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2007 Digital Manufacturing Challenge Winners

First Place

2007 Winner CameraCustomized Web Cameras Using DDM
Eric Callister, Scott Gibby, Jake Lamb and Steve Wood, Utah State University, Logan, Utah

While traditionally manufactured webcams have between 15 and 35 individual parts, using DDM, a customized webcam was produced with only three parts: the webcam body, electronics and a cover plate.


2007 Runner-Up JoystickRapid Manufacturing Features of Joystick
Chris Newland, Loughborough University, Loughborough, England

With rapid manufacturing, a joystick redesign that features two personalized aspects was produced. This, along with the short lead time between the design and manufacture of the part, due to the direct use of 3-D CAD data, make bespoke products a possibility.
2007 Runner-Up MouseRedesign of an Optical Cordless Mouse for Direct Digital Manufacturing
Thomas Jung, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta

Synopsis: For this project, a Microsoft optical cordless mouse was redesigned. Cordless mice are precise and convenient for both desktop and laptop/travel usage. The objectives of the project are to reduce the number of parts, enable user customization and maintain functionality of the original design.


Direct digital manufacturing has the unique capability of being able to produce virtually any shape of component, no matter how complex. This opens up new possibilities to designers both in terms of individual component design and overall product design, which makes use of component consolidation. There have been some well-publicized examples of how DDM has been used to achieve realization of innovative designs, for example, the air duct that is shown below. Other examples include products that make use of customization to suit individuals’ needs, such as personalized hearing aids. However, there are many other possibilities that have yet to be explored. The primary limitation on how well DDM is exploited may well lie with how imaginative designers can be.

2007 Challenge Background Image

The Task

The 2007 competition invited student designers to use their imagination to arrive at an innovative computer peripheral design that exploits the geometric capabilities of DDM to the full. Any type of peripheral could be selected, such as mouse, keyboard, speakers and so on. The design had to be for a fully working prototype, so internal electronics had to be specified and packaged within the product. A requirement was that the geometry be defined within a solid modeling CAD system capable of producing robust STL files.