Consider it a Pinewood Derby for the 21st Century Maker…YouTube and 3D Printing included. As a way to kick off the 2013 IDSA International Conference (August 21-24), the IDSA is sponsoring the Launch Day Challenge consisting of 3D printed cars to be launched down a ski-slope track. Here’s how to enter.

Launch: Design a 3D Printed Car

If you think you’ve got a winning design, judges will select yours and nine others before the conference based on the use of unique attributes of 3D printing and aesthetics. These ten best designs will then be 3D printed and launched on Saturday, August 24th at the conference. Similar to professional ‘real car racing’ events, the competition requires that you work within certain design restraints—particularly a wheel and axle design, which are supplied:

bearing and wheels

The judging will consist of three factors:

  • Best Flight (distance/style)
  • Best Spectacular Crash
  • Best Aesthetics


All launches will be videotaped for YouTube including a slow-motion capture of the ‘crash site’. Optionally, you can include a 3/4 inch steel ball bearing (.63 lbs) to help increase the speed down the track, however unless you plan on putting some serious wings on your car, the organizers claim that it could reduce the flight time.

The best part? Each person can submit up to five designs–so get those iterations out there!

Full details for the Launch Competition here.

(Images via IDSA)


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.