Microsoft is teaming up with CGTrader.com and its community of 180,000 designers in a challenge to create the perfect 3D printable model for benchmarking and testing. Windows 10 will come with the 3D Builder app preloaded and the model will be included as default content, meaning some lucky designer's work will be in the next Windows release. The model could become a standard upon which 3D printer performance is judged. How's that for posterity?

The contest begins today and ends on June 1, 2015. Models will be judged by CGTrader staff and Emmett Lalish, Senior Mechanical Engineer at Microsoft.

"We are delighted to launch the 3D modeling challenge in partnership with Microsoft. We believe it's a strong signal for the whole 3D printing movement," said Dalia Lasaite, CEO of CGTrader.com. "Our community members get an exclusive opportunity to have their work seen by millions of Windows 10 users."

Judging Criteria:

  • Quality of the model.
  • Uniqueness, innovation, and general achievement in design of the model.
  • As small a print volume as possible for maximum speed of printing.
  • Model at 1:1 scale intended for print.
  • High enough polygon resolution as to appear smooth without smoothed normals.
  • Smooth overhanging features (less than 45 degrees) and smoothly sloped surfaces to reveal layer steps.
  • Flat horizontal planar features to test layer bridging over auto-generated infill.
  • Large and small horizontal holes to test 3d printer bridging.
  • Hollow areas and thin walls. Walls modeled at 1mm thick are ideal to test gapping between thin walls.
  • Embossed surface details to test 3D printer resolution. Details could range from 2mm to 0.1mm tall/thick. Including embossed details on the bottom of the model will test for any first layer squashing.
  • Internal mechanism/moving part to test printer clearances between separating pieces (0.2mm is a good gap distance between parts intended to move separately from one another).

First place will receive a Surface Pro 3, model inclusion in the 3D Builder App and 5 free sales and promotional features on CGTrader. Runner-up will receive a Band Health and Fitness Tracker and 3 free sales and promotional features on CGTrader. Third place will receive a one-year subscription for Microsoft Office 365 Home and 2 free sales and promotional features on CGTrader.