The winners of the Formnext Start-up Challenge 2022 revealed

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Europe’s leading 3D printing trade show, Formnext, has announced the winners of the Formnext Start-Up Challenge 2022.

Created to recognize ideas and innovations from the most promising emerging companies in the industry, the competition regularly highlights exciting technical advancements. This year is no different, with the competition recognizing international projects focused on various areas of 3D printing, ranging from on-demand powder production to degradable implants and robotic post-processing.

“Each year, start-ups in the AM industry take technology and application innovations to the next level and continue to impress with the increasing quality of their developments and business planning,” said Sascha F. Wenzler, vice-president of the organizer Formnext, Mesago Messe Frankfurt. . “Once again, these companies have showcased the great potential of this industry, highlighting the fact that the sector is producing important developments that will influence our industry, medicine and other areas of life in the future. .”

The Formnext Start-up Challenge in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo via Mesago/Mathias Kutt.

Formnext Start-up Challenge

As 3D printing is constantly evolving, the Formnext Start-up Challenge provides insight into some of the cutting-edge developments happening behind the scenes. The competition also provides participants with a platform where they can showcase their technologies and raise their company’s profile with potential customers and investors.

Fomnext’s competition pits emerging 3D printing companies with less than five years of business experience against each other. Winners are selected based on the new business idea or technology achievement they submitted, by a panel of industry experts, which again this year included Industry Editor Michael Petch 3D printing.

Among others, previous winners of the competition include 3D printer manufacturer HARP and winner of the Formnext Start-up Challenge 2021 Azul 3D, developer of DyeMansion post-processing systems and specialist in 3D printing software 3YOURMIND.

Alongside the winner of the eighth Start-up Challenge 2022, Formnext also announced the results of the third AM Ventures Impact Award. Open to all Start-up Challenge participants, the competition is designed to recognize and raise awareness of the positive social and environmental change that 3D printing innovation can spark.

Formnext 2021. Photo via Michael Petch.
Formnext 2021. Photo by Michael Petch.

Presentation of the winners of the 2022 challenge

According to the organizers of Formnext, this year’s winning start-ups were selected “both for the high level of creativity demonstrated” and for the “viability of the business models” submitted, each being able to provide proof of existing or pending patents as well as to demonstrate “extremely promising applications.

One such winner, Polish materials developer Alpha Powders, has developed technology for spraying, spheroidizing and on-demand modification of polymer powders. Having reduced this process to a prototype device, capable of processing polyamides, TPUs or polyolefins, the company believes it could become an ideal R&D tool for laboratories developing SLS powders.

A rendering of the Sphero Nano machine from Alpha Powders.  Image via Alpha Powders.
A rendering of the Sphero Nano machine from Alpha Powders. Image via Alpha Powders.

Dutch micro-printing specialist Photosynthetic, meanwhile, won thanks to technology it developed that combines optical hardware, single-photon curing resins and computer algorithms. By bringing together these ingredients, the firm has succeeded in creating a fast micro 3D printer, which in high resolution mode (3/hour

Another of this year’s winners is Rivelin Robotics, which is credited with developing a fast new way to post-process metal parts. Powered by NetShape control software that leverages both machine learning (ML) and traditional deterministic control theory, the company’s robotic finishing systems are capable of automatically removing supports, while reducing costs, defects and variability.

Italian start-up SphereCube was selected as the winner by the challenge jury due to a composite bonding technology it developed, which allows high-performance composites to be 3D printed in any desired shape. By heat curing plastics, the process is designed to improve the wetting and bonding of layers, matrices and fibrous reinforcements.

A diagram illustrating the breast growth that can be achieved via the Lattice Medical implant.  Image via Lattice Medical.
A diagram illustrating the breast growth that can be achieved via the Lattice Medical implant. Image via Lattice Medical.

Finally, the biomedical start-up Lattice Medical was selected among the winners thanks to a technology developed with the CHU Lille-France. Thanks to advances in tissue engineering, the company has been able to create bioabsorbable, patient-specific bioprostheses with the potential to improve the success of breast implant procedures.

Lattice Medical also won the sustainability-focused AM Ventures Impact Award. Besides the innovative design and method of production of these “Mattise” grafts, AM Ventures was impressed with how they minimized the risk of patient rejection, the research presented to support their effectiveness, and the technical expertise of its developers. .

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Featured image shows the Formnext Start-up Challenge in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo via Mesago/Mathias Kutt.

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