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Envision The Future Design Challenge

Monday, March 20th — Monday, May 8th

Contest Info

Design Challenge:

Create educational tactile models and assistive devices for the blind and visually impaired.

You Could Win:

A brand new LulzBot 3D printer, complete with materials and accessories.


The Envision The Future Design Challenge starts Monday, March 20th and ends Monday, May 8th. The challenge's objective is to create an educational model which helps communicate a concept or lesson in the classroom for the blind and visually impaired, OR design an assistive device for simple, everyday tasks. To encourage participation of both professional designers as well K-12 classrooms and makerspaces, winners will be announced in two categories: youth (under 18) and adults (18 and over). Each category will have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners with prizes sponsored by LulzBot and MatterHackers. Pinshape will be hosting the challenge submissions, with sighted and non-sighted judging by the Braille Institute of America, founding members of the e­NABLE community, Matterhackers, and more to be announced.

Last year, MatterHackers,, and Pinshape partnered to create the hugely successful Within Reach Design Challenge, which garnered over 200 new designs for assistive devices for people living without full use of their hands - all available for free at

Submit tactile models by May 8th, 2017

Empire State Building

Empire State Building
(Thing 406000 by MicrosoftStore)

Albert Einstein

Einstein Bust
(Thing 966908 by freeform3d)

Camilla Flower

Camilla Flower (3D Printed Science Projects Book by Joan Horvath and Rich Cameron, Apress)

Trex Skull

Trex Skull
(Thing 330888 by 3P3D)

Inner Ear

Inner Ear
(Thing 27340 by neurothing)


Second Prize (Youth and Adult):

Third Prize (Youth and Adult):

  • $50 MatterHackers Gift Card

How To Enter

Design a tactile model to be used in a classroom for Kindergarten all the way up to Graduate school. It could be an example of architecture, a bust of a historical figure, a math or science learning tool (aka manipulatibles), animals or plant-life, or any of the examples suggested by teachers.

Register for Pinshape and upload your design files to the Envision The Future Design Challenge (Youth or Adult) on

Participate in the inspiring online conversation and build momentum for your design by posting photos and video with hashtag #EnvisionTheFuture and by tagging @Pinshape @MatterHackers @EnableTheFuture or @LulzBot3D on , , and .


Steven Berg

Steven Berg

Access Technology Specialist, Braille Institute

As the Access Technology Specialist for Braille Institute in Rancho Mirage, Steven Berg loves to learn new technology and share it with his clients to live a more independent and happy lifestyle. Steve has been with Braille Institute for 25 years, previously as a Tactile Graphics Artist and Information Technology Coordinator at the Los Angeles center. He teaches screen reading and magnification software, as well as handheld device use for the low vision and the blind, and keeps current on assistive technology.

Dave Gaylord

Dave Gaylord

Director of Marketing, MatterHackers

Dave Gaylord, Director of Marketing at MatterHackers, Inc., is a Design Engineer with 10+ years of professional experience in 3D Printing. Dave has design experience and familiarity with many manufacturing techniques but is particularly passionate about 3D Printing and the ability to make quick design iterations and functional prototypes. His experience comes from professional positions as a Product Development Engineer designing consumer devices and an R&D Engineer for implantable medical devices and surgical tools. Dave earned his Mechanical Engineering Bachelor's degree at Cal Poly, SLO and a Biomedical Engineering Master's degree from Purdue University.

Dave Gaylord

Jen and Ivan Owen

Ivan Owen is the co-designer of the first 3D printed hand that was created for a young boy in South Africa in 2013. Since releasing the design for this hand as an open source file, he has continued to collaborate on design improvements withthe global volunteer e-NABLE Community, as well as mentoring students at the University of Washington Bothell in the engineering and makerspace labs.

Jen Owen is the wife of Ivan Owen, and the creator of the website and blog. She hopes to see more 3D printing in schools and the education system in the future so that the next generation of makers will have the skills they need to help them change the world for the better.

Rob Schulenburg

Rob Schulenburg

Director of Transition Services, Junior Blind

As Director of Transition Services at Junior Blind, Rob Schulenburg has been instrumental in streamlining and strengthening the organization’s transition programs for youth who are blind or visually impaired. Rob has designed curricula and presented workshops for youth across California. Well respected in the blindness community, Rob has also presented at conferences and events across the country in topics such as Best Practices in Using Hidden Curriculum to Teach Soft Skills, Defining Soft Skills to Create a Common Language for Practice, Principles of How to Teach Emotional Resiliency, and Curriculum Design for Transition Programming. Rob is a credentialed Teacher of the Visually Impaired and holds additional teaching credentials in Cross-Categorical High Incident Disabilities and Secondary English. He holds graduate and post graduate degrees in special education and educational leadership from University of Arizona. Before Junior Blind, Rob taught for nine years at the Arizona Schools for the Deaf and the Blind before joining the Peace Corps, where he worked on special education curriculum and policy development for Ministries of Education in Central America and the Caribbean.


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