Robotic arms, titanium high heels, and vegan salmon

by Thomas Masuch — 2020/10/29

The international design competition purmundus challenge, an important part of Formnext Connect, provides a unique glimpse into present-day and future applications of 3D and 4D printing.

There’s a bright and interesting future ahead for 3D and 4D printing applications, if this year’s purmundus challenge is anything to go by. Showcasing an exciting array of inspiring and impressively imaginative ideas and products with which designers, companies and research institutes hope to shape this future, the event is not to be missed. The competition, which is an important part of Formnext Connect, will feature a unique range of innovations, from titanium and plastic high heels to a design-optimized stainless steel robotic arm as well as vegan salmon made from plant proteins and a luminous organism for the living room – all 3D printed, naturally.

For this year, the central theme of the international design competition will be »Geometry and Material in Harmony«. Fortunately, Covid-19, has failed to put a dampener on the challenge: »There have been more submissions than ever before. The quality has also been higher than ever, which has made selecting the finalists an even harder task,« says Corinna Ray, head of the purmundus challenge. »The finalists hail from 13 different countries across 5 continents: China, Germany, the UK, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Netherlands, Nigeria, Austria, Switzerland, Spain and the US.«

The fact that this year’s purmundus challenge will be held entirely online is no disadvantage either, according to Ray: »Bringing together a wide variety of ideas, creative products and innovative projects from all over the world in one digital place opens up new perspectives. « For instance, it allows participants from every continent to participate equally in the competition. In previous years, not all participants (particularly those from poorer regions) were able to make the journey to Frankfurt. Online, it is not a problem – in 2020, even family members will be able to be there live. »The Formnext Connect virtual platform gives everyone unlimited access to our special digital exhibition,« says Ray. »Our very international purmundus challenge will give us an even wider virtual reach.«

All finalists, including their designs, products, and some videos, will be presented virtually as part of Formnext Connect. The award ceremony on Wednesday, November 11 will also be broadcast live. This year, the Audience Award will be voted on over an external platform.

There will also be some new content this year: For the first time, a prize, sponsored by Addmio, one of the event’s partners, will be awarded for the Newcomers category. This, year, therefore, in addition to the top 3 places, the awards bestowed at the purmundus challenge will be as follows: Special Mention, Simulation-Driven Design, Innovation Prize, Newcomer Prize, and the Public Choice Award.

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