Thoughts & News From The Polar 3D Team

Viewing entries tagged
polar design challenges

Thanksgiving Challenge Winners!


Thanksgiving Challenge Winners!

Now announcing our Thanksgiving Challenge Winners! We're so thankful for the bounty of 25 entrants, and the decision was a tough one. After much deliberation we focused on a few distinct qualities to chose the winners: theme, build difficulty and detail. Without further adieu, here's our runners up!

Second Runner Up - "Thanksgiving Utensil Holder" by: Brayden Boyum

"The turkey is a decoration and the two little hills on both sides you use to set your forks and spoons and stuff down on it."

First Runner Up - "Thanksgiving Table" by: Jada Fox

"The best day of the year where family comes together this little table shows a beautiful dinner with many different food and the word family on the side because family is the best thing to have at a Thanksgiving dinner."

Winner - "Cornucopia" by: Jayna Searles

"An iconic symbol of the first Thanksgiving, this cornucopia will make a great decoration for your Thanksgiving table."

Congratulations to Jayna on her design challenge win! She will be receiving a roll of our cool Wood Filament! The runner's up will receive a roll of filament in the color of their choice too. Don't forget, you can download these great designs (using the links above) or any of the other great challenge entrants here on the Polar Cloud. Thank you to everyone who participated and keep an eye out for our upcoming Christmas Challenge, debuting soon!


Haunted Halloween Challenge Tutorial


Haunted Halloween Challenge Tutorial

A 3D Printed Jack O Lantern with an LED candle inside lights up the whole print!

A 3D Printed Jack O Lantern with an LED candle inside lights up the whole print!

We've just launched the Haunted Halloween Challenge! This challenge is a little different than previous ones — we'd like you to make a design that should be lit up from the inside! It seemed like a great opportunity to help out our students and teachers with a little tutorial.

Due to the fact that excessive heat and finished 3D Prints don't mix too well, we suggest that you use a flameless LED candle to make your prints light up. As evidenced by the adjacent photo, it works really well! You can find inexpensive, flameless LED candles at most major stores, especially during this Halloween season.

To make a hole big enough for a flameless candle in your model, first you'll need to measure the candle you'd like to insert. Our candle, for the sake of the tutorial, was roughly 1.5" (38mm) in diameter and 1.5" (38mm) tall. To ensure enough room inside the print, we decided that making a slightly larger cylinder of 1.75"D (44mm) x 1.75"H (44mm) would work best. We suggest that you also make the hole slightly bigger than your candle to be safe. 

Now you'll need to create the spooky model you'd like to illuminate. That part is entirely up to you and we look forward to seeing your design! For our tutorial, we've started with a basic, not-so-scary pumpkin in the center of the workplane. We first raised the pumpkin to make some space beneath it. Next, we created the cylinder and scaled it to the proper size using the control handles on the model.

With the cylinder finished, we lowered our pumpkin model on top of the cylinder so that they overlapped. To ensure that the hole works in printing, we extended the base of the cylinder past the workplane using the control handles. Then with the cylinder selected, we changed it from "Color" to "Hole" and grouped the pumpkin and cylinder hole together. This creates a pumpkin with the proper candle hole inside! 

Once you've crossed this point with your design, you can save it in TinkerCAD and download the STL file for printing. When you upload your design to the Polar Cloud for printing, we suggest you use a small "Infill Amount" in your Cura settings (5-10%). This will allow more light to shine through from your candle! Finally, be sure you have support material turned on to ensure your candle hole doesn't cause your part to collapse during printing. With those settings in place, you can press print and watch it go!

Once your design has printed, simply remove the support material and insert your LED candle! Take a picture of your design all lit up and send it to us, and we'll be happy to share your spooky creations. Best of luck to everyone in this challenge and have fun printing!


Home Fix-It Polar Challenge Winners!


Home Fix-It Polar Challenge Winners!

Let's get right down to it, here's our awesome winners for the Polar 3D Home Fix-It Challenge...

Winner - "Hook For Bags" by: Tyler Wos and Jason Muglia

This entry was an early favorite during the challenge due to its simplicity and effectiveness at such a common problem. Everyone has groceries — and whether you use tote bags, paper or plastic — at some point the amount one can carry easily becomes pretty limited. This design allows easy transport of bags from store to home and helps the user carry far more, without strain on the hands, in less trips. We definitely encourage folks to print a few of these out to keep in the trunk of their car, or with their grocery tote bags. We'd also suggest trying the design in some carbon fiber filament to really boost the amount of weight you can haul. Who knows how much weight one of these could take?! If you find out, let us know — print the file from the Polar Cloud here!

