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DIYRockets starts a challenge to build open source, 3D-printed rocket engines

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
March 8, 2013

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DIYRockets believes that our chances of advancing space exploration improve when everyone can lend a hand. The company is putting its money where its mouth is by launching a competition to develop 3D-printed rocket motors using Sunglass' cloud design platform. Teams who sign up have to build an engine that could boost a nanosatellite-level payload into low Earth orbit using 3D-printed steel and other safe materials. The only major stipulations are that creators present a good business case and open-source their creations to help out other builders. DIYRockets' prize strategy reflects its for-the-greater-good ambitions: there's a $5,000 award for the best motor, but there are separate $2,500 prizes for both a student creation and the design that contributes the most to the industry. Registration officially starts on March 9th, and runs until April 6th, with the finished models due on June 1st. We'll be closer to a crowdsourced vision of space when the winners are revealed by July 1st.

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*DIYROCKETS and Sunglass Team up to Launch World's First Collaborative 3D
Printed Rocket Engine Design Competition*

*Competition aims to make space design open and collaborative, with
legendary inventor Dean Kamen, and judges from NASA, MIT and TED selecting
three winners*

San Francisco - (March 8, 2013) - Today DIYROCKETS and Sunglass are
announcing a partnership to launch the world's first open source
competition to create 3D printed rocket engines through collaborative

The competition opens for registration at South By Southwest (SXSW) on
March 9, and challenges makers, designers and space entrepreneurs to create
open source rocket engines that will serve the growing market for small
payload delivery into low earth orbit and ultimately, disrupt the space
transportation industry.

Although several companies have recently made strides in showcasing the
power of the private sector in space exploration, DIYROCKETS is taking this
a step further by creating the first of many competitions that encourages
the fusion of creativity, technology and collaboration by people across the
globe. Utilizing Sunglass's cloud-based platform to visualize, collaborate,
manage versions and exchange feedback on each design with team members and
the public from anywhere on the globe, the contest aims to dramatically
drive down design costs, while creating innovative technology for all types
of space hardware and parts, ranging from space propulsion to space medical
sensors. Teams will have the freedom to work in a 3D design environment of
their choice such as SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor, Rhino or CATIA, while
syncing their project to the Sunglass cloud.

DIYROCKETS' strategic partnership with Sunglass is the first step in making
space design open and collaborative, as the company is offering full usage
of its collaborative design platform to all contestants. As the leading
prize sponsor of the challenge, Sunglass will award a total of $10,000 in
prizes for the winning designs, focusing on technical aspects as well as
collaborative teamwork.,* *the world's leading 3D Printing marketplace and community,
will also be providing $500 in free 3D printing to help create each of the
top two designs, which will be judged by legendary inventor, Dean Kamen,
TED Senior Fellow and Crew Commander of the NASA-funded HI-SEAS Mars
simulation, Angelo Vermeulen, and a panel of industry experts hailing from
NASA, MIT, TED among others.

"We are excited to be working with Sunglass and Shapeways to harness the
power of open sourcing, 3D printing and collaboration in the cloud, which
will aid our efforts to rapidly advance space exploration," said Darlene
Damm co-founder and co-president of DIYROCKETS. "As NASA's push towards
private and public innovation finally comes to fruition and technology is
now more affordable than ever, we see this as a greenfield opportunity to
truly redefine space design and technology."

"Our goal at Sunglass is to help take the next amazing idea to production
faster through global collaboration," said Nitin Rao, co-founder of
Sunglass. "By joining forces with DIYROCKETS and Shapeways for the 3D
Rocket Engine Design Challenge, we will be able to see a preview of the
incredible impact that 3D printing and cloud collaboration will have in
advancing aerospace technology."

Within less than a year, Sunglass has made tremendous progress in making it
possible for designers, architects and engineers across the globe to easily
work together on 3D models via its cloud-based collaboration platform. With
engagement on the rise and Sunglass's paid users and teams steadily
increasing, the company is bringing continued innovation to the 3D design
industry to transform great ideas into products faster.

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