Ceramics AM leader Lithoz has been awarded as a top player in the ceramic 3D printing world. The Big Five award celebrates long-term and defining contributions to the additive manufacturing industry, highlighting the winner’s broad range of achievements over many years.
Lithoz has created a range of 3D printers for various applications, including medical, industrial and dental, and has also developed ceramic printing materials to suit different needs. Die Institut für werkzeuglose (IFW) Fertigung awards this prize each year in association with the FH Aachen in Germany.
Professor Andreas Gebhardt of IwF GmbH, who is an acclaimed author, pioneer and renowned expert in the 3D printing world, described the award as being a recognition of both Dr. Homa’s and Lithoz’s achievements in the journey of an idea from the laboratory to the top of the world market. He describes Dr. Homa as being “the engine that drives the Lithoz project forward”. stating that he “recognizes the needs of the market and, above all, of his customers” and noting the impressive achievement of Lithoz’s foundation of bases not only in Austria and America, but also in China, with almost 100 employees worldwide. Dr. Homa, who is an industrial engineer with a PhD in Materials Science, has since enabled “the successful transformation of an invention into a product, in the form of a family of machines and materials.”
The Big Five Award is part of the concept of awarding prizes for long-term formative contributions to additive manufacturing. These often only become apparent after years and cannot usually be estimated in advance due to one or a few publications. Thus, at the time of his dissertation (1999), hardly anyone would have foreseen the sustainable development triggered by the invention of the SLM process by Mr. Wilhelm Meiners.
The Big Five Award was named after the five great species of big game hunting in connection with the first award ceremony. The dangers and difficulties involved in hunting the “Big Five” are representative of the imponderables and risks involved in research, as well as the necessary foresight and sophistication of the award winners in the contributions they make.
Celebrating its 10 year anniversary, Lithoz was started by co-founders Dr. Homa and Dr. Johannes Benedikt as a spin-off from Vienna Technical University. As the 2021 winner of this award, Dr. Homa is counted among other successful and impactful recipients such as Dipl.-Ing. Frank Palm of Airbus Central Research & Technology, who was awarded the prize in 2019 to celebrate his innovation of a new process in metal additive manufacturing. Dr.-Ing. Wilhelm Meiners, of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, was also awarded in 2018 for his work in developing new materials in the field of metal additive manufacturing.
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