Winners announced Solvay Additive Manufacturing Cup 2021 supported by L'Oreal and Ultimaker

Thanks to the unique partnership between Solvay, a leading global supplier of specialty polymers,  L’Oréal, the world’s beauty leader and Ultimaker, the global leader in professional 3D printing, university students, engineers and manufacturers worldwide have had the chance to compete in a 3D printing design challenge to integrate and accelerate today’s industrial manufacturing processes. 

Solvay reveals the winner of the third edition of its international Additive Manufacturing (AM) Cup 2021 for participants to design a real-world industrial 3D printed application capable of revolutionizing production line agility, using Solvay’s easy-to-print Solef® PVDF AM Filaments. The winner was selected from among 60 international teams who took part in the challenge. As covid-19 restrictions would have made it hard for participants to directly print their designs, Solvay organized for the winning designs to be printed directly by Ultimaker using their S5 desktop printerThe application will then be tested by L’Oréal. Unfortunately, due to Covid, the celebration was held in an online event.

“The Solvay AM Cup is a fantastic initiative that enables young professionals and engineers to design an application for L’Oréal that increases their productivity, and at the same time creates flexibility in their production line. We were amazed by the level of out of the box thinking in terms of design features and specific solutions for noise reduction. We were very pleased to see great talent amongst the participating teams, making it a pleasure to be part of this contest. We wish all finalists exciting and productive careers in the industry, hopefully continuing their 3D printing journeys.” says Miguel Calvo - CTO at Ultimaker.

The overall winner is… 3D Fab from the University of Lyon, France. The team secured the first prize due to its ability to develop an innovative, versatile monobloc design, based on a reversible deformable structure, that is easy to print in a relatively short time. “We chose to participate in the Additive Manufacturing Cup 2021 organised by Solvay, Ultimaker and L’Oréal due to its particularly concrete and stimulating challenge,” said the 3D Fab Team Leader. “We are proud to have developed a relevant solution that could be used in L'Oréal's production lines.”

The winning team, selected by an international jury, receives five thousand euros to be reinvested in academic, societal or entrepreneurial activities and an Ultimaker 2+ Connect printer. Furthermore, the winning design will be demonstrated during their high-profile tour of L’Oréal’s production facilities in March.    

“Here at L’Oréal, we are convinced that Additive Manufacturing brings not only geometric innovation, but tangible gains to improve supply chain agility for our customers. We wanted to set this challenge for the AM community to give an insight into the types of problems our engineers face every day, and how we are pushing new technologies to find appropriate solutions. Extended ecosystems with innovative minds and strong partners are key to this revolution” says Matthew Forrester - Head of Transformation & Recycling Science at L’Oréal.

Past editions of the Solvay AM Cup challenge have also been very successful and inspiring and illustrate how open-source innovation can create customized AM solutions from design to final application. “The winning teams have demonstrated the potential of high-performance 3D printing for fabricating complex polymer shapes and overcome the challenges of fused filament fabrication (FFF) to create parts that can virtually match the performance and quality of conventional injection molded parts”, explained Brian Alexander, AM Global Product & Application Manager at Solvay.