3D printed Stealth Key by UrbanAlps wins purmundus challenge 2019

This year, the Formnext purmundus challenge sought to find the most creative and innovative 3D printing concepts and projects through the broadly interpreted theme “Beyond 3D Printing.” Taking home the much coveted 1st prize award for the 2019 edition of the purmundus challenge was the Stealth Key project, by Swiss security systems company UrbanAlps.

The prize was awarded to UrbanAlps on November 21st by an international judging panel made up of 11 experts. The jury chose the Stealth Key from among a pool of cutting-edge product ideas originating from 18 different countries. The challenge’s second prize went to the Hydrophytes 4D printing project by the Victoria University of Wellington, third prize was awarded to CellCore GmbH for its Monolithic Rocket Chamber, while a special mention was given to a 3D printed curtain comfort header developed by Diehl Aviation Laupheim GmbH.

The Stealth Key

Purmundus 2019 winner Stealth Key

Purmundus 2019 winner Stealth Key

Focusing back on the first place project, the Stealth Key by UrbanAlps is the world’s first metal 3D printed key, which is protected against unauthorized duplication. This is achieved through the integration of internal mechanical security features, which make it impossible to scan the key. The patented 3D printed security key is custom made and each one has a unique code. The Stealth Key can also be retrofitted to work with existing doors and locks. UrbanAlps produces the keys using selective laser melting (SLM).

“Very rarely, through 3D printing, a product can achieve unique shapes that can’t be created with any other technology, can capitalize on the ability to be individual and can create a unique performance that enhances life,” said Christoph Behling, juror and owner of Christoph Behling Design. “The winner of this year’s purmundus challenge can do all three things: Stealth Key from UrbanAlps.”

Dr. Alejandro Ojeda, CEO and Co-Founder of UrbanAlps, added: “We are honored that the Stealth Key received this award given the great variety and quality of the finalists. Furthermore, at such a venue as the world leading 3D printing fair. Day by day we strive to make the Stealth Key the killer application the 3D metal printing industry is eagerly awaiting.”


The second prize of the purmundus challenge went to the Hydrophytes project, which consists of five futuristic aquatic plants created using 4D, multi-material printing. The project, which was part of Nicole Hone’s industrial design master’s thesis at the Victoria University of Wellington, demonstrates a unique approach to choreographing organic movement in an object using 4D printing.

The Hydrophyte “plants” were printed using Stratasys’ multi-material PolyJet technology and are capable of various types of movement, from blooming to stretching and even snapping. The project is reportedly the first to explore the use of PolyJet printing for such complex organic-inspired movements.

Monolithic Rocket Chamber

Purmundus 2019 winner Stealth Key

CellCore GmbH, a Berlin-based engineering company, received third prize for its Monolithic Rocket Chamber concept. Developed in collaboration with SLM Solutions, the project showcases the benefits of metal powder-based fusion technologies for the design and production of space flight components.

Using SLM Solutions’ metal 3D printing capabilities, CellCore developed a complex rocket engine demonstrator that integrates a fuel inlet, injection head, thrust chamber and structural cooling concept within a monolithic structure. The structural cooling concept is enabled by the“core element” of the rocket engine: an optimized lattice structure in the chamber wall, which carries heat away from the thrust chamber’s internal wall by circulating liquid hydrogen.


Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault moved from her home of Montreal, Canada to the Netherlands in 2014 to pursue a master’s degree in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. It was during her time in Amsterdam that she became acquainted with 3D printing technology and began writing for a local additive manufacturing news platform. Now based in France, Tess has over two and a half years experience writing, editing and publishing additive manufacturing content with a particular interest in women working within the industry. She is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM industry.

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