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May 15

Canadian Students Honoured in Stratasys' Extreme Redesign Competition

On April 28th, the winners of the 11th annual Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge, hosted by Stratasys, were announced. . In 2015, over 750 students, attending institutions all over the world, submitted their entries for this year's contest. Although an international contest, it seems that Canadian students consistently make an impact in this contest, placing in podium positions. Over the previous years, Canadian students have consistently placed within the top three in all categories of the competition, and 2015 was no exception. Once again Canada has been extremely well represented in this contest. Cimetrix Solutions is extremely proud of all our Canadian participants for continuously representing our country in such an innovative manner, and on a stellar performance during this years contest.

Captivating the judges in the Art & Architecture division,  Canadian students Haya Alnibari and Ti Fu, from Ryerson University, took home top honours for their Helix-Shaped Sharpener design, termed "Helico".

The Helico is easier to use than a traditional pencil sharpener, boasting lower production costs than traditional tabletop sharpeners.


Haya Alnibari and Ti Fu, of Ryerson University.

Helico’s Design motive comes from the goal to simplify the manual motion of sharpening a pencil. A product of elegance that appeals to artists and designers alike. The Helico sharpener features an ergonomic form mathematically generated and prototyped by modern digital tools. The sharpener conveniently moves in the form of a helix. This combines rotational force and linear force into a single helical movement, for simplifying the gritty act of sharpening a pencil in a simple fluid movement. The sharpeners come in multiple materials, bringing choices in style. The strength of the product is not only its elegance, but versatility of offering one-hand operation. The weakness is that the design hasn't been tweaked to reduce the amount of plastic yet, which will be the next focal point in the design. The design made it easier to use than the basic sharpener, yet it has a cheaper production cost than the tabletop sharpener and electric sharpener.

Not stopping there, Canadian students also placed in the top three in both engineering categories. In the Secondary Education Engineering division, the Socket Cube Concept, developed by Li Cheng Yu, received 3rd place in this year's contest.


Li Cheng Yu, of Etobicoke Collegiate Institute, placed 3rd in his division with the Socket Cube Concept.

The Socket Cube overcomes several difficulties associated with traditional sockets, whilst maintaining a low profile

The product that I am redesigning is the electrical socket that we use daily. There are two major downsides with the current North American standard electrical socket; first, there are only two electrical outputs, which limit how many items can be plugged in at the same time. You can use an extension cord or a power bar for more outlets, but they are not always available and can be inconvenient. Secondly, the two outlets are very close to each other, which makes plugging in more than one item with big built-in adapters impossible. However, there is an advantage to the standard socket, which is its low-profile design. The socket cube is built to eliminate these two problems and, at the same time, maintain a low-profile. It is a cube with multiple outlets that hide inside the socket housing. When only one power outlet is needed, the cube remains nestled inside the housing, leaving only one exposed; in a form that is just as convenient as standard socket. When more than one socket is needed, the cube can simply be pulled out of the housing, exposing four outlets on each adjacent side. This is more convenient than a power bar; since each outlet is on a separate plane, to allow you to plug multiple bulky built-in adapter plugs simultaneously. In addition, a USB adapter will be added in to the socket cube, which will power four 5W USB outlets on the top of the cube, due the fact that USB outlets are very demanding. This design will hopefully help meet electrical demand brought on by the ever growing use of technology in the home.

Canada was also represented strongly in the Post-Secondary Education Engineering division, as 2nd, and 3rd place positions were both taken by Canadian students. Alexandre Beznogov and Jossef Roozitalab Shirazi, of Ryerson University, placed 3rd for their Ice Twist entry.

The Ice Twist, a new take on keeping drinks cool.


Alexandre Beznogov and Jossef Roozitalab Shirazi, of Ryerson University.

Conventional Ice trays are a nuisance. From sink to cup, the common process of making ice cubes is inconvenient and messy. Unlike typical ice trays that are not enclosed, Ice Twist’s innovative design features a sealed bottle shape which prevents spills, making the product accessible to users who have difficulty with balance and steadiness. The closed form protects the water from contaminants during the freezing process which guarantees safe and clean ice. Water expands as it freezes which results in uneven shapes and sizes of ice cubes in regular ice trays. Ice Twist’s unique silicone wall will expand with the ice ensuring evenly proportioned ice cubes. The silicone wall allows users to easily break apart ice cubes in a simple torqueing motion giving Ice Twist its name. While regular ice trays are prone to dropping ice everywhere, Ice Twist’s wall contains the ice cubes until consumption. Ice Twist produces, stores, and serves ice cubes with style and ease. Whether you are biking, driving, or at the gym, Ice Twist also serves as a bottle giving, it the capacity for additional liquids to be poured over the ice for a convenient, all-in-one solution to keep you frosty.

Mahan Navabi and Mark Eyk, also from Ryerson, took home 2nd place honours for their Flex Key design.

The Flex Key, a new take on the classic hex-key design.


Mahan Navabi and Mark Eyk, of Ryerson University.

The hex key, commonly referred to as the ‘allen key’, is a household tool that is an essential component of any comprehensive toolset. It functions by rotating bolts and screws to tighten or loosen them, similar to a screwdriver. The hex key’s six sided shape allows for a larger surface area between the bolt and the head, in comparison to a screwdriver. Also, the large array of sizes allow for a greater variety of uses. However, the hex key suffers from design flaws such as an excessive number of key sizes and respective keys, organizational shortcomings, and a lack of ergonomics. These problems are all solved with the Flex Key which features a comfortable handle with prongs that can be adjusted to any conventional hex key size. It is more efficient for space, time, money, and materials. The Flex Key’s mechanical system is comprised of three main components: A dial, a lock, and three prongs. The inside of the dial is threaded, and when it turns, the prongs within the dial move up or down at an angle. Thus, they expand and contract in height and in width. The prongs fit into voids in the handle which guide them up or down. Once the desired size is reached, the locking mechanism can be snapped into the dial in order to hold the three components in place.

The Extreme Redesign Competition contest gives students in secondary and post-secondary educational institutions the opportunity to redesign an existing product, or, create a new product, in order to improve how a task is accomplished. Entries were evaluated based on creativity, being mechanically sound, and being realistically achievable and feasible. The judges for the 2015 contest were industry experts Tim Shinbara of the Association for Manufacturing Technology, Patrick Gannon a 3D printing industry veteran, Leslie Langnau of Design World magazine and Todd Grimm of T.A. Grimm and Associates. Students may submit their entries under one of three categories: Art & Architecture, Secondary Education Engineering, and Post-Secondary Education Engineering.

New this year, the first-place student winner in the post-secondary category wins a trip to a 2015 3D printing/additive manufacturing conference. Stratasys has awarded first place winners a $2,500 scholarship, with second and third place winners both receiving a $1,000 scholarship. The instructor of the first place winner in each category received a demo 3D printer to use in the classroom for a limited time. Since the contest’s inception, Stratasys has awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships to innovative students.To view more photos and videos, as well as the other placing entries, please visit the Stratasys Extreme Redesign webpage.

As Canada's leader in 3D Printing, Cimetrix Solutions continues to be a proud supporter of student-lead projects and initiatives, allowing Canadian students push the boundaries of innovation in many industries. To see how Cimetrix can become involved in your next initiative, and bring your ideas to life, visit us at www.cimetrixsolutions.com.

- Cimetrix Staff