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
Start Date: 1st May 2023
Submission Deadline: 1st May 2024
Design and make a 3D printed product or prototype that improves the day-to-day life of someone with a disability or the elderly. Then share your story in a video submission for the chance to win amazing prizes.Register for Free
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.
Libby, Opal, Tyler and Drew designed an individual pill dispenser for Steve, who has Parkinson’s disease.
Joshua, Lilly and Enrique designed a learning device for Luti, a kindergartner who is blind and non-verbal.
Shepard, River, Alex, Noah and Henry designed a tactile chess board for their end user Ed Summers, who has visual impairments.
Fab Lab El Paso designed a bicycle grip prosthetic for Juaisca, who was a former swimmer of the national team in Venezuela and a water polo player.
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. Teachers, hobbyists and professionals are also welcome to participate in the over 18’s category.
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.
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 Champion. Make:able Champions 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.
The full brief and guidelines are outlined in the challenge toolkit and teacher’s pack (for schools), but the key rules are as follows:
• You 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 3D printed prototype must be created. If you do not have 3D printers available, we recommend contacting local organisations/ makerspaces, who may be able to support you with 3D printing services.
The submission format is a 2-4 minute video, which shows information about your end user, how you developed empathy, how you framed a challenge, the idea generation process, the design-make-iterate process and visuals of the final product in action. Videos must be uploaded to the online form included in section 8 of the toolkit by the 1st May 2024. In addition to the video, you will be required to provide the following information during your online form submission:
• 3D design files (Tinkercad or Fusion 360).
• Bill of materials and assembly/usage instructions (if any).
• License (type of permission granted to others who wish to use their designs).
Full guidance on submissions is provided in section 8 of the online toolkit.
Upon signing up, you will receive access to the teacher’s pack. This will provide you with a full teacher’s guide and a set of standards-aligned lesson plans that can be used as inspiration when planning your own lessons. 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.
Our approach is to be flexible on how much time you spend on your submission. However, we recommend that a minimum of 6 x ≈ 1 hour sessions are allocated to the make:able challenge.
Video submissions will be judged by a global panel of industry experts in May 2024 and winners will be announced in July 2024. 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.
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.