Tuesday, May 4, 2010 5:00 AM

BURLINGTON, Mass., USA - What can be done to make the hotels and resorts of Hawaii more green?

That's the challenge for high school students from throughout the state of Hawaii who will converge today and tomorrow in Honolulu for the second annual "Career and Technical Education (CTE) 3D Design and Printing" competition.

The contest is sponsored by the Hawaii State Department of Education CTE along with Z Corporation, maker of the fastest 3D printers, and 3D printing service bureau and Z Corporation partner RAPID Technology LLC. 3D printing is an increasingly mainstream product development technology that produces physical objects from 3D data much as a traditional office printer creates a document from a word-processing file.

Students will receive a secret challenge today: to redesign a new energy-efficient product that's actually in development and will make its way into hotels and resorts. Details of the mystery product will be explained at the contest. Competitors will have one day to design the product and the next day to present their idea along with a ZPrinted (3D printed) prototype to a panel of industry professionals whose members range from engineers to marketing specialists.

"Sustainability should be part of every designer's thinking and skill set," said Z Corp. CEO John Kawola. "By operating clean and eliminating waste and errors , ZPrinters are great tools in sustainable design and education, helping to prepare students for solid careers. We are eager to see the ideas of these creative students."

RAPID is lending two Z Corporation 3D printers to the competition - a ZPrinter® 310 Plus and ZPrinter 450 multicolor printer - and CTE is lending a second ZPrinter 310 Plus. Because of the ZPrinters' speed, it's easy for day one's designs to become day two's concept models, even en masse. "Because of the short turnaround time, the speed of the Z Corp. 3D printers to produce parts in hours instead of days is what makes that part of the competition possible," said Russ Ogi, RAPID's COO. "We see students from across the state gaining an increasing interest in 3D CAD, engineering and product design."

Z Corporation is providing consumable materials for the 3D printers and sponsoring the first place prize for the competition.

ZPrinting in everyday education

Hawaii is the first and only state to have implemented prototyping technology at the statewide level, and Z Corporation's 3D printers - the fastest and most affordable available - are the de facto standard.

As high school students from throughout the Hawaiian Islands complete 3D design projects, they send 3D design files to the Hawaii State Department of Education CTE office in Honolulu. The office prints out physical models from the files with a Z Corp. 3D printer and ships them back to the students, who review the models and refine their designs.

Sherilyn Lau, education specialist, Hawaii CTE, operates CTE's ZPrinter 310 Plus in her office. Despite her lack of engineering experience, she has no problem using the device. "It's easy to learn and use, and it's clean and self-contained, making it compatible with our professional office environment," she said. "It really belongs in the classroom, and we have plans to move it into one of the schools where students can gain hands on experience with the technology."

About CTE in Hawaii

CTE programs are offered in all of Hawaii's public high schools and community colleges. The CTE Center, the State Director's Office, provides administrative leadership, direction and coordination for the total of career and technical education in Hawaii and coordinates with other institutions and agencies engaged in economic development, workforce education and training. Student performance-based events such as the 3D Design and Printing Competition are all part of Hawaii's Career Pathway system that the CTE center supports. For more information, visit http://www.hawaii.edu/cte/.

About Z Corporation

Z Corporation makes products that enable users to capture, edit, and print 3D data with unprecedented speed, ease, versatility and affordability. These products include the world's fastest high-definition 3D printers — machines that produce physical 3D models from digital data in multiple colors - and uniquely portable 3D scanners - handheld machines that digitize 3D surfaces in real time. Z Corp. technology is enabling a wide range of applications in manufacturing, architecture, civil engineering, reverse engineering, geographic information systems (GIS), medicine and entertainment.

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