It’s time to announce the winners of our Mechanical Marvels competition. We wanted to create a competition to highlight our community’s engineering talent, and you all responded with gusto. This was a hard one for us to judge as we needed to ensure that not only did the models look cool, but they also functioned as shown. Thankfully you all have been busy uploading Makes to earn those PrusaMeters so we were able to get not only try some on our own but get lots of feedback from the community.
We know you are all anxious to find out who won so let’s get started!
Bench Mountable 4-Jaw / 3-Jaw / 2-Jaw Vise with Swappable Jaws – 100% Printable! by Sneaks
This multi-jaw vise is not only a great example of the kind of mechanics that are possible with 3D-printed objects but is also a great example of being able to make our own tools to help in our future projects. The swappable jaws will make this a great fit to securely hold many of your clamping needs. We look forward to seeing how well this holds up to some light machining operations.
Sneaks will be sneaking off with a new Original Prusa i3 MK3S+ Kit for his win.
Jellyfish Swimming – Mechanical Interactive Art by jajaum3d
This jellyfish model is exactly the kind of model we had in mind when we created this competition. I won’t lie and say that giving it second place instead of the win was a unanimous decision from our team. This is a fun automata that will wiggle its tentacles into your heart as you turn the handle on its base. We can’t wait to see remixes of this model to integrate a low-cost geared motor to make this an always undulating desk toy.
We look forward to seeing what jajaum3d makes next using the Prusament he has won.
The combination of mechanics and organic form make this model feel like it was ripped straight out of the pages of a Steam Punk novel. Taking it a step further, the beat pattern that Neybao created really brings this model to life. We look forward to showing these off in our booth at future events.
Neybao has 2 spools of Prusament on the way to them too.
You all helped pick some of our winners too by contributing your makes, each of them will receive 350 Prusameters.
Ratcheting Mini Screwdriver
Ratchet Toothpaste Tube Squeezer
Portable Pliers (Print In Place)
Ultimate 608 Bearing with Calibration Kit V2
Thanks to everyone who entered. This was a really fun one and we look forward to doing something like it in the future again.
26 Replies to “Mechanical Marvels Contest Winners”
I entered the to support the idea and to encourage engineering and support the site, I realised that my entry would not win. There are some great models entered.
Having owned a Prusa Mk3 for several years I had a lot of respect forthe product (good solid, well engineered, reliable) and the company. This image is somewhat tarnished now as a result of the Printables competition.
The Printables site itself is good, but the recent Mechanical Marvels competition is not what I thought Prusa was about. Popularity and money seems to be key now which is very dissapointing.
We have a competition winner that clearly does not fit the defined criteria (“For this competition, we are going to be looking at aesthetics more than function. A moving sculpture is more interesting to us here than a very bland-looking mechanical machine with a job.”). Some of the the awarded models fall short on this and other criteria.
Then we have the ‘ratcheting mini screwdriver’ which has now been awarded in 2 competitions thanks to the number of downloads. Downloads and exposure on social media appear to be the stronger criteria. It is understandable to have exposure and popularity as an aim of the competitions, but perhaps be more open. There are a lot of great models entered (not including the copies of etsy products, kits or other peoples models) which have lost out to the trendy popular social-media workers).
I thought you guys were better than this.
It is quite unfortunate that they twisted their criteria. Many of the items are certainly not Mechanical “Marvels” jellyfish and heart are cool and I totally understand their choice there, however, the others appear to be graded by popularity. Automatons are hard to build, but simply mechanic items are quite easy. I’m guessing the judges sorted by most makes and made minor adjustments from there. There was one guy that made 3 very advanced rubber band guns, but a set of pliers is apparently more worthy of accolades. I’m not going to rant any longer, but it’s confusing.
I have the same opinion, those controversial decisions about the winners must be very demotivating for the creators of complex models. As I already stated in the comment, I don’t have to win, I’m happy with the positive responses to the model, but when I see that the effort, the hundreds of hours dedicated to the competition, often at the expense of the family, are in vain, I’m disappointed. And I won’t be alone. At the same time, I understand that the competition it’s big, so I really value even partial successes
I seriously can’t believe how people find ways to have a negative take on anything. Because the contest wasn’t judged the way you like it means Prusa is compromised and is diminished as a company? Give me a break. If I were Prusa and I read comments like yours I’d be like “well, we don’t have to have contests where we reward users at all, let’s just get rid of them if this is how people feel”. Why don’t you go make your own repository website and then you can have contests and judge them however you want. Until then, you should honestly just be happy that there is a place for you to enter design contests at all.
