It’s that time of year again, as Italy’s Solvay announces winners for what seems to have become a yearly tradition with their AM Cup. For 2019, students were at the ready, and given an industrial task as they were challenged to use Radel® PPSU AM-ready filament for creating an ASTM D638 Type V size tensile bar in the z-axis, along with a wavy-shaped pressure pipe.
While it may seem like an easy challenge to be given an assignment to print out a couple of parts, there was much more to it than that; in fact, students from three continents participated in this contest, with 35 student teams from 32 universities. Solvay’s ultimate goal in initiating the 2019 Solvay AM Cup was to highlight the impact 3D printing materials can have on different applications today due to the high performance of parts—and the availability of different materials and methods. Solvay’s focus was for the students to explore the disruptive technology and learn more about ‘the art of the possible.’
The teams were judged on their collective enterprise in making the parts, judged on:
- Creativity in 3D printing
- Maximum dimensional accuracy
- Mechanical properties
- Performance in burst pressure tests and translucency
Each team was provided with a spool of Radel® polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) AM filament and sent on their way to make plans for winning the competition. Those who were successful in their mission have just been announced:
- First place – The Gekko Performance Team from Technical University (Munich)
- Second place – PPSUsual from Ghent University (Belgium)
- Third place – PPSUPER (Belgium)
“The team secured the first prize due to its ability to achieve 100 percent z-axis strength in the Type V size tensile bar and its wavy pipe showed overall dimensional accuracy, surface uniformity, and a remarkable mechanical performance by enduring a burst pressure test of 1,400 psi (96.5 bar) for two hours,” states Solvay in their press release, also commenting that there was very little separating the teams who won second and third place regarding performance in strength and ductility of their parts.
The winners won $10,000, $5,000, and $3,000, respectively, with the idea that these funds would be well-invested in activities related to higher learning, or ‘societal or entrepreneurial’ endeavors. The 3D printed parts they submitted for the challenge will be on display at the Rapid + TCT show in Detroit, MI (Booth #747) from May 21-23.
“It was inspiring to see the various approaches to solving the challenges of fused filament fabrication (FFF) such as bed adhesion and chamber temperature management. The winning team demonstrated once more that 3D printed parts can virtually match the performance and quality of conventional injection molded parts, provided material, hardware, and process are optimized together,” said Ryan Hammonds, R&D platform manager for Solvay’s Specialty Polymers global business unit and president of the AM Cup Jury.
“We look forward to sharing with our customers the benefits gained from this edition of the Solvay AM Cup for 3D printing the best possible PPSU parts for applications in various industries such as aerospace, healthcare and industrial.”
Along with inspiring students to explore the infinite opportunities available with 3D design and printing, Solvay has continued their momentum, offering strong opinions on the future of 3D printing, expanding materials within their manufacturing processes, and entering into dynamic partnerships. What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.Solvay]
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