Jan 17, 2018 | By Tess

A South African maker by the name of Tom van den Bon has completed what could very well be the country’s first 365-day 3D printing challenge. The maker, who completed his personal challenge very recently, says he 3D printed at least one part or object using an FDM 3D printer every day for the past year.

Van den Bon, whom some might know from his new Youtube channel Tom's Workshop, says he was inspired to do the 365-day 3D printing challenge not only to push himself and gain some attention from the maker community but to build up a collection of 3D prints to demonstrate to others what the technology could be used for.

“Most of the 3D printing that I do on my 3D printers is for prototypes,” van den Bon told a local news show. “And you get a lot of really cool new designs on the internet so i ended up thinking why not try to print something every day for a whole year in order to build up a collection to show people what you can do with 3D printers.”

He adds that in addition to having demo prints to showcase, he also now has “a whole bunch of awesome stuff” for his house.

Let’s take a look at some of the awesome stuff that van den Bom ended up making on his yearlong 3D printing journey. The maker, having found most of the 3D models online, printed a number of classic toys including a Baby Groot model, Yoda, Mickey Mouse, a dinosaur, a slinky, some Lego-inspired pieces, and much more.

The maker also took on a few more complex makes, which took several days to complete (as in, he 3D printed a component or section each day). These projects include a colorful pair of Charlie Brown and Lucy figurines, a spaceship model, a plastic engine, a large-scale Lego Go-Kart (inspired by Matt Denton of Mantis Hacks), and perhaps our favorite: a really elaborate 3D printed advent calendar.

This make, which took 24 days to complete, was actually a collaborative effort, as van den Bon invited some of his maker friends to create a piece-together 3D printed advent calendar. The design was based on a model by Peter Leppik, which van den Bon redesigned in Fusion 360 as a sort of blank slate Christmas tree.

He then sent the blank block models to his maker friends and invited them to design one of the days of the 3D printed advent calendar. The final product is a colorful Christmas tree filled with 24 unique and fun toys. The idea with the make is to 3D print the Christmas tree in advance and then 3D print a new filler every day for the month of December.

I don’t know about you, but next year I think I may trade in my dollar store chocolate advent calendar for this much more amusing one.

Overall, van den Bon estimates he used about 51 kg of filament (roughly 16 km) in his 365-day challenge. Of course, he didn’t undertake the ambitious journey totally alone, as he was sponsored by a slew of local 3D printing companies and individuals including 3D Printing South Africa, AMS 3D Printers, Filament Factory, MarshLand3D, GadgetBoy 3D Solutions, and more.

You can see each day of the 3D printing challenge in gallery form here.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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