I don’t think that’s the point of open source at all…
I have to agree, I entered something completely stupid (on the first day i knew my chances were sealed) . But i think that they did people wrong on this competition, seeing what was designed ( Jet engines, V10s, Eagle automata, stopwatches you can see through, an entire working car…. these didn’t even get featured whilst a toothpaste squeezer did, ( not to discredit anybody), but a toothpaste squeezer takes 45 minutes to design, the previous things i listed takes 100s of hours to get working, and to be honest are way cooler to watch move or to dive into the inner workings, i think that over the span of the 80 ish days it took for the contest to start and end that the purpose of it may have been forgotten, but thats not an excuse for practically screwing people over….. and i mean this in the nicest way possible, but as it was said be ma-unique , they asked for fun things to look at that are not functional, and then they choose a vice and some very function based things to feature, i think that this was completely wrong for prusa to do….( Im not trying to be that guy nobody likes, but i think that the people who deserved to be seen got screwed out of this competition, and yes i know prusa is very busy, but thats not an excuse)
Funny that the V10 is the second thing that comes to your mind, thats my entry. I didnt expect to win either, but I was pretty confident to make it into the top 10 (or 8 featured models in this case) due to all the effort I put into this. Just making the step by step instruction manual, with the pure purpose that others have it way easier to assemble the model, took me a whole week of free time. Seeing now that only one or two of the 8 models actually fulfill the contest criteria, and the fact that out of 5 “honorable mention” winners two are simple keychain tools, one is a toothpaste squeezer, a bearing calibration kit, and worst of all, a god damn fidget joystick consisting of two parts, I have to say that pisses me off. I wouldn’t mind not being among these 8 models when all of them were awesome projects, but out of the 500+ entries there are probably at least 100 models that would rather deserve to be among the winning models here than those that actually won. On top of that, these hilarious entries are awarded.
I say it elsewhere – but the documentation of an entry has to be considered as well as the ability of others to replicate the model. The second, not to be confused with popularity, which could be correlation, but the actual printability of the model.
Hi, i think I have little room to critique, as I have never even come up with something cool enough to consider entering into one of these competitions…. But:
Unfortunately, it IS Prusa’s playground. They are welcome to change the rules however and whenever they want. And I think that is a reality you (the general “you”) need to keep in mind when you participate.
BUT: you guys bring the balls! And Prusa, even though they own the playground, will shoot themselves in the foot if they don’t make it fun/rewarding for you to bring you ball for people to play with!
The whole point of these competitions is to bring new, interesting models to their platform. And if they don’t make the game fun for their most talented and interesting designers, I think this platform won’t be as successful as it could be.
So I’m sorry you’re upset – but remember that YOU own the ball. Go home and bring your ball with you. Don’t let them have it. Tell Prusa they can’t play with your ball if their game sucks. Maybe they’ll listen. Make a better competition, establish more consistent guidelines for their judges, who knows.
Isn’t starting this conversation here part of helping? To suggest that makers need to go home with their ball seems the opposite of the open platform Prusa has created.
The point being made here in the comments seems to be that if this is the message from Prusa:
We have a great open source hardware platform for people to make whatever they want. Printing necessitates designing, and we’d like increase visibility into that process and reward designers with a forum to share their work.
Then the rewarded entries should match the contest criteria. That’s it. If people want to sort by popularity, they can already query and then sort by popularity. The point of the contest could – or should – be to highlight excellence according to the contest theme and rules. The primary reward is recognition in the community, the reward of filament, points towards filament, or even a printer would, I assume, be secondary to all of the serious entrants who spent 100s of hours designing, printing, iterating, and documenting an entry.
This comment above ^^^ is well thought out and should promote a good discourse over the judging of entries.
I think that having a rubric, thats made public, would be helpful in order to understand how much popularity is being considered (read: weighted) in the overall calculus.
My initial read on what makes a “mechanical marvel” does seem to be different than how the contest awarded entries.
– my .02 cents –
Regardless, I would disagree that the contests take away from the site as I think that on the whole they promote a healthy amount of sharing and review. However, increasing the rewards to a does add a certain amount of significance to the equation. Would you feel the same if the award was less financially significant? I think that the contests should be less about financial gain, and more about recognition in the community. Then, a modest reward could be given to the most popular winner from a subsect of ‘champions.’ Thus, quality would be the barrier to notoriety and popularity.
jrdn8056 – Interesting response (so Printables is a dictatorship not a community? ).
Just to clarify, my point was not that the contest wasn’t judged the way I like, it was that it was not judged on the defined criteria. Had the criteria stated the most popular models would win then thats fair enough.
When makers spend weeks making complex mechanical models meeting the contest criteria I think it shows a lack of respect to those makers to simply judge on popularity.
If you read my post you will see I have a Mk3, very happy with it and think Printables on the whole is very good. I also clearly stated I entered to support the site and the promotion of mechanical/engineering. So I dont think you can claim ‘people find ways to have a negative take on anything’. If you thought insted of reacting, you might realise my post was raising a concern how this could be percived to the wider community.
