New York, NY – Contour Crafting, a computerized construction method that rapidly 3D prints large-scale structures directly from architectural CAD models, has been awarded the grand prize of $20,000 in the 2014 "Create the Future" Design Contest.
Contour Crafting automates the construction of whole structures and radically reduces the time and cost of construction. The large-scale 3D printing technology is revolutionary to the construction industry and could lead to affordable building of high-quality, low-income housing; the rapid construction of emergency shelters; and on-demand housing in response to disasters. NASA is looking at the technology for building moon and Mars bases.
Behrokh Khoshnevis, a professor at University of Southern California, who invented Contour Crafting, views this invention as a proven concept. “Bringing 3D printing to construction is bringing a concept to a proven application. For many years, building has been done in layers – concrete foundation blocks, brick laying, structural framing, etc.”
“I am very happy to receive this award and find it to be very timely as I am in the process of fund raising and I think this recognition will help me greatly in furthering the project,” said Khoshnevis.
Contour Crafting was among the 1,074 new product ideas submitted in the 12th annual design contest, which was established in 2002 to recognize and reward engineering innovations that benefit humanity, the environment, and the economy. This year’s design contest was co-sponsored by COMSOL (www.comsol.com) and Mouser Electronics (www.mouser.com). Analog Devices and Intel were supporting sponsors.
In addition to the grand prize of $20,000, first-place winners (of Hewlett-Packard workstations) were named in seven categories:
Aerospace & Defense:
A stealth navigation system that provides precise course-plotting while operating independently from GPS.
A continuously variable stroke engine that operates at 30% better fuel efficiency than conventional thick stroke engine designs.
Jonathan Moritz (Team Leader)
An educational kit that brings nanomanufacturing out of the cleanroom and into the classroom.
Jim Hester (Team Leader)
Micro-coil springs that provide flexible electrical interconnections for integrated circuit packages, preventing connection breaks due to heat and vibration.
Machinery/Automation/Robotics – sponsored by Maplesoft:
Rikki Razdan (Team Leader)
Real-time point-of-gaze eye tracking system that allows users to control computer input through "Look and Click" applications.
Yunus Alapan (Team Leader)
A biochip that can rapidly, easily, and conclusively identify the hemoglobin type in blood to diagnose Sickle Cell Disease in newborns.
Dipul Patel (Team Leader)
A system of wireless vents and sensors that makes any forced air heating and cooling system smarter by directing conditioned air where it’s needed most.
Finalists were selected by senior editors at Tech Briefs Media Group and judged by an independent panel of design engineers. Visitors to the contest Web site could vote on entries, with the 10 most popular designs awarded a Sphero mobile game system by Orbotix. For more information, visit www.createthefuturecontest.com .