And the winners are...

Thanks to everyone who participated! There were so many unique solutions for this tough, mechanical challenge. We believe these winners are the best solutions. We took an in-depth look at all of the technical specifications and how each entrant performed in those areas. You'll see a rating for Number of Prints and Number of Parts. These along with the rest of the technical criteria were used to determine the rankings. Congratulations to all of the winners and to all of those who participated in this challenge!

GrabCAD

We developed the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation so we could work with groups like GrabCAD, which has almost 2 million members, and tap the creativity of the world to solve tough engineering problems. Using innovators to contribute to solutions to technical challenges is playing a crucial role for NASA in developing the technologies needed for humans to become Earth-independent and pioneer missions to Mars and other deep space destinations.

Jason Crusan, Director of NASA's Advance Exploration Systems Division

We, at NASA, were overwhelmed with both the quantity and quality of the submissions for the NASA GrabCAD Challenge! Going into this, we were confident that we would benefit greatly from the experience that this broad community of talented designers brings to the table, but we were extremely impressed with the level of interaction, creativity, and iterations that took place within the community throughout the challenge process. The capability to exchange technical ideas and gain feedback during the challenge was as impactful as the submissions themselves. NASA hopes to have the opportunity to utilize this high-value, high-impact collaboration mechanism more in the future.

Niki Werkheiser, NASA In-space Manufacturing Project Manager

Last year, NASA manufactured the first parts ever made in orbit. But to be successful, we need to do more than make parts in space. Deep space explorers will have to be able to design parts for use in different environments, and the GrabCAD community can help NASA learn how to optimize designs.

Niki Werkheiser, NASA’s In-Space Manufacturing Project Manager

1st Place Winner
Champ-X2 NASA handrail clamp by michael.herbert-1

Champ-X2 NASA handrail clamp

The design provided an exciting approach to single build, easy attachment, easy removal, seat track strengthening and minimal material usage. While the seat track design is missing the center hole (easy modification) needed for proper attachment of mating components, the simple increases to the seat track strength look promising. The design may have some weak spots that would need to be addressed before a final version, but the concept and initial execution were intriguing. Easy to build and assemble. Good material optimization.

Number of Builds: 1
Number of Parts: 2

NASA and GrabCAD

2nd Place Winner
Clamp with threaded bolt. by kris-22

Clamp with threaded bolt.

While the clamp design did not perfectly recreate or focus on a redesign of the seat track, it did provide a unique solution regarding handrail attachment with adjustability. The threaded bolt entails a clever design feature that allows it is be easily built in the xy direction for superior strength over a z-axis printed bolt. The design might require adjustment in order to print the female threads without support material, but the concept is promising. Excellent Bolt design. Strong Clamping.

Number of Builds: 1
Number of Parts: 2

NASA and GrabCAD

4th Place Winner
NASA Clamp Challenge Slide Clamp by eston-1

NASA Clamp Challenge Slide Clamp

We like that this design does not require support material. The design is very well done in terms of removal and installation. The wedging effect allows for multiple uses with adequate clamping. The design provides an interesting attachment method to the handrail that has adjustability by further sliding the two parts relative to each other. The removal of the clamp is also facilitated by the tab on the red bottom slider. While the seat track does not appear to be design strengthened, the handrail clamping design does not prevent seat track modifications.

Number of Builds: 1
Number of Parts: 2

NASA and GrabCAD

5th Place Winner
Handrail Clamp keyhole by singlefonts

Handrail Clamp keyhole

The simple design has many attractive design features that set it apart. Above all is the cleverly increased strength of the seat track interface, this design appears that it would provide the most strength at the seat track interface than any other. It is a very elegant solution to strengthening the seat track interface. While the ratcheting handrail clamping design allows for adjustability, it may be difficult to remove the clamp once installed. Even linearly sliding the two apart along the handrail axis may be very difficult once a full clamping force is applied.

Number of Builds: 1
Number of Parts: 2

NASA and GrabCAD

NASA Handrail Clamp Assembly Challenge Finalist
Clippy by kyle-386

Clippy

Interesting attachment method, needs some refinement, but has potential. The build direction proposed by the designer is not possible without support material, but the adjustability of the clamping force through tightening the nut creates a very flexible concept with some minor improvements needed.

NASA and GrabCAD

NASA Handrail Clamp Assembly Challenge Finalist
ISS Handrail Clamp by nesdon.harris-1

ISS Handrail Clamp

We like the concept of the adjustment flexures and single handed operation of this unique design. Neat use of design in "custom" infill that is controlled at the designed CAD level allowing for infill variation that is not possible with traditional infill settings on 3D printers.

