry, and a lattice structure was added to reduce the amount of material required.

Haley Butler is working on developing a potato starch-based plastic 􀂡lament that is suitable for 3D printing. Starch-based plastics have the potential to be used as an environmentally friendly material for additive manufacturing.

Approximately 10% of materials used in additive manufacturing can be recycled into new plastics, and the rest are disposed. The options for disposal are landfills and incineration, both of which increase the amount of greenhouse gases. Therefore, new biobased biodegradable materials must be developed to decrease the negative environmental impacts of these additive manufacturing plastics.

Gitanjali Shanbhag’s aim is to introduce light-weighting to helicopter tail designs by proposing a modi􀂡ed design, for the tail boom of Airbus H135 as an example, through Additive Manufacturing(AM).

The material of interest is aluminum 2024-T3 since it is a readily available lightweight material and is cost-effective. In the optimized design, material is only applied where the loads on the tail boom are concentrated, resulting in a hollow, truss-like structure that reduces the boom weight by 63%. The results are validated using the simulation software.

Ken Nsiempba submitted a redesign of the internal boat tail support bracket to be 3D printed. This bracket is mainly used during ground processing at the base of the Atlas V payload fairing (Atlas V is an active expendable launch system of the Atlas rocket family).

What makes the new bracket’s design special is its use of different manufacturing technics.


Nathaniel Claus offered a ONE BIKE concept that allows bikes to transcend limitations set by current production trends through a convertible parts system. The cycling industry moves forward at an alarming rate, more so than the automobile industry. There are 200 million bikes produced every year. That’s 5 bikes to every car produced annually and more than enough for every person born in that same year. As a result, high-end bikes are becoming increasingly expensive and lower end bikes are becoming less reliable in order to keep their prices down. This concept creates an alternative to users accumulating additional bikes saving money and reducing a rider’s impact on this planet.

Canada Makes would like to thank all those who participated and invite them to once again to try next year when we hold Canada Makes second 3D Challenge or try our current 3D Challenge open to all Canadian residents. The National 3D Printed Musical Instrument Challenge.

In the coming weeks, we will announce the overall winner of this years Canada Makes 3D Challenge.

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