The theme for this year's international "purmundus challenge" competition of ideas in the field of 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 or-ganic, functionally optimized undercuts or hollow spaces by means of printing. We can see that disruptive innovations and successful prod-ucts are no coincidences, but rather a question of methodology. That is why strategies aimed at reducing the amount of material used, im-proving 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 blue-prints for technical applications or functional integration, rough struc-tures for pressure transfer, free-moving joints and bearings for moving applications or fixed legs for the necessary stability, elastic, tempera-ture-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 chal-lenge of incorporating harmony as a state, and as a desire for the co-herence and consummation of geometry and material. We explicitly encourage the submission of well-designed products in which both aspects perfectly play a crucial role: 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 virtual exhibition at the Formnext trade fair from 10 November 2020. 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.

Deadline for submissions is on 21 September 2020.

Partner 2020


Jury 2020

Christoph Behling - Christoph Behling Design Ltd.
Prof. Richard Bibb - Loughborough University
Isabelle Fröhlich - Volkswagen AG
Tilla Goldberg - Ippolito Fleitz Group
James Helliwell - hyperTunnel Limited
Dr. Alexander Hildebrandt - Festo AG & Co. KG
Frank Kleemann - Freelance industrial designer
Andreas Pany - Ernst Strassacker GmbH & Co. KG
Prof. Dali Sun - Beijing University of Technology
Graham Tromans - G P Tromans Associates
Dr. Clara Usma - Deakin University