Going beyond 3D printing for the Purmundus challenge 2019

Held since 2012 by German rapid prototyping company Cirp GmbH, the Purmundus challenge is an annual competition that invites designers and engineers from around the world to participate in a theme-based 3D printing design contest.

Almost every kind of submission is possible – from a simple concept to a market ready product. The awards go to the best product design in keeping with the competition’s current theme.

The winners will be revealed in November at this year’s Formnext.

Last years trophy. Photo via Purmundus challenge, chirp GmbH.

Beyond 3D printing

Last years theme was 3D printing gears up our future, which encouraged entrants to explore designs for future living, and what role 3D printing will play in that context. This year the theme follows a similar motif with Beyond 3D printing.

An excerpt from the full tender document highlights what the judges want you to consider when designing your 2019 entry, “we are looking for innovative ideas where 3D and 4D printing can influence and enter our everyday life in an useful way. For which products does it offer a valuable enhancement? Or can it contribute to reinvent the product itself?”

All common 3D and 4D printing processes are allowed, however the document also states that “They [entries] mustn‘t simply be dogmatically produced any old way… they can conceivably merge 3D and 4D printing with other semi-finished and other production methods or implement indirect process chains.”

“We once again encourage entrants to also consider methods and materials that have not yet become established, are still the subject of research or are yet to be invented.”

Designs will be assessed based on 8 different criteria, design, degree of innovation, relation to announcement, appropriateness of design for 3D or 4D printing, potential in comparison to conventional production, economic potential, societal potential and relevance.

Winners of the 2018 Purmundus challenge

To help you get an idea of what the judges might be looking for entrants can review designs from previous years, including 2018’s winner, Ricardo Simian of 3D Music Instruments. Simian submitted an SLS printed cornetti, a Renaissance and Baroque era wind instrument. The 3D printed instrument is made of a flexible nylon polymer, which is heat resistant up to 80°C.

First prize 3D printed cornetti design by Ricardo Simian, 3D Music Instruments. Image via 3D Music Instruments
2018’s winning entry, a 3D printed cornetti design by Ricardo Simian, 3D Music Instruments. Image via 3D Music Instruments.

Second place was Aarish Netarwala, an industrial designer. Netarwala made the Adidas Grit shoe, in collaboration with Adidas, already exploring 3D printing for shoe design. Contrary to the standard purpose of shoes, the Grit makes it difficult for the wearer to run. The surface of the Grit replicates soft sand. This tires the runner more quickly than usual running shoes.

The Adidas Grit by Aarish Netarwala. Image via Aarish Netarwala
2018’s runner up, the Adidas Grit by Aarish Netarwala. Image via Aarish Netarwala

The designs will be judged by an international jury of professionals including representatives of Volkswagen AG, McLaren Applied Technologies Limited, and Beijing University of Technology.  

The winner will receive a prize of €3,000, the runner-up €2,000 and third place €1,000. The top three will also receive different units of the new licensing model for the solidThinking software.

The winner will get full platform access for the solidThinking software suite with 25 units. The runner up will get 15 units and the third place will get an EVOLVE annual license. The winners also receives the “purmundus challenge trophy”. All prizewinners receive a certificate, too.

Prizes are awarded at a ceremony held at the Formnext on 21 November 2019 in Frankfurt.

The deadline for entries is 30 September 2019 and participation is free.

Registration for this year’s competition can be made here.

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Featured image shows a selection of entries for the Purmundus challenge 2018. Image via Purmundus challenge.