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Stratasys and nTop design competition: Best 3D printed fixture or tool design

Written by nTop

Published on July 1, 2021

The Stratasys and nTop design competition committee is proud to announce the winners of the 2021 Best 3D Printed Fixture or Tool Design Competition.

In early May we kicked off a six-week design competition alongside Stratasys for the best 3D printed fixture or tool using the FDM Fixture Generator. We received around 40 outstanding design submissions collectively across the professional and student divisions.

The panel of judges for this competition was comprised of executives, designers, mechanical engineers, applications engineers, and software engineers from Stratasys and nTop.

About the competition and judging criteria

For this competition, we asked designers and engineers to utilize nTop and FDM 3D printing technology to create the most innovative and impactful additively produced jig, fixture, manufacturing aid, or tool.

The finalists and winners provided the most compelling, written narratives, highlighting why additive manufacturing (AM) was the superior or only method of fabrication for their designs.

They provided detailed explanations on the impact their AM-produced tool had or is expected to have, their workflow, product development, production, and overall business case.

Categories & Prizes

Finalists and winners were selected as best-in-class for the following categories:

  • Innovation
  • Business impact
  • Use of AM to create a fixture or tool that could not have been produced any other way
  • Use of AM to replace a traditional method of manufacturing it (cost, time, or performance improvements)
  • The best utilization of nTop

To reward the finalists and winners for their winning designs and narratives, Stratasys and nTop are pleased to present:

  • A free, FDM 3D printed model of the submitted design on any FDM platform and any FDM material for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place (Professional & Student Divisions)
  • A Stratasys Direct Manufacturing printing voucher for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place (Professional & Student Divisions)
  • Three free canisters of the FDM material of your choice 1st, 2nd and 3rd place (Professional Division)
  • A 3-9 month complimentary nTop license 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place (Professional Division)
  • A complimentary nTop EDU license 1st, 2nd and 3rd place (Student Division)
  • A complimentary 1-year subscription to GrabCAD Shop-25 users 1st, 2nd and 3rd place (Professional Division)
  • Promotion in the Stratasys newsletter, website, and social channels for all finalists (Professional & Student Divisions)
  • GrabCAD newsletter and blog promotion on community challenge page for all finalists (Professional & Student Divisions)
  • A Visa Gift Card 1st, 2nd and 3rd place (Student Division)

nTop swag 1st, 2nd and 3rd place (Professional & Student Divisions)

And the winners are...

Professional Division:

1st place: Carlos J. Veloso, Linden, NJ

Multi-position fixture/puck for packaging.

2nd place: Nik Krueger, Brewer, ME

Cincinnati proform 230+ custom press brake finger attachment.

3rd place: Austin Brittain, New Britain, CT

nTop masking plugs for drill press casting.

Student Division:

1st place: Abhishek Palani & Adithya Rangarju, Ontario, Canada

3D printed fixture for CMM.

2nd place: Lawrence Smith, Boulder, CO

Custom flexture fixtures.

3rd place: Mingqiu Chen, Charlottesville, VA

Topology optimized CNC work holding fixture.

Stratasys and nTop would like to thank all of the participating designers and engineers for the time and hard work they dedicated to creating these designs.

Congratulations on your outstanding achievement!

For a closer look at all finalists, project submissions, photos, and videos, please visit the GrabCAD Challenge.


nTop (formerly nTopology) was founded in 2015 with the belief that engineers’ ability to innovate shouldn’t be limited by their design software. Built on proprietary technologies that upend the constraints of traditional CAD software while integrating seamlessly into existing processes, nTop allows designers in every industry to create complex geometries, optimize instantaneously, and automate workflows to develop breakthrough 3D-printed parts in record time.