This contest was very cool and the winners have brought some amazing things that I look forward to making.
I’m glad Prusa has been doing these contests. I think it brings the quality up overall and makes the community much more active. I’m also glad there is a company running a free site where people can share and post their designs. Thingiverse used to fill this spot online until the parent company decided it wasn’t a priority. Printables is doing exactly what I had been looking for all along.
I love this site and its contests, in which I have created a large part of my models, so these words do not come easily to me. I got used to failures in competitions a long time ago and therefore I am grateful for those in which I succeeded, it will help the model in viewership and the filament metrics will also increase.
I appreciate the efforts of everyone who creates even a small and simpler model, but I would really expect a little more from the winning models in the big competition, which lasts 7 weeks and is evaluated for quite a long time.
I am thinking of the results in the last competition, where the aesthetic side of the model was emphasized in the assignment, and also the photo video competition, where the last models were functional, but very simple.
It must be really quite demotivating for many modelers who make demanding models and spend tens of hours developing them, and consume hundreds of grams to kilos of material to produce prototypes and the finished model – I know it myself, because I do it straight from the top of my head without a sketch. As I said before, I’m not interested in winning, that will be replaced by complimentary comments on the model, and the fact that people like it, but the difficulty and appearance of the model should also be taken into account when choosing and evaluating, not only the number of likes, which may not always be objective.
Sincerely, Ján Benian
Perhaps it would help to be more objective if, when making a decision in a big competition, a kind of narrow selection of models that will advance further was published and it was evaluated by users, because if your model fits deep among the hundreds of others, not everyone is willing to scroll far back on the page . Even the recent setting of the page, when the models were ranked according to likes, was also not fair, those at the top then collect even more. And the number of likes may not be objective either, what if, for example, a teacher at school tells students to download my models, or is a member of another large community which helps him. I would like it if one of the evaluators read these observations and comment on them.
As I said, I really like this site and its contests, in which I may have discovered my talent, I do it for fun, but I already know a few printers who left it because of these decisions
Printables is a partnership between Prusa and the users who post designs here. Designers get a place to display their wares and maybe get a little recognition (and even a prize!) by winning a contest. Prusa gets hundreds of thousands of hours of user generated content to lure people into 3D printing, into buying printers, and into buying more filament. Prusa has done a great job with this site and with the contests. But as a partnership, yeah, users should feel free to bitch and moan a little when something doesn’t smell right, and Prusa, I’m guessing, would be eager for the feedback.
LoboCNC – I guess its part of the course these days that anyone who stands up when they think something is wrong (despite providing explanation and justification) gets attacked and accused of ‘bitching and moaning’. The lack of a contrcutive response, not even any attempt to show how the selected winners might actually meet the defined criteria speaks volumes :-).
I had hoped that my original post would result in a better/fairer system all-round.
If Prusa reach out I am sure the community could suggest improvements.
Like most of the other commenters here, I have to say that this contest was completely misjudged. Let’s look at the core information Prusa gave us for this contest:
We love mechanics, all those gears, cranks, springs, and governors whizzing around just make us want to dive into a project and see how it all works. We are challenging you to create multipart moving mechanisms such as automata, engine models, hand-cranked machines, or other mechanical marvels. All entries for this contest must have multiple parts and must include some kind of mechanical movement. For this competition, we are going to be looking at aesthetics more than function. A moving sculpture is more interesting to us here than a very bland-looking mechanical machine with a job.
Let’s look how the 8 winners hold up to these conditions:
#1 multi jaw vice
The principle behind this kind of vices is surely interesting and the model is well designed. Still, it does not have a lot of functions and does not trigger my urge to “dive into the project and see how it works” or look at it for a long time while it moves. It is useful, but does not really fit into the contest criterias. Nonetheless, this is the contest winner. Hmmm…
I understand that this model is among the winners. It is aesthetic, and fun to look at when it moves. Several gears are turning inside to do the job, while on the other hand the amount of gears is linked to the amount of tentacles and no other mechanical principles are used here. It deserves to be among the winners, but there are entries which deserve a higher rank than this one.
#3 mechanical heart
This is a really cool model and stands out from the rest. Fully agree with this entry being among the winners.
now comes the awkward part…
#4 Joy fidget
This entry is just hilarious. Not more than a bad joke. I mean sure, it does what the title says and is probably well designed for the category it falls into. But how on earth is this a mechanical marvel? It is a knob that you can press off to the side and it bounces back to the center. All functions of the model discovered, takes like 5 seconds to understand the whole principle of the model simply by looking at the pictures. If this model deserves 350 prusameters, then like 250 of the other 500+ entries deserve them also.
