Home Industry Call for Entries for 3D Pioneers Challenge 2024

Call for Entries for 3D Pioneers Challenge 2024

The 3D Pioneers Challenge, the international competition and platform for additive manufacturing and pioneering technologies, is issuing its ninth Call for Entries.  They are looking for creative innovations with long-term appeal, as well as operational projects that drive forward the implementation of additive technologies in the established manufacturing industry. The award will be presented as part of Rapid.Tech 3D, which will give additive technologies a stage in Erfurt for the 20th time from May 14 to 16, 2024 and provide significant impetus for the industry.

Pioneering methods, materials and processes create ground-breaking applications for additive manufacturing and thus create opportunities for the economy, industry and sustainability, for responsible production.
Implementation in the established manufacturing industry requires a “collaborative mindset” – the mutual, open attitude of working cooperatively and courageously towards common goals. Where are realistic applications in the industry and which best practices are already being implemented?

This open mindset can already be felt in the merging of advanced technologies. When robotics, smart materials, cloud technologies or blockchain interact with additive processes, this leads to disruptive concepts and sharpens the focus for strategy changes and a meaningful path.

If you look at the impressively dynamic developments in the field of artificial intelligence, such as automated image generation, you can imagine what can be possible when AI creates three-dimensional products that are then translated from the digital to the real world using additive processes.

The 3D Pioneers Challenge seeks out and supports the pioneers who are pursuing precisely these ground-breaking approaches.

The competition is organized in eleven disciplines, which are derived from the questions “WHAT, HOW and WHY… we design and make”. For 2024, these are the categories Design, Digital, Architecture, FashionTech, Materials, MedTech, Mobility, Electronics, Machinery, Industrial and Sustainability. In line with the ongoing growth of the 3D printing industry in the direction of industrial applications, the new Industrial category opens up precisely in this direction.


Participants can expect material and cash prizes with a total value of over 175,000 euros.
This makes the 3D Pioneers Challenge one of the world’s most highly endowed competitions for innovation, additive manufacturing processes and pioneering technologies.

The prize money of €35,000 is provided by the Thuringian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Science and Digital Society.  The “Main Winner” wins the “3DPC Trophy”. The limited edition design object created especially for the 3DPC was developed in cooperation with designer Ross Lovegrove, Hyperganic and Materialise.

In order to further develop the entries and take them to the next level, prizes will be awarded in the “Digital Tools” category.  Two winners will receive “nTop Full versions” design software licenses from nTopology. The “Best Industrial Project” can look forward to a “Software & Consulting Package” from 3YOURMIND. CASTOR presents the “Sustainability benefit award” for the first time. The winner will receive training from CASTOR and access to the CASTOR software for a sustainability analysis of their applications.  The Form3+ SLA 3D printer from Formlabs and the MakerBot SKETCH from UltiMaker will be sponsored as non-cash prizes. The “Best Start-Up” will win customized coaching with AM Ventures, the leading venture capital fund in industrial 3D printing. They will provide input on “pitch coaching”, “business model” or “scaling”.  For one winner, it’s “Meet the Experts” from 10xDNA, with an expert discussion with Paul Schmidt and Frank Thelen.

As part of the “Special Mention by Autodesk Technology Centers”, long-standing partner Autodesk recognizes outstanding achievements and offers three winners the opportunity to join the “Autodesk Technology Centers Outsight Network” – a global community of industry leaders, entrepreneurs and researchers in pioneering technologies.
Av edition, the publishing house for architecture and design, is rounding off the prize packages with book prizes.

During the application phase, entrants can once again benefit from the “Special Feature by nTopology”. This means that nTopology is making its platform of pioneering design and engineering software available free of charge during the competition. With this innovative tool, ideas and concepts for the competition can be realized and taken to the next level. In addition, nTop offers tutorials. With this cooperation, 3DPC is starting early in the process chain and wants to support education.

Exhibition and award ceremony

The finalist and winning projects will be exhibited in the 3DPC special area at Rapid.Tech 3D. The award ceremony will take place as a highlight on the second day of the fair.

In two decades, Rapid.Tech 3D has developed into a leading specialist event for additive manufacturing (AM) in Central Europe. The pioneering event of the AM scene offers a harmonious triad of congress, exhibition and networking. From May 14 to 16, 2024, Rapid.Tech 3D will give additive technologies a stage for the 20th time and provide significant impetus for the industry.

Jury and Partner

Participants have the opportunity to present their ideas and projects to the competition’s network of partners and jury. The international partners and jury members are characterized by their multi-layered perspectives, which helps to comprehensively reflect the quality and range of the award – in line with the eleven disciplines advertised. Until the award ceremony, the submitted entries are evaluated by the 30-member jury. The judges look beyond the boundaries of 3D printing and contribute their expertise and experience from science, industry, politics, design, the press and sustainability. This mix of industry outsiders and experts helps to ensure a multi-faceted assessment. The internationality of the jury members helps to evaluate the global submissions.

In 2024, new partners will also provide jury members, including Ralf Anderhofstadt (Daimler Truck) and Brian Ingold (HP), as well as Martin Back (BASF- Forward AM) as an interface to the industry. Sherri Monroe from AMGTA supports the focus on sustainability. Other partners include FKM Sintertechnik with Dr. Dirk Simon as a jury member, the media platform Voxelmatters and the innovation center for additive technologies from Barcelona, IAM3DHUB.

Participation is free of charge for “students”, “young professionals / start-ups” and exhibitors at Rapid.Tech 3D.

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