To celebrate this year's NYCxDesign, MakerBot hand-picked 17 New York City designers and put them to the test of designing and prototyping an object to improve daily life. The 13 individual designers and 2 design duos were each given a MakerBot Replicator and a few rolls of filament to bring their objects to life in about five weeks. Needless to say, the broad brief yielded extremely diverse results.
The resulting products were put on display at the MakerBot headquarters in downtown Brooklyn. The exhibit and party drew a large crowd, including a panel of esteemed judges (ed. note: Core77 editors were part of the panel) who reviewed the projects and voted on their favorites.
We particularly enjoyed this challenge because in a sea of shiny, completed furniture and home object exhibitions during design week, this showcase instead put emphasis on makers and their varying design processes. Below are images of every product that came out of the competition, accompanied by descriptions written by each designer themselves. We've indicated before the description if the project received an award.
Best Overall Design (Grand Prize): The oVo Clip-on Wheels by Juhi Solanki is a durable clip and wheel assembly that makes moving and displaying big foam-core boards easy. The clip is designed to use the high tension PLA offers, while printed perpendicular to the force vector so that layer lines support maximum durability. The wheels feature print-in-place mechanics and are printed as a single piece.
Best Design for 3D Printing: The MUJI pen holder by James Connors takes excess hex wrenches and a 3D printed base, ring, and pen-caps to create a simple storage system for the ever popular sketch and design tool. The pen cap fits neatly around a finger for fidget-spinning when deep in a brainstorm, and different colored caps make it easier to identify colors.
Most Original Design: The Dusptpan & Brush Reimagined by Logan Good and Alyssa Burris is an ergonomic tool that uses a unique 3D printed geometry to create bristles fixed directly to the brush. Both pieces snap neatly into one another, and the combination of the rethought geometry and mechanics leave less "dirt lines" behind than traditional versions.
Best Iterative Design Story: The BLADESNAP by Yuval Philipson is a fully functional 3D printed safety utility knife. It combines a clamshell assembly, bolt, and safety guard with a common blade and spring from a clicking pen. The result is a simple, mass producable ergonomic knife that can dramatically reduce jobsite injuries and increase the efficiency of its users.
The Cup With a Hole Through It by Kyle Laidlaw is a scalable home storage system that neatly segments tools that are stored upright, while giving a horizontal slot for objects in use that may need time to dry. Perfect for the kitchen or bathroom, this system features a clever texture optomized for 3D printing that hides defects and is easy to clean and grip while wet.
The Flyer Birdhouse by Nicholas Baker is designed to fit the standard wooden utility poles that host equipment in urban environments, and it gives birds a safe place to nest while brightening the day of neighbors and passers-by. It can attached with screws, nails, or zip ties and can easily be shared with makers to install in cities around the world.
The Trouble Light by Dan Grossman is a modular work lamp that uses uniquely 3D printable geometries for the shade and is modular to either hang or stand directly on your workspace. It features snap fits and different shades and is sized to receive standard light sockets.
The Portable Photobooth by Deren Guler makes use of the common popsocket phone accessory to give users a perfect stand for taking top-down pictures. The frame lightweight and portable, and stable enough for different mobile phones, making it easy to capture the sketches and projects that are happening right on your desktop.
The Fire Escape Bird House by James Krause creates ideal conditions for nesting birds, dissuading them from creating fire hazards under AC units or along fire escapes. It features a universal railing hook, a perch, and a removable base with a drain hole for easy cleaning.
The Hndle by Pedro Mendez is a portable subway handle that allows users to grip poles at various heights and positions without touching them, and makes accessing rarely used ceiling rails even easier. It snaps neatly into itself for portable storage, and dramatically reduces the risk of infection from some of the most contagious objects in the city.
The Great American Clip Hanger (GACH) by Rama Chorpash uses seven parts that snap together to combine standard wire hangers into durable, reusable goods that can accommodate heavier jackets or pants and even strap dresses. The GACH addresses the 3.5 billion hangers a year that go into landfills, and provides a recycling solution where typical community and commercial programs reject them because of problems the risk they pose to machinery or workers.
The Primitive Keychains by JungSoo Park and Adam Wrigley are embedded with magnets during the 3D printing process to create easily storable keychains. They're especially useful in NYC where most apartments have metal doors, and cleverly conceal the magnets with no seams or assembly required.
The Pixel Light by Joseph Morris is a small networked LED meant to replace the age-old reminder technique of a string tied around the finger. It works in series with other Pixel Lights, so that by touching one off or on, you control the entire group.
The Super Hooks Adapter and Socket by Lizz Hill takes the universally available "super hook" and converts it into a decorative, functional, weight-bearing hook; the perfect design hack for NYC apartment dwellers — no tools required. The adaptor gives stability and tension against the wall, while the universal socket can be modified to fit any decorative or functional wall-mounted device.
The 3DBK Wall Organizer by Will Haude is a universal hold-it-all storage system to keep all of your pocket stuff in one place. It features an easily installable cleat, an acoustic amplifier for your phone, slots to hold the classic 3DBK bungee carabiners, and is modular to support hooks or trays.
Which product is your favorite? Do you agree or disagree with the results?
Emily is the Content Marketing Manager of Autodesk Fusion 360 where she focuses on shaping the overall Fusion 360 content strategy, including the Fusion 360 blog and social media directions. Prior to Autodesk, Emily was the DMTV Content Coordinator at Design Milk, the Business Editor at HYPEBEAST and an Editor at Core77. During her time at Core77, she also served as co-chair of the 2018 & 2019 Core77 Conferences.