As part of Advanced Solutions' The Sky's the Limit with Autodesk 2015 Software event, we held the Climb Higher Design Competition. All participants had to do was to design a simple tree house or ball launcher (to protect the tree house from enemy attacks) and submit their designs by July 25.
We received many entries, but two stood out above the rest…
William Miller (Team M.C. & V.C.), of Miller Consulting & Visualization Service LLC, received first place for his Tree House Design, with Tom Davidson (Team Byte-Sized Solutions) receiving first place for his Ball Launcher design. I sat down and spoke with both winners and learned some interesting facts about their experience with the contest.
How did you hear about the contest?
William: "I heard about the contest when I went to The Sky's the Limit with Autodesk 2015 Software event on June 25."
Tom: "I first heard about the contest at the Digital Prototyping Summit, presented by Advanced Solutions on July 10. The contest was promoted at the end of the presentations with a short video."
What inspired your design?
William: "My tree house was inspired by my vision to make a tree house that is handicap accessible, as well as the occupants' ability to enjoy the tree house through all four seasons."
Tom: "My 3 1/2 year old son was the inspiration for most of my design. He loves playing with soft-foam toy "shooter guns" as he calls them, so immediately I knew that I wanted to design a ball launcher. Originally, I was looking at creating a trigger-activated launcher; however, my son likes the "shooter guns" that require more interaction, so I choose to design a tension-spring mechanism instead, as I thought that would be something that he would enjoy more. As for the ball hopper and the optional mounting bracket, I added these bonus features to make the ball launcher more than just a single shot design so that the defender of the Tree House would have a better chance to defend themselves from multiple enemies (or siblings). As for the aesthetics, I had my son help point out what features he liked the most on the toys that he owns and then tried to incorporate those features into my design. Finally, as for the product name... the xTREEm Blaster just seemed appropriate."