3D Printing Processes

Pushing boundaries: 3D Pioneers Challenge announces winners of 2018 competition

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For the third year running, the 3D Pioneers Challenge has brought together and celebrated some of the most innovative additive manufacturing projects from across the globe. This year’s challenge, which was hosted from June 5-7 at Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D in Erfurt, Germany, awarded 3D printing projects in seven disciplines including Design, Digital, FashionTech and more.

Started in 2015, the 3D Pioneers Challenge (3DPC) is a competition that “is aimed at designers who are breaking new ground in the field of 3D printing and who understand the key trends in the industry” and “seeks to uncover specialists from around the world who are thinking outside the box and pushing boundaries.” Looking at this year’s participants and winners, we’d say 3DPC is uncovering some pretty amazing things.

After a series of initial judging stages, 32 finalist submissions from 17 different countries were presented to a panel of judges and exhibited at the trade show in Erfurt at 3DPC’s impressive exhibitor’s booth (spanning over 60 square metres). Participants included teams from MIT, Harvard, UDK Berlin and more.

3d pioneers

“This was the strongest 3D Pioneers Challenge since its start,” said the competition’s organizers Simone and Christoph Völcker. “So many world class projects—from architecture, to design and fashion up to material, sustainability and software. We feel the vibes of which possibilities appear through additive manufacturing and which big steps are done in its development.”

Without further ado, let’s take a look at this year’s 3DPC winners.

3DPC 2018 winners

In the category of Design, a team from Inspire AG – ETH Zürich was awarded 6,000 euros for its “PeakBoil Camping Stove – Unique Outdoor Performance” project. As the title of the project suggests, the team presented a novel design for a 3D printed gas burner camping stove that could be used for high altitude sports and expeditions.

Dutch design studio MX3D was named the winner of the Digital category for its 3D printed stainless steel bridge project. The ongoing bridge project, which is set to be installed in Amsterdam in 2019, is being realized through a collaboration with Joris Laarman Lab, Gijs van der Velden, Arup, Autodesk, ArcelorMittal, ABB, Heijmans, Lenovo, Airliquide, AMS Institute, TU Delft and the City of Amsterdam. The intricate steel structure was awarded 2,000 euros as its prize.

UDK Berlin students Anna Ryzhova and Nadia Narges Rezaei were awarded 2,000 euros as well for their innovative FashionTech submission. Working out of the school’s department of industrial design technology, the duo have designed a customized 3D printed sports bra, “Flexa,” which promises superior comfort and performance for active women.

One of our favourite design projects of the year, the “Cabin of 3D Printed Curiosities” by U.S. design firm Emerging Objects, won in the category of Architecture with a 2,000 euro prize. The impressive construction project consists of a cabin made from over 4,500 3D printed ceramic tiles made from locally sourced materials.

In the MedTech category, 3DPC judges selected Felicia Hamm from Germany’s Hochschule Darmstadt as the winner for her 3D printed “Pointeeshoe” ballet shoe. The dancing shoes, made with 3D printed materials, are designed to alleviate pressure (and pain) on dancers’ feet and toes.

From the Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle, researcher Dorothea Lang’s “Dynamic Algae” 3D printing project won the Best Student award in the Material category (which consisted of 1,000 euro prize and a MakerBot Replicator Mini+). Her project uses bio-based materials (like algae) to produce smart and sustainable 3D printing materials.

Finally, a number of other projects were highlighted in the Special Mention category, including a breathing car seat developed by ETH Zurich, a 3D printed concrete chaise longue, a sculptural 3D printed heat sink and the complexly designed VoxelChair v1.0.

In total, the 3D Pioneers Challenge awarded 20,000 euros to the 2018 winners, an amount mostly funded  by the Ministry of Economics, Science and Digital Society Thuringia. Excitingly, there are more opportunities to see the winning projects, as a finalists exhibition will be touring through several German and international events. The roadshow will kick off this July in Berlin at 3D Druck Verband.

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