NASA and GrabCAD

NASA Handrail Clamp Assembly Challenge Finalist
CHAMP v2 -no support material!- by mark.van.de.hei-1

CHAMP v2 -no support material!-

A strong design for both clamping and seat track interface. The parts are well designed as they require no support material. The assembly is not too difficult but the building of the hinge pins may be a failure risk.

NASA and GrabCAD

NASA Handrail Clamp Assembly Challenge Finalist
0126 handrailclamp by alberto.beretta-1

0126 handrailclamp

While the design did poke out of the one inch cross section in one spot the clever seat track strength improvements were very interesting. The symmetrical nature of the part was also an added benefit, not only did you have to locations to attach a seat track item but if one side failed you could use the other while a replacement was being printed. Even though the part has some issues with fitting into the build volume, there are easy reductions that could be made to allow for printing without support material and build height.

NASA and GrabCAD

NASA Handrail Clamp Assembly Challenge Finalist
NASA Handrail Clamp1 by nouamane-1

NASA Handrail Clamp1

The potential ease of installation was a nice feature of this design although, some tolerancing is needed to tweak the sliding components for easier installment. The ability to adjust the clamping force is a nice feature although the design does have a weakness in the "loosen" direction.

NASA and GrabCAD

NASA Handrail Clamp Assembly Challenge Finalist
Twist-N-Lock NASA Handrail Clamp by mark.fuller-1

Twist-N-Lock NASA Handrail Clamp

This is a good design for strong clamping, providing a simple but effective solution to the problem. However, the building of the screw as indicated in the x,y orientation will be hard to accomplish without supports as designed.

NASA and GrabCAD

NASA Handrail Clamp Assembly Challenge Finalist
CHAMPS V3.03 by mark.tommis

CHAMPS V3.03

The design showcased an interesting attachment method which relied upon a device to be installed onto the clamp in order to secure it to the handrail. The device could be difficult to attach to a handrail in micro gravity because the clamp cannot stay attached by itself, one would have to hold the clamp in place, have the device to be attached in hand, and then attach the device to the clamp while not floating away (not impossible but probably difficult). The lack of adjustability in the clamping force would have to be overcome through very specific tolerancing, again not impossible but not ideal. The build direction of the center pin may be a failure point of the design.

NASA and GrabCAD

NASA Handrail Clamp Assembly Challenge Finalist
NASA CHAMP CLAMP (Strong man) by jonathan.brazeau-3

NASA CHAMP CLAMP (Strong man)

This is an excellent design for strength and provides a solid connection to the rail as well as a strong seat track interface. However some of the individual clamp pieces will be difficult to build without supports and assembly will be hard to do in zero-g.

NASA and GrabCAD

NASA Handrail Clamp Assembly Challenge Finalist
PT Handrailclamp by helder.santos-4

PT Handrailclamp

Very clever use of the handrail as the backstop for the seat track interface. Minimal material use through seat track modifications. Would need some minor modification in order to print without support material.

NASA and GrabCAD

We also want to recognize these amazing entries

Honorable Mention
NASA C.H.A.M.P Entry by david-1957

NASA C.H.A.M.P Entry

Honorable Mention
Nasa concept 1 by dit-1

Nasa concept 1

Honorable Mention
CHAMPS Clamp (the Grey) IVO ALBERTI REMIX by jonathan.brazeau-3

CHAMPS Clamp (the Grey) IVO ALBERTI REMIX

Honorable Mention
Goddard Clamp by thinkin3d-2

Goddard Clamp

Honorable Mention
Simple Snap CHAMP by andrew.diehl-1

Simple Snap CHAMP

Honorable Mention
Alien Clamp for NASA Challenge by sylwester.twardowski-1

Alien Clamp for NASA Challenge

Honorable Mention
NASA CHAMP Snap clamp by flaviano.crespi

NASA CHAMP Snap clamp

Honorable Mention
Symmetrical Clamp for NASA CHAMP Challenge by otto.ziegler-1

Symmetrical Clamp for NASA CHAMP Challenge

Honorable Mention
CHAMP 4 sides seat track interface by krasimir.asenov-3

CHAMP 4 sides seat track interface

Honorable Mention
Uni-CLAMP v1.0 by luca.vullo-1

Uni-CLAMP v1.0
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