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From ballet shoes to heat exchangers: purmundus challenge winners honored at Formnext

18 Nov 2021

With the innovative development "New Pointe Shoe Sole", Sophia Lindner from act'ble GmbH has won the first prize of the purmundus challenge. Winners of the purmundus challenge were honored yesterday at Formnext. Second prize went to Ramon Mañas, Odisei Music SL, for Travel Sax, while Jamie Cook, Henry Neilson, Theo Clarkes, Mark Brown, Jess Lewis, and George Jary of HEXR won third prize with their project "HEXR, the world's first 3D-printed custom-fitting bicycle helmet."

Winner purmundus challenge 2021. Copyright: Mesago / Mathias Kutt
Winner purmundus challenge 2021. Copyright: Mesago / Mathias Kutt

The finalists of this year's purmundus challenge, which took place in 2021 under the motto "Innovation in Progress", were presented with their prizes during Formnext. The award-winning developments range from ballet shoes to 3D-printed musical instruments, bicycle helmets, heat exchangers and brake calipers.

Act'ble is a young company that has collaborated with top athletes to develop a new pointe shoe for classical ballet and contemporary dance. The product is said to last five times longer than traditional pointe shoes and also drastically reduce physical pain. The patented concept of a 3D-printed sole combined with the upper creates new possibilities for movement and individual artistic expression.

Designed and manufactured in Barcelona, the Travel Sax is the smallest and lightest electronic saxophone in the world. The latest 3D printing technologies are used in the production of the saxophone, which is already played by 1,200 customers worldwide. The MIDI controller can work with both smartphone and PC. The position of the keys is modeled according to a conventional saxophone, and the volume is regulated by the pressure of breath. The electronic saxophone can also be used to practice without disturbing neighbors.

HEXR, is the world's first custom-fit 3D-printed bicycle helmet, according to its developers. The design, made of honeycomb structures, combines comfort and safety. When the helmet is created, the head is scanned and measured using the specially developed app. The custom-fit design is then automatically generated on the server. The PA11-based material is made of 100 percent castor oil. The inner honeycomb structures and the smaller helmet components are 3D printed. The helmet is not only made to measure, but also personalized with the customer's engraving.

In addition, the following special awards were presented at Formnext: The Special Mention was awarded to Dr. Myriam Lingg, Lukas Schiller and Alec Chevrot (macu4 AG) for their Macu4 Forearm Prosthetics - breathable and customized prostheses for the forearm. The Innovation Prize was awarded to Pablo Valdivia y Alvarado, Narasimha Boddeti, Tien Van Truong, Vincent S. Joseph, Thileepan Stalin, Theo Calais, Shien Yang Lee and Martin L. Dunn (Bio-inspired Robotics and Design Laboratory - Singapore University of Technology and Design, Washington State University, University of Colorado Denver) for the project "Bespoke 3D Printed Soft Robots". The Public Choice Award went to Roberto Trunfio and his 3D printed juicer called Delijuice, which was made with filament produced from processed citrus waste.

The 2021 Altair Simulation Driven Design Award went to Tommaso Tirelli, Aidro - Desktop Metal Company, and his Toucan Beak - a solution for efficient, 3D printed lightweight heat exchangers. Aschraf Danun, Michael Wehrli, Remo Elmiger, Ole Müller, Tiago Ogris, Tom Felder and Prof. Mirko Meboldt from ETH Zurich - Product Development Group Zurich were awarded the Newcomer Prize for the development of a 3D-printed brake caliper including function integration.

In a festive award ceremony on Thursday in the week of the Formnext trade fair, the winners received the purmundus challenge trophy as well as prizes with a total value of 30,000 Euros.

Further information:

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
The Messe Frankfurt Group is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. The Group employs approximately 2,450 people at its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main and in 29 subsidiaries around the world. The company generated annual sales of approximately €257 million in 2020 after having recorded sales of €736 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:

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 VDMA Working Group Additive Manufacturing (Honorary Sponsor)
Within the Working Group Additive Manufacturing, over 170 companies and research institutes collaborate under the direction of the German Engineering 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. (