Using 3D printing to build a better mousetrap


3D printing played a starring role in the 13th annual Golden Mousetrap Awards, which were handed out on February 11, 2014, during a standing-room-only ceremony in Anaheim, CA. It was the first time that the competition, which celebrates North America's design, engineering, and manufacturing sectors, included a 3D printing category. And the trophies that the winners received were manufactured by means of 3D printing, courtesy Stratasys, a supplier of 3D printing equipment and materials, and one of the sponsors of the Golden Mousetrap program. We spoke with Mike Block, Applications Engineer at Stratasys, who led the project.

Design News, which produces the Golden Mousetraps program, wanted something creative to hand out, something more unique than just a plaque, says Block. That desire meshed perfectly with the seemingly unlimited capabilities of 3D printing, he says. "The trophy was based on a drawing of a half-circle feature on which the mousetrap is mounted. We ran ABS M30 ivory-colored material through our Fortus 400mc system to print the trophies," explains Block. The video embedded below shows the process from start to finish. (Please note: the video does not have an audio track.)
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