16. – 19.11.2021 Frankfurt am Main Tickets & registration

Events and challenges

Additive manufacturing is constantly changing and reinventing itself. Through our Events & Challenges we match you with new companies, show you new products and support you in your professional entry into this fascinating industry.

Start-up Challenge 2021 – recognition to sustainable business concepts

Start-up Challenge

Recognizing new, creative, viable, and above all, sustainable business ideas from the world of additive manufacturing: once again Formnext Start-up Challenge invites submissions from innovative young companies

The Start-up Challenge is an integral part of Formnext and has been supporting start-ups by providing free participation in the trade show and a comprehensive marketing package. In addition, the winners can present themselves to the trade fair participants as part of a pitch event. In recent years, a wide range of start-ups have taken advantage of this unique platform  and made important contacts to investors, established companies, the press and other stakeholders.

Any up-and-coming company with a product or service that offers an exceptional development for the additive manufacturing process chain, is market-ready in terms of customers, product status, and revenue can take part in the Formnext Start-up Challenge.

AM Ventures Impact Award 2021 – special attention is paid to sustainable management

Start-up Challenge

One young company will also be selected from the applicants to receive the AM Ventures Impact Award in recognition of approaches to sustainability. Environmental considerations (such as green energy and resource conservation) and social aspects (for example, education and equality) play an important role in this. “The potential offered by additive manufacturing for addressing the major global sustainability challenges is significant. The technology can be used to make drives more efficient, minimize material consumption, accelerate repairing cycles, and extend battery ranges," says Arno Held, Managing Partner AM Ventures. “In all areas, AM can improve the world if we use the technology correctly”. The Impact Award was launched by Formnext together with AM Ventures Management GmbH to help raise this awareness."

These are the winners 2021!

In 2021, the quality of the start-ups and their innovations developed a step further. They boast numerous patents – some already awarded and some still pending – and promising applications. In some cases, over 50 million euros have already been poured into the young enterprises' developments, and so it is no surprise how market-ready and promising their innovations were. They promise greater precision for 3D printing, considerably faster production or new applications, for example in medicine and aerospace.

The winning innovations range from nano and glass 3D printing through to new medical solutions for spine patients. This year the AM Ventures Impact Award presented at the same ceremony goes to Vispala Technologies (India).

You can meet all the winners and marvel at their ideas live and in color in the Start-up Area Hall 12.0, B81. The official award ceremony is to take place on Tuesday, 16 November 2021 on Formnext's AM4U stage.

Winner Start-Up Challenge

Winner AM Ventures Impact Award

Partners and sponsors

Jury Start-up Challenge

Kristian Arntz, Kristian Arntz, CEO, Fraunhofer Center for Networked Adaptive Production ICNAP

Kristian Arntz, Kristian Arntz, CEO, Fraunhofer Center for Networked Adaptive Production ICNAP

Entry into additive manufacturing as production engineer– Establishment of a department at Fraunhofer with focus on AM in production – Management of ACAM, which provides the manufacturing industry with simplified access to AM - Management of ICNAP to enable digital production.

Stefanie Brickwede, Head of 3d printing@DB and Managing Director of "Mobility goes Additive"

Stefanie Brickwede, Head of 3d printing@DB and Managing Director of "Mobility goes Additive"

Initiator of a start-up safari for DB – Head of 3d printing@DB – 3D printing network "Mobility goes Additive"

Arno Held, Chief, Managing Partner, AM Ventures

Arno Held, Managing Partner, AM Ventures

14 years AM experience - 1,600 AM-Startups scouted - 24 funding rounds in AM-Startups

Peter Mayr, Professor of Materials Engineering of Additive Manufacturing, Technical University of Munich - TUM

Peter Mayr, Professor of Materials Engineering of Additive Manufacturing, Technical University of Munich - TUM

Passionate researcher and educator in the fields of materials, advanced manufacturing, characterisation and testing. Promoter of TUM.Additive, the collective activities in Additive Manufacturing at TUM.

Alexander Oster, Director Additive Manufacturing, Autodesk

Alexander Oster, Director Additive Manufacturing, Autodesk

20 years of experience in additive manufacturing – former CTO of FIT AG, one of the largest industrial service providers in Germany – Co-founder and CEO of Netfabb GmbH, now part of Autodesk Inc.

Michael Petch, Editor-in-chief, 3D Printing Industry

Michael Petch, Editor-in-chief, 3D Printing Industry

Editor-in-chief of the leading source of news for the additive manufacturing industry – Frequent speaker at industry events

Start-ups live and in color

Start-ups live and in color

On 16 November 2021 the participants of the Start-up Area (Hall 12.0, B81) will show you in the AM4U Area (Hall 11.0, E72) why it is worth investing in them. In short pitches, the start-ups will present their innovative products.

Details will follow in November.

The purmundus challenge – International competition of design ideas for 3D and 4D printing

The purmundus challenge

Receiving an award as part of the purmundus challenge is seen as one of the most important design-related distinctions in the field of 3D and 4D printing. In keeping with this year’s topic of “Innovation in progress”, innovative solutions are being sought for the beneficial use of 3D and 4D printing in product design and manufacturing.

As part of the competition, the participants tackle the challenge of identifying useful applications for 3D and 4D printing. 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.

Presentation: Hall 12.1, B08
Award Ceremony:
18 November 2021

What will be exhibited?

The 2021 purmundus challenge shines a spotlight on forward-looking product ideas from 12 countries on 5 continents under the motto “Innovation in progress”.

A total of 35 finalists now stand a chance of winning the prestigious purmundus challenge trophy. As part of the Formnext, the competition is showcasing a unique range of innovative future concepts in the fields of medicine, biotechnology, 4D printing, VR, robotics, e-mobility, powertrain technology, mechanical and plant engineering.

In addition to a concrete shading of buildings, a lift, a juice squeezer made from lemon peel, a kinematic chair and prostheses for dogs, the finalists include products from the sports fields of ballet, golf, climbing and artistry. Design products from the music and leisure sectors are also in the running. A smart gear, a newly developed material switching unit for FDM, potential applications for scaling processes and agile systems, and a vision for managing AM part production on a global scale are also being presented.

The finalists

Detailed descriptions of the concepts you can find here or on the purmundus website.

Receiving an award as part of the purmundus challenge is seen as one of the most important design-related distinctions in the field of 3D and 4D printing. In addition to the first three places, the purmundus challenge will also feature awards in the categories of “Special Mention” and “Simulation-Driven Design”, as well as an “Innovation Prize” and a “Newcomer Prize”. Winning designers receive support in the form of an extensive winner’s package. The prizewinners set strong trends with an international focus in the design industry in the field of 3D and 4D printing, and highlight potential future directions. A “public choice award” completes the purmundus challenge. The awards are worth a total of 30,000 euros.

Vote for your favourite at Formnext booth 12.1 B08 or online until 18 November 2021, 3:00 p.m.

Vote now

Among all participants, there is a chance to win the 3D printed purmundus luminaire kinetic sls by our long-time jury member Frank Kleemann.

The international panel will present the winners of the purmundus challenge with their awards on 18 November 2021. This is the sixth time that the 3D and 4D printing award for the purmundus challenge has been presented together with Formnext. The live-broadcast award ceremony will take place in Frankfurt.


purmundus challenge
Römerstraße 8
71296 Heimsheim

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