Runner Up - "Drainable Sponge Tray" by: Zachary Casto

This design was pretty interesting to the judges as it not only served an interesting purpose, but solved its problems in a subtle way. Disposable cleaning items like sponges generally don't have a "place to live" in the home, save for the edges of the sink. This causes them to not only build up grime faster, but also make the area they're sitting become as dirty as the sponge. By making a 3D printable storage area, the sponge can be set to dry on a cheap an easily replaceable 3D print that drains itself of water with its subtle geometric slope. And once the sponge is dry, it can be stored inside the tray, away from the view of guests, etc. We'll definitely be printing these out for our sinks — and you can print one out too, right here on the Polar Cloud!

Runner Up - "Backpack Clip" by: Aidan Moncelle

This backpack clip really intrigued us as it solved a personal problem for Aidan — holding drawstring bags (like gym or storage bags) closed and secure over his shoulders. But the real thing we appreciated about this design was the versatility of it. You can print this design and not only solve Aidan's problem but a slew of other around the home. A simple and durably designed clip like this is perfect for holding things all over a home. We've been printing these out and using them for hooking up lots of things where one might use a carabiner or ring hook. This is also another print that benefits from stronger filaments like carbon fiber. You can grab this awesome design here on the Polar Cloud!

...and as always, you can go check out and print all of the challenge entries for free here on the Polar Cloud!

Congratulations to our winners, we will be contacting you to send your winning filament soon. Thank you to everyone who participated in our latest challenge, the entries are always fun to print and test out! Please keep an eye out for our next, Haunted Halloween Challenge starting shortly!


Home Fix-It With Polar 3D


Home Fix-It With Polar 3D

During our Home Fix-It Challenge, we thought we'd highlight an inspiring and real world story to encourage you that using 3D Printing in the home is possible. While our focus at Polar 3D is on education, many of our customers use Polar 3D printers and software to support hobbies and projects at home. The following post is by one of our team members, Industrial Designer and Director of Product Development, David Parrott, who used a Polar 3D printer and the Polar Cloud to create a custom plumbing fixture for a bathroom remodeling project at home. 

“My house is an old Victorian, built in 1895, and I love doing home improvement work myself. As anyone with an old house will tell you, nothing in a 100+ year old home is square or standard; if you want to do it yourself, you’re often fabricating custom things by hand. One area where this is particularly problematic is plumbing. Because the home DIYer traditionally hasn’t had the ability to fabricate metal plumbing components, (s)he has to settle for what’s available from the hardware store – or spend a bundle at a specialty plumbing shop. For this project, even the specialty store didn’t have what I need. This is where 3D printing came in. Because I had access to a Polar 3D printer, I was able to design a custom plumbing component that overcame the functional challenges of my non-standard plumbing and matched the aesthetic of the new bathroom. I then printed the new piece, using the Polar Cloud."


"I had just replaced the existing vanity sink with a new console sink from Signature Hardware. Rather than tear up the subfloor, I left the existing drain pipe in the floor, which protruded from the new tile. (It used to be hidden by the vanity.) I was planning to use a tall, chrome box flange from Home Depot to cover it, so I wasn’t worried about the height of the compression fitting. When I finally purchased and test-fit the new box flange, I discovered that it wasn’t tall enough to cover the compression fitting. Even Signature Hardware and Keidel Plumbing Supply – specialty suppliers with amazing varieties of non-standard fixtures – didn’t have a box flange that would work.
It was too late to change the plumbing without tearing up the new tile (and subfloor). Further, the new box flange was too plain, aesthetically, to match the Victorian-like ornamentation of the rest of the room."


"When I realized that I’d have to waste a week of work and hundreds of dollars of tile to replace this simple fitting, my mind quickly turned to other solutions. I used Solidworks and my Polar3D printer to quickly model and print a custom box flange that was taller than standard and with an aesthetic that reflected the shape of the surrounding baseboard molding. The new flange design took just minutes to create in Solidworks and could have been produced in Fusion 360, Sketchup or any other free piece of CAD (Computer Aided Design) software. I used the basic profile of our new baseboards for the shape."

"Printing the new flange was easy with the Polar Cloud. I just uploaded the files from my computer and watched them build – from my computer and iPhone – using the integrated webcam. The entire print just took a few hours, and when it was done I had a real, solid plastic part that was stronger and more unique than anything I could buy on-line or locally."

