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Sustainable harmony of material and design: the focus of purmundus challenge 2020

15 Jun 2020

Geometry and material in harmony is the theme of this year’s international purmundus challenge. The design competition for 3D and 4D printing is placing a deliberate focus on the interplay of materials and design against the backdrop of dwindling resources and important environmental issues, and thus stimulating innovation for sustainable development through the use of modern additive technologies. As is tradition, the finalists and winners of the purmundus challenge will be featured at Formnext, which is taking place from 10 to 13 November 2020.

In 2020, the international design competition will concentrate on issues that are also becoming increasingly important in the world of additive manufacturing: strategies to reduce the use of materials, reusability, and efficient recycling. Special materials can drive important developments in this field and are therefore the main focus of the challenge. For example, entrants are explicitly being encouraged to address sustainability as well as new, renewable, or functional materials. This includes employing assets and procedures that have not yet broken through, are still being researched, or have yet to be invented. It may also lead to the use of materials with shape memory or the presentation of additive processes that make the use of previously unimagined materials possible.

Good design also plays an important role, however, 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 internationally renowned figures from the industry: Christoph Behling (Christoph Behling Design Ltd.), Prof. Richard Bibb (Loughborough University), Isabelle Fröhlich (Volkswagen AG), Tilla Goldberg (Ippolito Fleitz Group GmbH), 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), and 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 Formnext 2020. On the third day, 12 November 2020, the panel will select and honor the winners in the different categories. As in previous years, an audience award determined by Formnext 2020 attendees over the course of the event will also be presented. There are a number of cash and other attractive prizes worth a total of €30,000 to be won in the design competition.

The deadline for submissions is 21 September 2020. For more information, visit

purmundus challenge 2020 zielt auf nachhaltige Harmonie von Material und Design
Formnext 2019. purmundus challenge

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. With more than 2,600 employees* at 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €733 million*. 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. 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 2019

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. (