make:able is an assistive technology design challenge, brought to you by PrintLab, Autodesk & partners.

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with humans and their day-to-day challenges


how to use design-thinking to solve problems


solutions driven by digital technologies


products that are enhanced by modern manufacturing

The Challenge

Start Date: 1st November 2021 Submission Deadline: 1st May 2022

Design and make a product or prototype that improves the day-to-day life of someone with a disability or the elderly. Register today to gain access to the challenge toolkit.

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the toolkit.

Going beyond a competition, the make:able design challenge centres around an online challenge toolkit, which takes you through a step-by-step process to design and make an assistive device. From explainer and case study videos to 3D design tutorials, design-thinking templates and full lesson plans for teachers, you'll be equipped with all the training and resources to bring your innovative ideas to life.

challenge details.

Here is some key information about the make:able challenge. For additional queries, please contact and we'll be happy to help!

who is the challenge for?

The challenge is for anyone with an interest in 3D design and 3D printing. There are 3 categories based on age groups – under 14, 14-18 and over 18. If students in a class are divided between an age group category, we can accept their entries into a single category of your choice.

does it cost anything to enter?

Absolutely not, make:able and all associated resources are completely free. We may however recommend supplementary content that may support you, such as PrintLab’s 3D printing curriculum.

do students need to design a product for a real end user?

You can either design a product for a real end user (e.g. someone in your local community), or design a product for a make:able user. Make:able users are people with disabilities who have shared their story and day-to-day challenges in a series of videos within the make:able challenge toolkit.

what are the rules?

The full brief and guidelines are outlined in the teacher’s pack and challenge toolkit but the key rules are as follows:

• Students may work in teams of up to 5 people in the same age category.

• The design process must include the use of either Tinkercad or Fusion 360 software and the digital 3D model produced should be 3D printable.

• A physical prototype must be created. A 3D printed output is encouraged but if this is not possible, alternative methods may be used (e.g. hand-modelling). Additionally, 3D printing can be combined with other materials and processes, such as electronics, to create the product.

what is the submission format?

The submission format is a 2-4 minute video, which shows information about your end user, how you developed empathy, how your team framed a challenge, the idea generation process, the design-make-iterate process and visuals of your final product in action. Videos must be uploaded to the online form included in section 8 of the toolkit by the 1st May 2022. The judging criteria is stated in both the teacher’s pack and challenge toolkit.

will I receive lesson plans/ teaching material?

Upon signing up, you will receive access to the teacher’s pack. This will provide you with a full teacher’s guide and a range of standards-aligned lesson plans and workshop templates that cater for different teaching formats, age groups and abilities (including complete beginners). It should be noted that the lesson plans and challenge toolkit can be used as little or as much as you like. As long as the brief and guidelines are adhered to, feel free to create your own pathway for students.

how much time do I need to allocate for the challenge?

Our approach is to be flexible on how much time your students spend on their submissions. However, we recommend that a minimum of 4 x ≈ 1 hour sessions are allocated to the make:able challenge.

are there prizes to be won?

Video submissions will be judged by a global panel of industry experts in May 2022 and winners will be announced in July 2022. There are a total of 6 prizes to be awarded for each age group. Prizes are under consideration but will include 3D printers and other technology products for the winning teams. Please see the challenge toolkit for a breakdown of the prize categories. *Prizes for the under 14 and 14-18 winners will be provided to the school/organisation of the participants.

do I need any 3D design or 3D printing experience?

Experience in 3D design and 3D printing is helpful but not required. 3D design tutorials are included within the toolkit and additional training resources are also recommended in the challenge materials.