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Evaluating 3D printed parts – if you can, show off the part

Like all GrabCAD Challenges, the Oxygen Valve Splitter Challenge presented a difficult problem: create an oxygen valve splitter that allows for independently controlled flow rates. As the valve splitter is meant for “low-resource environments,” participants had to design their part with certain considerations in mind (speed, minimal post-processing, and printability on a basic FDM machine). In addition to earning the top prize, the winning part has the potential of saving lives.

With over 130 designs submitted, our large panel of judges worked hard to determine the winning entries. While in the ideal world all Challenge participants would have been able to test their designs by printing them out, it is understandable that not everyone has access to a 3D FDM Printer just yet. Luckily, some of the judges including Victoria Au  (3D4MD) and Adam Arabian (Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Seattle Pacific University) were able to print out the finalist entries to test the devices. Here, Andrzej Stewart at the Hi-SEAS IV mission, explains the methodology his team used to evaluate entries.

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