Click here for the 3M BIC COVID-19 update

Scroll    ___________________   

First 3D Printed Students’ Union Trophy in the UK made of Biodegradable material PLA

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email


Every year the Students’ Union at the University of Huddersfield holds an award ceremony to reward the hard working societies and sports societies.

In 2018, our University of Huddersfield 3D Printing Society had a suggestion from the Students’ Union staff Matthew Short, to try and consider 3D printing the award instead of them outsourcing it. The main idea started with the hope of using 3D printing, the material PLA (Biodegradable material) and most importantly have the award designed and 3D printed by students for students.


The design started from a 2D image as seen below, which was designed in Illustrator and sent by Matthew Short.

Trophy 2D design

Upon receiving the 2D design, a 3D model was done using Blender. The technique used was to simply make a 2D mesh then polish it and extrude it uniformly. An oval shape was also added to hold the Star design.

Since the two parts were to be printed separately, we thought of adding a hole in the base design and extend the star leg. The dimensions were specified in a way to have a tight fit assembly which did not require glue, only an initial pushing force.

3D Model designed in Blender

For a realistic expectation before 3D printing, a rendering was done using Keyshot software.

Keyshot rendering of the SU award

Last but not least, we also made sure to add a PLA recycling sign at the bottom of the base. We believe this is very crucial and need to be widespread and a common practice in the AM community. The PLA symbol was downloaded from Thingiverse (link) and added using a Boolean operation.

The design base with a PLA recycling sign

3D Printing

As discussed before, the chosen material was PLA, a plant based biodegradable material. The chosen printer was our beloved Ultimaker 3 Extended.

As seen below, the slicing software Cura showed that the Star design took around 5 hours to finish while the base took around 9 hours.

Slicing of the trophy 3D models using Cura software

Below is an image of the 3D printed star and base as well as the bottom of the base and final assembly

3D Printed star model using Ultimaker 3 Extended

3D Printed base model using Ultimaker 3 Extended

Assembled trophy after 3D Printing

The 3D Printed trophy during the SU Ceremony

The 3D Printed trophies during the SU Ceremony

Few of the award winners from the SU Award Album


The notice to start the project was around a week before the award ceremony, this meant that we had to 3D print 24h/7 to meet the deadline of 3D printing 13 awards which took more than 130 hours to make. This would not have been possible without the input of Damianos Thoma who managed the 3D printing process and made sure it met the deadline.

We believe that this is the first 3D printed award for a Students’ Union ceremony in the UK and we hope it inspires more to unleash the potential of 3D printing and maybe experiment with even more complex shapes and exotic materials.

2019 Design Competition

For this year’s 2019 Students’ Union Award, the 3D printing society committee consisting of Damianos Thoma (President), Enejan Bendova – (Head of IT), Rhianne Hallmark (Events Manager) and Angelo Paraschiv (3D Printing Specialist), are organising alongside the Students’ Union a Design Competition for the award to be 3D Printed.

The best design winner will get a £50 Amazon voucher and all participants will receive a certificate of participation.

More information on the design competition can be found here.

2019 Design Competition Poster, Deadline 11:59pm 05/03/2019

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Looking back at 3M BIC 2021

2021 has been a busy year at 3M BIC, with new promotions, starters, new tenants, and members. Events have also gradually made a comeback keeping our events team busy. Our