Spring 2017

March 25-26 | Brandeis University

Thank you all for coming out!

We had 60+ students come from near and far to compete this year! Each creation was unique and fantastic, so thank you all for sharing your ingenuity with us. We hope you learned a lot and are enjoying the prizes you won.

Special thanks to our sponsors; this event wouldn't have been possible without your support:

Thanks also to our speakers and mentors:

  • Autodesk Workshop: Lucas Ewing
  • Solidworks Workshop: Michael P. Maher
  • Scanning Workshop: Ian Roy
  • Writing the Phoenix Bios: Ira Perlow
  • What they didn’t teach you in Engineering 101: Ira Perlow
  • Midnight Surprise Q/A: Drew Houston, Dropbox CEO
  • Debrief: Rhiannon Chiacchiaro

On Saturday March 25th Deis3D, Brandeis University’s 3D Printing club, and Brandeis' MakerLab kicked off their fourth annual Printathon. This year, the social justice themed event brought over 60 participants to Brandeis’ Library, where they competed for 24 hours to design and build a prototype to meet this year’s challenge: “Make it Human.”

Over the course of the 24 hour event, participants brainstormed, designed and 3D printed their final project from scratch. To aid them in that process, Lucas Ewing from Autodesk and Michael Maher from Solidworks came to give workshops and tutorials of each company’s respective 3D design software. When it came to phyically printing their designs, participants used their own printers, those owned by Deis3D or Brandeis’ MakerLab, as well as four lent by MakerGear. By Saturday evening, more than 30 different 3D printers were at work!

To add some additional inspiration, several specialists in the tech world gave talks and advice throughout the event. Ira Perlow, creator of the Phoenix Bios system, gave advice to participants about engineering and shared his stories from the early days of computing. Later in the evening, Drew Houston, the CEO of Dropbox called in to give support and answer questions about creating a startup.

The winners of the event got to take home some fantastic prizes, ranging from 3D printers, to 3D printing filament, to 3D printing software licenses and printing credits. All of these were donated by the sponsors of the Printathon. Look below to see each of the winning teams and their creations.

This year's Printathon was better than ever, with more sponsors and more attendees than ever before. For the first time in the Printathon's history, not a single 3D printer was damaged during the event, and we had a historically low print failure rate! However, Deis3D and the MakerLab are already starting to plan next year's Printathon and improve on the formula. So, stay tuned for more news coming from Brandeis University!

This year's theme was Make it Human

The idea behind the theme was to create something that either attaches to a human, or is something that a human physically uses to accomplish a task. This theme follows the Printathon theme of creating broad, social-justice-oriented ideas, intended to spark creativity and help make the world a better place. This year's projects were judged based on their adherance to the theme, as well as properties such as how useful the project was, how marketable it would be, and how well it was printed. As usual, all entries were fantastic, making our judge's decissions very difficult!


  • Lucas Ewing: Autodesk Program Manager
  • Michael P. Maher: Solidworks Technical Customer Support Engineer
  • Rhiannon Chiacchiaro: Deep Core Data Director of Marketing and Technical Documentation Services
  • Jordan Pollack: Brandeis Professor of Computer Science

College Teams

Na'vi Band

The Na'vi Band is a custom fitting headband which triangulates noises behind or to the side of the wearer, and notifies them with vibration.

University of Connecticut

Monoprice Maker Select Plus, $500 Shapeways Credit + Popular Vote


Handy is a modern replacement for the white cane. Worn on your wrist, it uses ultrasonic sensors to detect obsticals in its user's path, and notifies them with vibrations or noises.

Brandeis University

Monoprice Maker Select Plus + $250 Shapeways Credit

3D Posture

3D Posture is a custom fitting back brace, intended to both improve mobility of the wearer, and be cheaper compared to similar equipment.

Brandeis Univeristy

Simplify3D Licenses + $150 Shapeways Credit

Speed Bracer

Speed Bracer is a unique rollerblade that doubles as an ankle brace. It can be put on while maintaining support for the ankle.

Olin College

Toner Plastics Filament

Copy Carver

The Copy carver is a unique machine that mirror's a user's hand motions, translating their drawings into cuts with a dremel.

University of Connecticut

Deltamaker Filament

Adventure in a Can

Adventure in a can mixes augmented reality barcodes with geocached clues to create dynamic, personalized outdoor experiences, while doubling as a a functional thermos!

University of Connecticut

MakerBox Filament Boxes


The age of physical photo filters is here! Take photos with your favorite filters and share them with any app—or device, for that matter—you want!

California Institute of Technoloogy

Honorable Mention

Hodge Podge

Hodge Podge created several different different projects, including braille USB sleeves, and the beginnings of a working fountain pen.

Brandeis, Bridgewater State, Northeastern

Honorable Mention

High School Teams

Momentum Bands

Momentum Bands are customizable fidget bracelets, tailored to a user's likes. Special charms move on tracks to make the bracelets both fashionable and functional.

Waltham High School

SeeMeCnC H2 Kit + $500 Shapeways Credit

Light Visor

The Light Visor a sleep mask, intended to gradually wake up users with LED light. The mask is private, so parterns sleeping together don't wake each other up with noisy alarms.

Brookline Public High School

SeeMeCnC H2 Kit + $250 Shapeways Credit


The Dumbwatch is intended to remove the distractions of a smart watch. For people who constantly need to write things down to remember them, there's no more convenient tool!

Waltham Public School

Deltamaker Filament + $50 Shapeways Credit