The 1st Annual 3D Printing Industry Awards take place in just a few months time and to create trophies for each of the 20 winners, there was only ever going to be one possible solution: 3D printing.

Sharing platform and 3D designer community, MyMiniFactory has teamed up with The Virtual Foundry to manage the competition and the winning design will be 3D printed in The Virtual Foundry’s bronze Filamet™.

Filamet™ allows for FDM 3D printing of metal, and with a secondary sintering process can produce highly dense 3D printed metal components.

The competition will see some of the thousands of 3D designers already using MyMiniFactory, joined by other designers who want to get their work into the hands of the most important 3D printing enterprises.

The Virtual Foundry 3D printed metal cone.

The Virtual Foundry 3D printed metal cone.

3D Printing Industry Awards

The shortlists for the 3D Printing Industry Awards feature a roll-call of some of biggest names in additive manufacturing, so it seems only fitting to use 3D printing to create the trophy.

Keeping in line with the open nature of the 3D Printing Industry awards, where the shortlists were chosen by readers and the winners are voted on by readers, the design competition is also open for anyone to enter.

An FDM 3D printed owl using bronze Filamet™

An FDM 3D printed owl using bronze Filamet™

The Virtual Foundry Metal Filamet™

Filamet™ is the perfect choice to create the trophies, as it is an innovative material and demonstrates another step forward in the 3D printing industry. With Filamet™ metal prints using an FDM machine are possible. The Virtual Foundry allows a typical desktop FDM machine to create a pure metal output.

Once printed, the trophies will be fired in a kiln to remove the binding material. Following this, they will then be polished to create an impressive finish. Also, when sintered in the kiln, the bronze Filamet™ expels the binder to become a highly dense metal part.

Earlier this year 3D Printing Industry spoke to The Virtual Foundry’s CEO, Brad Woods, to find out more about how the company are 3D printing metal on desktop machines.

How the printed Filamet™ is brought to life with post-processing.

How the 3D printed Filamet™ is brought to life with post-processing.

Competition prizes for all!

The winning design will be printed by The Virtual Foundry and presented to the winners at the 3D Printing Industry Awards on May 20th at the Chelsea Old Town Hall, London.

In addition to seeing their design take center stage at the 3D Printing Industry Awards, the winning designer will be awarded with a 3D printer and the top five entrants will have their designs printed to demonstrate the qualities of Filamet™.

Furthermore, all accepted submissions will receive a 200g spool of The Virtual Foundry’s bronze Filamet™ so 3D designers can experience the material for themselves.

The Virtual Foundry's designs on MyMiniFactory showcase the potential of their Filamet™.

The Virtual Foundry’s designs on MyMiniFactory showcase the potential of their Filamet™.

Design tips

When creating your design for the competition, make sure to keep feature sizes of a minimum of 3mm in thickness in order to handle the post-processing methods.

Also, think about about designs can draw on elements of other sculptures seen in trophies, and how 3D printing might best be represented in a trophy.

The Virtual Foundry 3D print of Venus de Milo.

The Virtual Foundry 3D print of Venus de Milo.

If you would be like to be part of this historical event, having your design 3D printed in metal and presented to some of the most prestigious 3D printing companies, visit the competition page. The competition closes on the 28th April.

Also make sure to  vote in the 3D Printing Industry Awards and decide who will be receiving these 3D printed awards.

3D Printing Industry Awards at Chelsea Old Town Hall.

3D Printing Industry Awards at Chelsea Old Town Hall.

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More information about The Virtual Foundry is available here.

Featured image and all other images, unless otherwise stated, via MyMiniFactory. 

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