10. – 13.11.2020 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 2020 - Viable AM Innovations plus Contribution to Sustainability

Start-up Challenge

The Start-up Challenge is an integral part of Formnext and has been supporting young, innovative start-ups for the past five years by providing free participation in the trade show. In recent years, a wide range of start-ups have taken advantage of this unique platform to present themselves to investors, established companies, the press and other stakeholders.

The current corona crisis is placing an even closer focus on the issue of sustainability. In recent months, there has been a reduction in the number of flights, factories have come to a shutdown, and the otherwise very mobile world has come to a temporary halt. Despite the drastic consequences for our social and economic lives, there have also been one or two rays of hope. Air quality has improved in some places, dolphins have returned to their bays, and industries have moved closer together with creative approaches. Additive manufacturing is no exception; the news has been full of reports on the 3D printing of masks, test equipment and parts for respirators as well as calls for joint actions, for instance.

New category in 2020 – AM Ventures Impact Award

Start-up Challenge

Formnext, together with AM Ventures, would like to take these developments as an opportunity to announce a new award as part of the Start-up Challenge 2020. In the first year of the new AM Ventures Impact Award, we will be placing a focus on sustainable business. Topics relating to both people and the planet will be looked at from a technology, application, business, and value chain perspective.

Interested in taking part in the Start-up Challenge 2020, including AM Ventures Impact Award, but unable to complete a submission just yet? Don’t worry: spend time on your innovations, send us your pitch decks and registration, and take some time out for a dip in a bathing lake. This year, the Challenge runs until 04 September 2020.

For any questions, please get in touch with Anne-Kathrin Hötter.

The Formnext Start-up Challenge has helped numerous young companies to accelerate their corporate development and successfully set the course for the future. In 2020 the fair will take place as the virtual event Formnext Connect. Here you will meet potential customers, investors and experts from all over the world. By participating in the challenge, you will also receive valuable feedback on your business model from our jury, which is formed by industry experts.

  • A free participation in the Formnext Connect 2020
  • Integration of your start-up in all relevant marketing and communication activities of Formnext
  • Possibility to pitch your product at Formnext Connect 2020
  • Company coaching by one of our jury members
  • Your individual company profile article on
  • A 3d printed award sponsored by voxeljet
AM Ventures Holding GmbH

Sustainability has become the most important issue in today’s world. Every individual and every company must act in order to solve the challenges that face our planet and the human population.

AM Ventures, as the leading venture capital firm in additive manufacturing, wants to raise awareness about sustainability in the industrial 3D printing industry. The goal of the new award is to honor one company among the Start-up Challenge applicants that is making a substantial positive impact on different facets of sustainability. AM Ventures has derived goals that are applicable to start-ups in additive manufacturing on the basis of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN).

AM Ventures will choose the company with the greatest positive impact on sustainability to win the AM Ventures Impact Award 2020. The winner will receive prize money of 5,000 euro and an introduction to the AM Ventures network. Formnext will include the winner in all relevant marketing and communication activities. In addition, the winner will have the opportunity to present their sustainable approach during the Pitchnext event session at Formnext Connect.

Please find more detailed information in the AM Ventures Impact Award call for submissions. Any feedback or questions? Don’t hesitate to contact AM Ventures:

AM Ventures Holding GmbH

Start-ups that fulfill the following requirements:

  • Formation of your company is no longer than 5 years (max. 1 January 2015)
  • Max. € 10 million annual revenue
  • No majority holding of a company that exceeds € 10 million annual revenue

1. Fill in the online application form and send it to us.
2. Send your pitch deck(s) to
3. Receive a confirmation of receipt.

Deadline: 04 September 2020

The five winners will be selected by a highly qualified panel of well-known representatives from the manufacturing industry, research, the investment sector and the industry’s media. The winner of the AM Ventures Impact Award will be chosen by AM Ventures and announced together with the winners of the Start-up Challenge in autumn.

Partners and sponsors

Jury Start-up Challenge 2020

Kristian Arntz, Managing Director and Partner, ACAM Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing

Kristian Arntz, Managing Director and Partner, ACAM Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing

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

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 Venture Officer, AM Ventures

Arno Held, Chief Venture Officer, AM Ventures

14 years AM experience - 1,400 AM-Startups scouted - 24 funding rounds in AM-Startups

Tobias Kuhl, Head of Operations, XPRENEURS Incubator, UnternehmerTUM

Tobias Kuhl, Head of Operations, XPRENEURS Incubator, UnternehmerTUM

Entry into additive manufacturing at EOS – Responsibility for AM activities at UnternehmerTUM – Foundation of an AM Start-up Incubator and the 3D-Printing Cluster

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

The purmundus challenge

The purmundus challenge

International competition of design ideas for 3D and 4D printing

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 “Geometry and Material in Harmony”, 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 will evaluate the benefits for 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.

Please find here the announcement of the purmundus challenge 2020. The deadline for submissions is 21 September 2020.


In 2020 the purmundus challenge will once again be supporting designers in the 3D and 4D sectors by making participation completely free of charge. In addition to the experience, participation in the competition is worth it in many ways: The design competition is an outstanding opportunity for newcomers and professionals alike to engender confidence among their potential clients and sponsors regarding their additive solutions.

Formnext, the leading international trade fair for additive manufacturing, offers the ideal framework for the presentation of your creative design ideas. The same applies to Formnext Connect in 2020 the virtual alternative to the physical Formnext. The international presence, the broad network of partners, the public interest and the targeted platform make the purmundus challenge a unique experience for all participants.

Receiving an award as part of the purmundus challenge is seen as one of the most important design-related distinctions in 3D and 4D printing worldwide. In addition to the top three rankings, the purmundus challenge also gives out “Special Mention” and “Innovation Prize” awards. Winning designers receive support in form of an extensive winner’s package. Furthermore, for the second time Altair will award the "Simulation Driven Design" with an annual license for the complete Altair Inspire platform.

The prize winners set strong trends with an international focus in the design industry in 3D and 4D printing, and highlight potential future directions. A “people’s choice” prize, which will be chosen by participants of Formnext Connect over the course of the fair, completes the purmundus challenge. The awards are worth a total of 30,000 euros.

Any manner of design may be submitted. The best product design in accordance with the current theme of the competition will be rewarded. Participants face a cross-sector comparison between 3D and 4D talents, professionals, institutions, and companies of all sizes.

Option 1: Complete and submit the online registration form.  

Option 2: Send the registration form to

The deadline for submissions is 21 September 2020

The purmundus callenge will evaluate the submitted product ideas and come to a pre-selection by 6 October 2020. Up to 35 finalists will be included in the presentation at Formnext Connect and have the chance to win the prestigious purmundus challenge trophy. The international panel will select the winners of the purmundus challenge and the winners will receive their awards during the Formnext Connect event.


purmundus challenge
Römerstraße 8
71296 Heimsheim

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