Great work and innovation should be recognized and awarded — and now there’s a new way in the 3D printing world to do just that. An annual competition has just been launched by the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) and the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association (Verein Deutscher Werkzeugmaschinenfabriken, or VDW). The all-new International Additive Manufacturing Award (IAMA) seeks to recognize the use of additive manufacturing in industrial applications.iama-logo

The award’s launch was announced September 10th at the International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014 (IMTS) in Chicago. The two associations represent leading manufacturers in the US and Germany, and according to VDW’s press release, the program recognizes “that the United States and Germany are the key markets/regions for additive technology in terms of suppliers, users and academia. Both partners have the understanding required to encourage the international community to participate in this initiative and support the exchange of views and knowledge.”

The IAMA intends to recognize innovative international work in additive manufacturing, regarding both process and application. Entry will be open to both individual and team work, and the deadline for the inaugural IAMA is December 31st. The award ceremony will be held March 4-7, 2015 in Orlando, Florida at the Manufacturing for Growth (MFG) Meeting. The overall winner  will be awarded a$20,000 cash prize and a media package valued at $80,000 to promote their development. vdw

“The inaugural award will identify and recognize the premier example of advancement in additive processes and applications, taking into account concept, design, prototype, manufacturing and application impact. Individuals, companies and research institutes are all invited to submit entries,” says the IAMA website.

Entrants must submit a complete application package, as well as appropriate documentation. These requirements, according to the IAMA rules, include:

  1. A completed registration form
  2. A short biography (one for each person on the team, or the individual entrant)
  3. Abstract of 10 lines or less
  4. No more than 10 pages (using a prescribed layout) of written documentation for the work to be presented.

Once all submissions are in, judging will begin. The two-step process will begin with IAMA partners reviewing all submissions and selecting a top 20. From those top 20 submissions, a panel of experts will select the winner. The criteria are weighted according to a percentage scheme for consideration, and include:amt_logo

  • 45% — Technological innovation
    • 20% — progress of knowledge
    • 15% — technological quality and creativity
    • 10% — distinguishing characteristics compared with previous solutions
  • 20% — Benefits for industry, the environment, and society
    • 10% — technological benefits in applications
    • 10% — environmental compatibility and social relevance
  • 20% — Cost-effectiveness
  • 5% — Form of presentation
  • 5% — Reality test in an industrial application
  • 5% — Implementation/implementability

AMT’s President Douglas K. Woods has optimism for the future of the award and his association’s collaboration with VDW:

“It is clear that the advances in additive manufacturing will change forever the landscape of manufacturing, from the innovators of the technology to the users and consumers.  Our collaboration with the VDW will spotlight some of the most innovative and impactful players driving this dynamic industry.” He also noted that he hopes “this award inspires additive technology innovators from around the world to submit their best ideas for the future of this promising technology.”

In turn, Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director of VDW, notes:

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Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director, VDW

“Additive manufacturing has now, following a lengthy phase of development, matured sufficiently to establish itself more firmly as a technology for industrial-scale applications. In conjunction with AMT, the VDW aims to support all interested companies from the relevant sector in technical and market-related issues. With the International Award, moreover, we want to turn the international spotlight on the pioneers and high-performers in the sector, and give them the recognition they deserve. The idea is that the premier players from academia, the business and industrial communities, from the political environment and from societal stakeholders in this multifaceted scene, shall get together regularly at the award ceremonies, so as to put in place a stable international network.”

The IAMA jurors panel consists of experts from a variety of fields. With representatives from industry associations, the media, academia, and legal fields, these 10 experts are a well-selected committee with keen eyes for the task at hand. Judges include Tim Shinbara (AMT), Dr. Wilfried Schäfer (VDW), Ken Fouhy (VDI Verlag), Pete Zelinski (Gardner Business Media), Dr. David Bourell (University of Texas — Austin), Professor Reinhart Poprawe (Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology), Dr. Jens Ertel (BMW), Greg Morris (GE Aviation), Captain Gerald Grant (Walter Reed Bethesda Medical Center), and John Hornick (Finnegan, Henderson, Farrabow, Garret & Dunner).

The IAMA is intended to be an annual event, and submissions for the 2016 award will begin to be accepted in Autumn 2015, with a deadline of December 31, 2015.

Let us know your thoughts on this new award on the additive manufacturing scene over at the Annual IAMA forum thread at 3DPB.com.

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