Formnext – Hub for Additive Manufacturing

Even when Formnext isn’t on in Frankfurt, we’re the partner you can always rely on for information and services relating to AM 365 days a year. Now, you can also explore the AM hub on our new website.

All press releases

The purmundus challenge at Formnext 2021 celebrates innovation in additive manufacturing

10 Jun 2021

Innovation in Progress is the theme of this year’s international purmundus challenge design competition. The aim is to celebrate the latest developments in the world of 3D and 4D printing; a world where attention is increasingly turning to the entire development and innovation process and not merely focusing on the technology. The purmundus challenge finalists and winners will feature in a special showcase at Formnext 2021 from 16 – 19 November 2021.

Formnext 2019

The theme of this year’s challenge draws on the evolution of the development process of 3D and 4D printed products. According to the purmundus challenge, the industry is moving from a technocentric orientation toward a “new, systemic culture of innovation that is multi-layered and multi-dimensional.” That is why the focus of this year’s competition is primarily on interactions within the innovation process, and on the back-and-forth between individual functions and protagonists.

The aim is also for the participants to create a guiding idea for the additive manufacturing and production of tomorrow. In addition, they are expected to incorporate materials and procedures that have not yet broken through, are still being researched, or have yet to be invented.

Good design also plays an important role, and will be evaluated by the international judging panel together with the practical benefit, cost-effectiveness, and aesthetics of the products. The panel comprises the following renowned figures from the AM industry:

  • 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)

The purmundus challenge is open to professionals, institutions, and companies as well as up-and-coming talent. The custom design solutions are first shortlisted for presentation at the special showcase at Formnext 2021. On the third day, 18 November 2021, the panel will select and honor the winners in the different categories. As in previous years, an audience award, determined by Formnext 2021 visitors over the course of the event, will also be presented. There are a number of cash prizes worth a total of €6,000 plus other attractive prizes to be won in the design competition.

The deadline for submissions is 22 September 2021. For further information, please visit:

For more information on Formnext, visit

Event dates of Formnext:

  • Formnext: 16 - 19 November 2021, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Formnext Digital Days: 30 November - 1 December 2021, Online

Related global events on innovative industrial manufacturing:

  • Rosmould: 15 - 17 June 2021, Moscow, Russia
  • Formnext + PM South China: 9 - 11 September 2021, Shenzhen, China
  • Formnext Forum Tokyo: 28 - 29 September 2021, Tokyo, Japan
  • Asiamold: 3 - 5 March 2022, Guangzhou, China

Background information on Formnext
Formnext is the leading trade fair for Additive Manufacturing and the next generation of intelligent manufacturing solutions. It focuses on the efficient realization of parts and products, from their design to serial production. Formnext shows the future of innovative manufacturing. Formnext is organized by Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH. (

About Mesago Messe Frankfurt
Mesago, founded in 1982 and located in Stuttgart, specializes in exhibitions and conferences on various topics of technology. The company belongs to the Messe Frankfurt Group. Mesago operates internationally and is not tied to a specific venue. With 160 members of staff Mesago organizes events for the benefit of more than 3,300 exhibitors and over 110,000 trade visitors, conference delegates and speakers from all over the world. Numerous trade associations, publishing houses, scientific institutes and universities work with Mesago closely as advisers, co-organizers and partners. (

Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. The Messe Frankfurt Group employs around 2,500* people in a total of 30 subsidiaries. The company generated annual sales of approximately €250* million in 2020 after having recorded sales of €738 million the previous year. Even in difficult times caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we are globally networked with our industry sectors. We have close ties with our industry sectors and serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of the Group’s key USPs is its closely knit global sales network, which extends throughout the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. We are expanding our digital expertise with new business models. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).
For more information, please visit our website at:
* preliminary figures 2020

Background information on TCT (Content Partner)
Established in 1992, TCT Group’s mission is to accelerate design-to-manufacturing innovation. Through global trade shows, conferences, magazines, websites and digital products TCT delivers business-critical insights on the technologies that help manufacturers make better products, more quickly and cost-effectively. Through the TCT Awards TCT celebrates the most innovative products and applications across the design-to-manufacturing process chain. The TCT Group is owned by Rapid News Publications Ltd, part of Rapid News Group. (

Background information on the Working Group Additive Manufacturing (Honorary Sponsor)
Within the Working Group Additive Manufacturing, about 150 companies and research institutes collaborate under the direction of the German industry federation VDMA. Here, plant engineers; component and material suppliers; industrial companies that work with metals and plastics; service providers in software, manufacturing, and processing; and numerous researchers all work toward the same goal: the industrialization of additive manufacturing techniques. (