3D printing gears up our future

The future is diverse, varied and changing at an increasingly rapid pace. This is not only true from a technological perspective, but culturally and socially as well. In an age of aesthetically pleasing and fashionable everyday accessories, slim electronic devices, user-specific items and adaptive, multi-sensory systems, people are becoming more and more demanding. They pay very close attention to aesthetics and function, have greater expectations with respect to customisability, and are generally unwilling to accept products that do not meet their needs.

The vision of a more ecological system for locally productive and globally networked, self-sufficient cities is within our grasp. It is time to prepare, to position ourselves and to think ahead in the interest of comfort and efficiency. The limits of manufacturing are being shifted, and we are facing a future that we all need to learn to understand. There are a lot of new opportunities for innovations and niches. But we already need to set the course today. We need to think about what design will look like in the future, not just in terms of what technology makes possible today but also what potential and conceivable fields of application will present themselves in the future.

But how can we influence this future with its pace and its contradictory nature? What solution do we have for providing healthy nutrition for everyone while resources become increasingly scarce? How do we deal with demographic change, which is pointing towards the ageing of societies on the one hand and strong population growth on the other? What impact will our growing demand for security have in an increasingly globalised and personalised world?

Innovative materials, decentralised energy generation, digital worlds of work, virtualisation, needs-based manufacturing that conserves resources, from consumers to a sharing economy, from mass-produced goods to tailored products: How can 3D printing help us to influence this future in a way that is both lasting and positive?

As part of the competition, the participants face up to a great, exciting and beautiful future. Steps should be taken to selectively build where necessary. Semi-finished products and combining other manufacturing methods with 3D printing in a single design are explicitly allowed and welcomed. The panel is judging the benefits in terms of use, economy and aesthetics as well as the design itself and the innovation.

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 submitted product ideas and arrives at a pre-selection. The finalists will be presented at a special exhibition at the formnext trade fair from 13 to 16 November 2018 in Frankfurt. The panel will choose the winners of the purmundus challenge and present them with their awards at the trade fair on 15 November 2018. In addition to money the winners will also receive appealing prizes. A prize for the “people’s choice”, voted for over the course of the fair by visitors to formnext 2018, completes the purmundus challenge.

Deadline for submissions is on 23 September 2018.

Partner 2018


Jury 2018

Christoph Behling - Christoph Behling Design Ltd.
Prof. Richard Bibb - Loughborough University
Isabelle Fröhlich - Volkswagen AG
Tilla Goldberg - Ippolito Fleitz Group
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
Rainer Zimmermann - zimmermann produktgestaltung