3D Pioneers Challenge design competition now open

February 10, 2021

nTopology’s winning fuel-cooled oil cooler design in the Digital category for the 3D Pioneers Challenge 2020. The cutaway shows the intricate geometry inside (Courtesy nTopology/HRL Laboratories/Morf3D)

Now in its sixth year, the 3D Pioneers Challenge (3DPC) is an international design competition for Additive Manufacturing processes and advanced technologies. Organised by d.sign21, a design and consultancy company based in Stuttgart, Germany, in collaboration with the Rapid.Tech 3D exhibition run by Messe Erfurt, Germany, the 2021 competition is now open to entries.

This year, nTopology, a software company based in New York, New York, USA, and winner of the 3DPC 2020 ‘Digital’ award, is supporting the competition as part of the 3DPC & Friends network. Participants will have the opportunity to obtain a free license for one month for the nTop platform, as well as additional training materials for designing and producing their submission.

The competition is open to students and companies working in design, technical, automotive, research, or medical fields. 3DPC 2021 is searching for technological innovations needed to shape a ‘Paradigm Shift’, the year’s theme, and gives them a platform necessary to present their concepts, products, and visions to the general public.

Awards will be given in the following categories: Design, Digital, Architecture, Material, FashionTech, MedTech, Mobility, Sustainability, and Electronics. Submission of previously published projects to brand new ideas are equally welcome. The prizes consist of:

  • Prize money totalling €35,000
    Supported by the Ministry of Economics, Science and Digital Society Thuringia, Germany.
  • 3DPC Trophy
    The main prize winner is awarded the 3DPC Trophy. This limited edition design, created especially for the 3DPC, was developed in cooperation with jury member Ross Lovegrove and Hyperganic, winner of “3DPC 2019 Digital” partnering with Materialise, as a project of the network 3DPC & Friends.
  • Special Mention Award by Autodesk
    The Autodesk Technology Centers will award the opportunity to three winners to join the Autodesk Outsight Network – a global community of industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and researchers building future-focused technology in design, AEC, manufacturing, and more that is destined to change our world. Further information is available here.
  • Best Student Project
    Makerbot rewards the 3DPC Best student project with their SKETCH 3D printer.
  • Software licenses
    “nTop Full version” licenses are awarded by nTopology to two winners from across all categories.
  • Book prizes
    3D Hubs gifts its The 3D Printing Handbook, and the publishers for Architecture and Design av edition awards prizes to the winners.

The award ceremony will take place at Rapid.Tech 3D, held June 22–23, 2021.

The submission deadline is March 31, 2021.


In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

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  • Scandium’s impact on the Additive Manufacturing of aluminium alloys
  • AM for medical implants: An analysis of the impact of powder reuse in Powder Bed Fusion

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