Made for winners. eDee solution shined in student engineering contest

YSoft be3D
Manka Chaloupková
Chief of Engineering, YSoft be3D
As an exclusive 3D Printing Partner of prestigious student contest EBEC 2017 we provided our YSoft be3D eDee print management solution including 7 eDee 3D printers which teams from different universities used to accomplish their tasks.
There was an accident in an automotive manufacturer’s production facility. Two supplier’s lorries crashed and blocked an access to the automated line that transports material to the assembly line. To keep the production operational, a special lift cart needed to be built that could unload lorries and take the material right to the assembly line.

Building a functional miniature prototype of such a cart, one that would be capable of driving, steering and lifting, was the first of two tasks assigned to 15 teams from different European technical universities. The teams visited Brno, Czech Republic, in July and August to take part in EBEC, a prestigious international engineering contest.

Prototypes had to pass this testing track, avoid all obstacles and lift all green boxes. No team managed to make it in 5 minute limit set by rules.
The Team Design contest consisted of two subsequent tasks solved by teams for two days each. The second task was to design a mount to attach a LiDAR camera to the top of the car’s roof.

To accomplish both tasks, teams could use only a pre-chosen set of electronic parts, construction material, simple components and tools. And… 3D printers.

And that is where Y Soft got into the game. As an exclusive 3D Printing Partner of EBEC 2017’s final round, we provided our YSoft be3D eDee print management solution including 7 eDee 3D printers.

Such a contest relies heavily on prototyping and validating different design ideas. To be sure that competing teams had the optimal conditions for using 3D printing during the contest, the teams needed secure access to the 3D printers..

Does that scream PRINT MANAGEMENT? Right!

The key part of the eDee 3D printing solution, the YSoft SafeQ print management component, enabled participants to use it whenever they needed and if it was compliant with rules (there was a time limit on overall usage of 3D printing for fabricating components for the task).

Thanks to eDee’s authentication feature, teams could easily choose any eDee printer that was available in the 3D printing room by themselves without assistance. Files they wished to print were sent to YSoft SafeQ from their laptops and available to print with a swipe of an ID card at the 3D printer.     

Also, each team was given a virtual budget that could be used for “buying” material such as electronic parts and 3D printing material. With eDee’s ability to estimate the amount and cost of material needed to finish the print job, material usage was easy to track for each team.

eDee’s reporting features also made it possible to share interesting statistics about the overall usage of 3D printers:
Team Print duration (hours) Material consumed (mm) Sum of print jobs
Nordic regional 73,97 206,72 13
Greek national 45,47 124,34 10
Ukraine national 36,80 95,57 7
Polish national 33,62 121,05 6
Central regional 28,55 75,59 9
Alpe-Adria regional 27,50 82,02 5
Benelux 25,38 65,38 7
Spanish national 20,55 66,39 3
Baltic 14,13 36,77 2
Romania and Republic of Moldova 13,65 37,75 4
Portuguese national 7,45 22,03 1
Italian national 3,65 9,80 2
Balkan 0,87 1,52 1
French national 0,72 0,47 2
Total 332,3 945,39 72
Average usage time for one eDee printer for the entire contest was 47 hours. The highest amount of parts printed was achieved by the Ukrainian team called “The Order of the Orange Screwdriver”. For their caterpillar style lorry, they printed out 158 individual components!

Rather than avoid obstacles, the Ukrainian team decided to go through them by using the “tank” design. Unfortunately, their software developer didn’t get a visa in time and couldn’t take part in in the contest. So only the lifting mechanism worked.

We also used the opportunity to gather feedback from students on how they liked working with the eDee solution. The majority of respondents found the solution suitable for the contest and all of them agreed it would make sense to have it in their schools and recommended that the optimal number of 3D printers for a school ranged from 10 to 20. Also, in all cases where respondents had 3D printing in their school, they admitted that access to 3D printers was restricted confirming our own findings from the global survey on 3D printing in education.

The most active team in the 3D printing room was the Nordic team. It was also the team with the most expertise in 3D printing and a few times they used this experience to use eDee printers in successfully passed stress tests by setting advanced parameters to their upper limits (like printing speed to 120%).

The Nordic team finished third in the first task and also third in the overall evaluation of both tasks in the competition. In the video below, the Nordic team shares their impressions about the contest and the YSoft be3D eDee solution. 

Manka Chaloupková
Manka Chaloupková
Manka is responsible for leading the development of the YSoft be3D eDee solution. If you prefer listening over speaking this is a list of recommended topics to open in front of her: agile development (only for advanced listeners), air/space crafts (seriously, anything works), movies (can't recall the actors name?) and sports (just pick your favorite: tennis, hockey, biking, swimming...).
View all posts by Manka Chaloupková

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