"I test fit the new piece before painting it. Everything fit perfectly. The plastic was durable and already relatively smooth. 
After a very little sanding and some spray paint, the result looks like a production fitting. I used the cheapest chrome Rustoleum paint I could find, and it turned out pretty well.
I installed the new box flange and shot a couple of photos. The images below show it compared to a production box flange and the finished unit, installed in the bathroom. The entire process ofcreating, preparing and installing the new box flange took less than 6 hours – most of it unattended printing.
Additive manufacturing has the potential to change the way products are designed, manufactured, and sold. But the future in which everyone has a 3D printer at home, and the additive process replaces high volume manufacturing methods (e.g. injection molding, et al.) seems like it’s still a couple years out. In the meantime, users like me can use low cost, high reliability 3D printers like Polar 3D and others to produce professional-grade products that are quick, inexpensive and dialed for custom applications. For this and other projects, I couldn’t have done it without Polar3D.”


Thank You Teachers and Students! Polar 3D Printers Now in 36 States, 300 Schools


Thank You Teachers and Students! Polar 3D Printers Now in 36 States, 300 Schools


Since the official 2015 launch at CES of the revolutionary Polar 3D printer, the customer base has grown at a rapid rate thanks to teachers and students. Now officially in 36 states and over 300 schools, the Polar 3D team is working hard to fulfill its mission of "Inspiring Students to Think Like Entrepreneurs" through 3D printing and design thinking. The Polar 3D printer is the first desktop 3D printer specifically designed for home, school and college use. It's also the first personal 3D printer based on polar coordinates. This design innovation enables it to print four times the build volume of competitors at half the price. And it's lightweight enough, with a built-in handle, that it can be carried friend's house or from classroom to classroom.

The Reason for the Rapid Growth?

Affordability, easy to install, use and maintain

The educational discount price of $599 for a 3D printer makes it more affordable and accessible to schools. Installation in most cases takes between 10-20 minutes.


It's incredibly important for teachers not to be bogged down in endless troubleshooting tasks or cumbersome maintenance routines. Polar 3D's open view, light chassis and small number of moving parts make it extremely reliable and easy to maintain.


The Polar 3D is compact and simple to carry with its incorporated handle and folding filament holder. Despite its small size, the printer manages to offer a surprisingly big build volume and has other hidden bonuses, such as maintenance tools stored under the frame and a logo that changes color depending on the network’s status. - Make Magazine Review

Large build volume:

Even though the Polar 3D printer looks like it could only print a small golf ball, its radical poalr-coordinate design enables large print volumes. Four times as large as equivalent competitors.



The Polar 3D is designed differently than any other 3D printer. It allows students and teacher to gather around and see the 3D print creation being built.


The Polar Cloud: (From the 2015 Make Magazine Review)

"The Polar Cloud is clever and easy to use. More than just a cloud slicer, it serves as a web community where technical support, design challenges, 3D model libraries, and group projects can be shared.

"The company imagined a complete workflow to make students’ lives easier. To send a file to print, you upload the 3D model in your object collection and send it to the connected 3D printer. Once the file is ready, Polar Cloud opens to a beautiful live camera showing the mirror platform from the extruder point of view — the printer has a wide-angle camera placed right behind the nozzle, which gives a great monitoring experience of the print at all times. Polar Cloud also enables the user to monitor several machines at the same time, perfect for a digital manufacturing lab.”

From the Maker Club Review:

“Polar 3D provides a cloud service where you can connect, and control, your printer and even multiple printers. “Since each printer also has a camera onboard, you can see the progress of every print live from anywhere you can gain web connectivity. To go one step further, every print job run is saved in the printer’s history – so you can see information about all the prior print jobs, and – wait for it – you can watch a time lapse” video of any prior print that is automatically saved!

From Tom's Guide Review:

Polar 3D — 3D Printer Review

In addition to its rotating print bed, the Polar 3D is different from other 3D printers in how you control it. Rather than controlling the printer directly or through a program running on a PC, you run the Polar 3D via the Web, with a cloud interface that puts all of the features of the printer online. This ties in with the educational approach of the Polar 3D, as it allows a teacher to set up and control the printer, deciding which models are printed and in which order. These users (called managers) can also add, remove or alter models and printers, so a group of students can upload models and schedule prints, with the administrator overseeing the process and intervening as required.

Additional Polar 3D Printer Resources

The Polar Ambassador Program:

Gifted educators and students who support the Polar 3D mission, provide support to their peers, and represent Polar to their local communities get discounted rates on the Polar3D printer and supplies. Plus, they have lots of fun, meet and collaborate with like-minded peers.

Polar Challenges:

Polar Design Challenges are contests for participants to win scholarships, Polar 3D Printers, or internships at exciting companies.


Shop now ( or go to the Polar Cloud (, sign up for free and get access to the on-going projects, the Polar Cloud collection of objects and monthly 3D printing challenges.