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Geometry and Material in Harmony

The theme for this year’s “purmundus challenge” international competition for design in 3D and 4D printing is:

Geometry and Material in Harmony

Industry is currently moving rapidly towards a “made-to-order” future. Not in order to merely revise predominant concepts, but to develop individual, tailored concepts from the countless options available that function as a part of the whole. But what should the focus be on in the future given scarce resources, urgent environmental issues and a huge investment bottleneck?

It is not possible to drill around corners, but it is possible to create complex geometries involving three-dimensional structures with organic, functionally optimized undercuts or hollow spaces by means of printing. We can see that disruptive innovations and successful products are no coincidences, but rather a question of methodology. That is why strategies aimed at reducing the amount of material used, improving reusability and making recycling more efficient are becoming increasingly important. 3D and 4D printing are playing an increasingly key role in this respect. Above all, painstaking work is being carried out to develop new materials. New, star materials are being introduced onto the market every month, with better and more unique properties. Mixing different materials in particular makes it possible to 3D-print and 4D-print products that would have been difficult to imagine a few years ago.

This makes the possibilities of additive manufacturing more varied than they have ever been. Whether it’s the adaptation of natural blueprints for technical applications or functional integration, rough structures for pressure transfer, free-moving joints and bearings for moving applications or fixed legs for the necessary stability, elastic, temperature-resistant, fibre-reinforced, fire-resistant, anti-static or conductive components – there are a wide range of material properties available as well as methods for building up the layers. Additive manufacturing always involves a sophisticated interplay of materials, process and design.

For the competition, the participants are tackling the significant challenge of incorporating harmony as a state, and as a desire for the coherence and consummation of geometry and material. We explicitly encourage the submission of well-designed products in which both aspects perfectly play a crucial role:
• Innovative materials that have led to new ideas and products
• Product ideas that have required the development of new materials
• The improved used of materials thanks to topology optimisation
• Combinations of materials
• New ways to use materials
• Sustainable materials
• Renewable materials
• Functional materials
• Adaptable materials
• Materials with shape memory
• Materials with above-average properties
• Materials that can only be used with 3D printing
• Processes that make unforeseen materials printable for new products
• New materials that make products tangible in new ways (size, surface, resolution,
creative freedom)

In addition to the design itself and innovation, the panel will also assess the benefit in terms of usefulness, economy and aesthetics. 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.

The purmundus challenge assesses the tailor-made solutions and arrives at a pre-selection. The finalists will be presented at a special exhibition at the Formnext trade fair from 10 to 13 November 2020 in Frankfurt. The international panel will choose the winners of the purmundus challenge and present them with their awards at the trade fair on 12 November 2020. In addition to money the winners will also receive appealing prizes. The Public Choice Award, voted for over the course of the fair by visitors to Formnext 2020, completes the purmundus challenge.

Tender documents for 2020 purmundus challenge [pdf: 1,8 MB]

Further information at purmundus-challenge.com

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