KSU student takes second in national 3-D design contest

Jessica Dreschel

A Kent State student took second place in a national 3-D composition design contest last month.

Senior industrial technology major Jeff Hejl won honors for his entry in the Z Corporation’s first annual design contest. Entries were created on Z Corporation’s rapid prototyper machine.

The machine prints a 3-D piece from computerized drawings, said Verna Fitzsimmons, associate professor in the School of Technology.

Hejl’s winning design was a small, hinged box emblazoned across the top with the words “Kent State University.”

The box was painted blue and gold to represent the university’s colors. Total design and printing time of the box was about 18 to 22 hours, Hejl said.

Technology majors Trent True and Nathan Barnhill also submitted a partner design.

Hejl said after devising the original concept, he designed the box in a 3-D modeling program. After the model was transferred into the prototyper, the box was built, and then Hejl tested the completed model for mistakes.

Hejl said he was excited to receive the award. His father was happy, too.

“My dad told me it would be a good resume builder,” Hejl said.

The contest also gave students a chance to familiarize themselves with the new prototyping machine.

“The basis of most manufacturing major classes is to learn how things work,” Hejl said.

This year’s competition is the first ever, said Jane Holtz, who is in charge of education marketing programs for Z Corporation.

Two winners were chosen from about six total submissions, Holtz said.

“We communicate to a very small audience of education customers,” Holtz said.

All of the entries except one came from Ohio, Holtz said.

The contest was judged by David Wallace and Woody Flowers, two MIT professors. Senior Z Corporation management and engineers helped make the final decision. Judges spent about two hours reviewing the entries, Holtz said.

The judges said they enjoyed Hejl’s design.

“They liked the design a lot. They liked the hinge. They liked the originality. It was well executed and very clean and clear,” Holtz said.

First place went to Lorain County Joint Vocational School in Oberlin, Ohio. The student’s submission was a working clock housing complete with hands, Holtz said.

Overall, the experience was enjoyable for School of Technology professors and students.

“It was just a fun process to go through,” Fitzsimmons said.

Contact academic technology reporter Jessica Dreschel at [email protected].