Multidisciplinary design competition aims to bridge gaps, accelerate research, and improve the translation of new ideas to impact neuroscience and mental health

What do artificial Intelligence, machine learning and gamification have in common? They were positioned as potential solutions to neuroscience and mental health challenges at the recent 2020 Neuro Nexus Demo DayNeuro Nexus is a multidisciplinary design competition which aims to bridge gaps, accelerate research and improve the translation of new ideas to impact neuroscience and mental health. Technical designs of more than 20 projects were on display on Nov. 30 and Exergy’s president Billy Rideout had a chance to see the incredible innovations firsthand as he judged the competition.   

Exergy initially began working with Neuro Nexus when we were approached by one of the teams a few years ago to 3D print a prototype,” explained Rideout. 3D printing has a key role to play in medical innovations and we wanted to support growing the health innovation community. Also, this year with so many people becoming isolated from the community and struggling with the additional stresses of the pandemic, our team felt it was important to contribute to mental health awareness.”     

Exergy sponsored the competition by offering consulting, materials and 3D printing services to the innovators. Along with our sponsorship, Exergy’s team of additive manufacturing specialists and engineers volunteered their time to designsource materials, 3D model in Fusion 360, 3D print and assemble the awards and participant prizes. The trophies that were created incorporated a blend of sourced components, traditional machining, and additive manufacturing, much like the design projects Exergy delivers in industry, explained Anam Rizvi, mechanical engineer (EIT). 

Neuro Nexus presents $50,000 in awards, including seed funding, internships, incubator memberships, and professional services. Exergy is proud to support this forum of the next generation of innovators in Alberta. For more information about Neuro Nexus, visit:  

Picture of 3D-printed award presented at NeuroNexus 2020

Colourization using MJF 3D printer

Exergy 3D-printed this two-colour award to emulate the Neuro Nexus logo and pantone colours on the HP 580 (Colour MJF) 3D printer.

Photo of a computer screen with one of the projects competing in the 2020 Neuro Nexus competition

Neuro Nexus Demo Day 2020

Demo Day had rapid-fire pitches, inspiring demonstrations, and a growing health innovation community

Photo of 3D printed awards Exergy donated to Neuro Nexus 2020 competition

3D-printed awards that were deigned to glow

Exergy’s team thought the design would be more unique if the award glowed through the mesh geometry that was possible to create through additive manufacturing. They sourced LED bases and integrated the lighted element in the design. 

Picture of five awards designed and 3D printed by Exergy volunteers for NeuroNexus 2020

Unique geometry enabled through 3D printing

The awards presented to the finalists were printed on the 3D Systems sPro 60 (SLS) 3D printer. The sPro 60 prints in white, so the parts were colourized using dye. The team used a Trotec laser cutter to cut and engrave the clear acrylic.

Exergy Solutions currently has more than ten 3D printers at our X-Lab in the Life Sciences Innovation Hub North of the University of Calgary. The X-Lab has the capacity to perform industry leading testing, consulting, problem solving, design & engineering and R&D services for multiple industries.

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