#5 ratcheting mini screwdriver
Cool design, clever and compact. Clearly designed for the “Keychain Tools” contest though, where it deserves a good ranking. But it is completely misplaced in this contest here. It has a single moving part, thats it. Not a mechanical marvel at all.
#6 toothpaste tube squeezer
I will probably never need that, but seems like many people think this is a great model. It has a useful function, at least. Needless to say, “mechanical marvel” is by no means an applicable description for this model.
#7 portable pliers
I like the fact, that reversing the handles locks the pliers and makes them more compact. A very neat design, but just like the screwdriver, designed for another contest and also entered here because “who cares, why not”. Fails all of the contest categories other than being a multipart object. I am really starting to repeat myself here…
#8 bearing calibration kit
…why? This is probably even more boring than the joy fidget. Sure, I guess it fulfills the purpose of printing good bearings, but nothing more than that. By now you know what else there would be to say.
I don’t want to complain about the models, the problem is all about the fact which kind of models won in the competition and even got awarded for it. I am wondering if the winners with super low complexity models are actually feeling bad that they were rewarded instead of creators of super awesome entries. I definitely would.
If all contests are judged like this, the entry quality will drastically decrease. If my chances of winning will increase by orders of magnitude if I enter several low effort models that a lot of people will download while none of them really fulfills the contest categories, instead of really spending a lot of time on a single model specifically for the contest, then it is clear what is the most beneficial approach. At least when it comes to chances of winning. In the end, most of us are here because we like engineering, designing and sharing stuff, not because we want to win prizes. But this contest result is simply unfair.
Completely agree with your comments for the first three. Currently building your revolver and I thought it would be up there too.
For the other five, I think the reason is very simple, as it was specified in the contest rules that the 5 most makes would get a reward :
“We want to see your makes of these designs and the five entries with the most makes (who are not also main prize winners) will each receive 300 Prusameters good for filament and other awesome prizes.”
So they are only applying a rule that they decided earlier, even if might not have been the best. For some other contests, they chose to award additional prizes “as they wish”, and I think this would have been better here, because they were now cornered between having to reward entries that are not very fitting to the contest or not very challenging to design, or having to outright disqualify an entry, which may have seemed harsh. So in the end, I understand they stuck but their rule (for these at least…), I just hope they reconsider for future similar contests.
Despite all the complaining, I hope they run a similar theme somewhat regularly on the website, as these mechanical models are, to me at least, much more exciting than the more ornemental stuff usually highlighted. I wish you all more luck in the next one.
Chris B – You make a very good point about the rules stating top 5 makes get rewarded.
No matter how much I think this is unsuitable or the fact that Prusa reserve the right to change the rules or add discretionary rewards, the rule is there and has been followed.
However, I think a competition for complex mechanical models which take several weeks of peoples time should have a better reward scheme.
I also believe there are models much better fitting the criteria than the model that won, however judgement can not be undone.
Basically Prusa you message up on this one big time!
More mechanical based competitions would be really good, but only if rules and rewards are more suitable. We all screw-up … lets learn from it and do better next time.
I agree with you fully. Personally, I don’t think this discourse should be ‘awkward’ in the context of discussing what users want from a site.
I personally am blown away by the mechanical heart and, having made it, would add a couple of my observations to yours.
1- The human heart is a mechanical marvel. While the creator did not design the human heart, nor a functional replacement – what is presented is nothing short of fascinating to print and admire.
2- The entry has well documented information for printers, good pictures, and even pre sliced files.
3- The entry shows a deliberate and successful attempt to construct a novel interactive display of a existing organic structure using FDM technology.
Suggestion – submissions that have excellent documentation and quality photos etc should be considered as part of the overall grading. I think this would be less significant than the grading of the print and the design, equally important as the reproducibility of the print, and more important than popularity. Finally, I think it would be appropriate to allow individual judges say 5 points out of 100 for personal impact. Certainly, we each have a gut reaction to a print, and I would trust judges to be able to quantify their qualitative sentiments and award a emotional response with a small amount of credit.
In my opinion, it’s a Big competition when it lasts this long and plays for bigger prizes, but only the first three get the big prizes, and there are fewer winners than in the flash competitions. If it’s true that those in the 4th-8th place were judged by number of prints, so it should have been a special category, because it goes without saying that people will print simpler things more than elaborate models made of many parts and materials, and the number of other winning models could be similar to that in the flash competition.
However, I still haven’t seen an answer to our comments. I understand that the competition here is huge, but our effort – I think I speak for several who sacrifice a lot of time and material to this hobby – could be appreciated a little better, after all, we try to create new things, originals , which are not found elsewhere, and that is why this site is different, more interesting than repositories of 3d models.
DeSteiner- I was really rooting for your model in the contest
This is amazing! do bearded dragons have teeth