There are a lot of 3D design and 3D printing competitions out there, but among the most serious and industry-focused is the Additive World Design for Additive Manufacturing Challenge. The contest asks participants, generally professionals and those in training to be professionals, to redesign a conventionally manufactured part of a machine or product using 3D printing. The purpose is to create more examples of the practical uses of additive manufacturing and to inspire other industries to create their own applications. The contest is now in its fourth year, with the finalists being announced last month.
Last week, Additive Industries announced the winners of the competition at an awards dinner at the sixth annual Additive World Conference. The six finalists – three students and three professionals – presented their designs to a five-member jury, and the winners were finally announced by Ultimaker Co-Founder Erik de Bruijn. The awards went to two redesigns for which additive manufacturing made a substantial impact.
In the student category, the first prize went to Yogeshkumar Katrodiya, an Indian student currently pursuing his Master’s degree at the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Casting, Composite and Processing Technology IGCV in Germany. He designed a fully integrated shaft and gear with internal channels that transport lubricant to the gears for cooling. The helix-shaped cooling channels were designed to increase the cooling capacity, and they demonstrated additive manufacturing’s potential for design freedom and flexibility. Using part consolidation and topology optimization, Katrodiya was able to reduce the part’s weight by 50%. The jury was impressed by the applicability of the design and its many potential applications.
The winner of the professional category was Aidro Hydraulics, an Italian company that has used 3D printing to improve its hydraulic components in the past. The winning entry, presented by CEO Valeria Tirelli, was a compact redesign of a hydraulic manifold for a street cleaning vehicle, designed by Gaetano Corrado. The redesign is smaller than the original and consolidated two parts using additive manufacturing. It also has an optimized flow thanks to improved, curved channels. The problem of leakage, caused by an auxiliary plug failure, is also eliminated and the weight was reduced by 70%. The jury cited the widespread applicability of the component as well as the commercial viability in its decision.
The Additive World Design for Additive Manufacturing Challenge has yielded some brilliant designs each year. Competitions are often responsible for finding some of the best ideas and talent out there, some of which has gone on to greatly impact the industry or the world. Whether it’s an assistive device to help the disabled or an improved redesign of an industrial component, real, practical items have come out of challenges like this one. Challenges give people an incentive to think hard and use their creativity, and the results tend to be impressive. It’s been a successful four years for the Design for Additive Manufacturing Challenge, and hopefully it will continue long into the future.
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