Solvay, a leading global supplier of specialty polymers, today announced the much-anticipated winners of its Additive Manufacturing Cup. Launched last October, the competition invited university students from around the globe to demonstrate their aptitude for additive manufacturing by fabricating complex polymer shapes with the company’s KetaSpire polyetheretherketone (PEEK) AM filament.
The first-, second- and third-place winners were selected from over 30 teams submitting entries from three continents and 13 countries. All competitors were required to replicate the same predetermined shapes from KetaSpire PEEK AM filament, including a 3D-printed Solvay logo. However, each team was permitted to modify their 3D-printing equipment, print parameters and the printing paths. Submissions were evaluated for mechanical stability and aesthetic qualities by an international panel of industry leaders in polymer technology, design and additive manufacturing.
Winning first place was the ePEEK team from Arts et Métiers ParisTech in France. In addition to submitting a very well-fabricated Solvay logo, the ePEEK team earned the highest honors for 3D printing PEEK parts that exhibited an exceptional tensile strength of 80 MPa in the z-axis, a performance similar to injection molding.
In second place, the Jugao team from Xi’an Jiaotong University in China earned high honors for 3D printing the most aesthetic Solvay logo using KetaSpire PEEK AM filament.
In third place, the Chloé Devillard team from Claude Bernard University Lyon in France demonstrated outstanding creativity and innovation in resolving the technical challenges of printing tensile specimen in the z-axis without any support material.
“The Solvay AM Cup sought to explore the potential of 3D-printable KetaSpire® PEEK AM filament by placing it in the hands of creative design and engineering students with a passion for testing the latest technologies. We were thrilled with the results. The winners exemplified the AM Cup challenge by pushing the capabilities of additive manufacturing to produce a 3D-printed PEEK part with a tensile strength rivaling that of an injection molded part.”
Stéphane Jéol, President of the AM Cup Jury and Technology Manager for Solvay’s Global Specialty Polymers business unit.
Solvay’s expansion into additive manufacturing is rooted in the business’s global leadership in specialty polymers, which offer exceptional, long-lasting, performance for demanding applications in automotive, aerospace, healthcare and other markets. The company’s additive manufacturing solutions are helping expand the application space for 3D-printed parts, offering more design freedom and increasing material efficiency.
The winners received first, second and third prizes of ten, five and three thousand euros respectively to be used for academic, entrepreneurial or societal purposes.
Solvay will display the winning entries of its AM Cup and share other announcements at booth #1924 during the upcoming RAPID + TCT event in Fort Worth, Tex. from April 24 to 26.