Christian and Simone Völkner organized the 3D Pioneers Challenge to give young companies and students the possibility to win cash prizes for exploring new and innovative applications of 3D printing. With over 30 finalist submissions the contest was a success and the winning design, Project T.O.S.T. – which I helped to select as part of the jury – clearly demonstrates that more and more people are starting to grasp the new possibilities offered by AM technologies.
Project T.O.S.T (Topology Optimized Skateboard Trucks), a set of metal 3D printed, topology optimized skateboard trucks, was the projects that received the most votes and, although the prize money was split with the winners in each category (Materials, Mobility, Fashion and Medical), it really showed off what can be achieved with a great idea in relatively short time.
Developed by Philipp Manger, Ernst-Abbe-Hochschule Jena from the University Weimar in Germany, the project took only one year to go from concept to final, optimized and mounted final part on a long board. This is even more impressive considering the designers had no previous experience with 3D printing.
The 3DPC Finalists 2017 were presented during the Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D (20.-22. June 2017) fairs. They had been selected out of numerous submissions in a multistage jury process. The Prize money – € 15,000, was assigned during an award ceremony and gala event in the presence of representatives from the German Ministries of Economic affairs among others.
Additional prizes included MakerBot Replicator Mini+ to the best student project as well as designreport online-subscriptions (in English or German). The jury was made up of high profile personalities form the 3D printing industry, in particular the visionary designer (now venture capitalist and serial entrapreneur) Janne Kyttanen and Naomi Kaempfer, who is in charge of every major creative and artistic project at Stratasys.
Other winning entries included the Palmyra Rebuilt and Salt Coral Lamp, 3D printed by binder jetting with a unique materials which earned its desginers, Eric Geboers, Matteo Baldassari from CONCR3DE in the Netherlands the recognition for “Impressive material research by using locally sourced materials abandoned all around the planet”.
PRINT A DRINK Austrian student Benjamin Greimel, particularly appreciated by Janne Kyttanen (see video below), was selected for opening a conversation in chemical 3D printing by using materials which repel each other in a similar manner as oil repels water. Finally the Programmable Textiles by Ronny Haberer and Patrick Bösch from Bauhaus University Weimar won in the category FashionTech while RIG3D by Niklas Hamann from HTW Dresden Bauhaus University Weimar won in the MedTech category.
I personally agreed with most of the winning selections however there were also a few projects that I particularly liked and were not selected. These included the impressive Animate Matter – 3D Zoetrop
(by Bastian Wibranek, Prof. Oliver Tessmann, Alexander Stefas, Aleksandra Buchalik, Beatriz Romero Colomer, Carolin Schmeel, Giang Le, Kay-Robert Dormann, Leonard Kaupp, Louisa Wenkemann, Samim Mehdizadeh, Sebastian Seibert, Vidal Madrid Guitart, Tue Peng, Zicheng Song of TU Darmstadt, Digital Design Unit, Germany).
Another project I like although it did not have sufficient information on the process behind it to make a fully informed decision, was the Cellbricks 3D bioprinted cellular design by Lutz Kloke, Anna Kreuder, Alexander Thomas, Tobias Grix, Roman Grasy, of cellbricks, a startup bioprinter manufacturer in Germany.
In 3D printed fashion I also really appreciated the laser sintered modeclix chain dress by
Shaun Borstrock and Mark Bloomfield of University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, for the actual wearability that the project was able to convey. All the 3D submissions, though were more than newsworthy and you can check them out here. If you think you have what it takes, you can also sign up for the 2018 edition here.