International competition for additive manufacturing technologies

3D Pioneers Challenge

The international design competition for Additive Manufacturing processes and Advanced Technologies is the most prestigious award of its kind and is one of the most highly endowed worldwide. The annual announcement and presentation of the finalists is considered to be the innovation monitor of the industry. Unique in its structure, the competition has been addressing specialists who think outside the box since 2015 - pushing boundaries!

3DPC Platform

Over the years, the Challenge has become a platform with a worldwide network and is an interface for creative future-makers, pioneers of advanced technologies and innovators from research and industry.


The competition is open to students, start-ups and companies (Young Professionals and Professionals) working in design or technical fields, as well as the automotive, research and medical sectors.
We welcome submissions from previously published projects to brand new ideas.
The jury will also take into account whether each project was submitted by students, young professionals or professionals.


The 3D Pioneers Challenge is organized by d.sign21 in collaboration with the Rapid.Tech 3D.

Messe Erfurt GmbH with Rapid.Tech 3D
The Rapid.Tech 3D in Erfurt will take place on 22 and 23 June 2021 as a congress event with an accompanying exhibition. Visitors can experience the Rapid.Tech 3D trade congress both as a live event on site in the CongressCenter of Messe Erfurt. In addition, interested exhibitors will have the opportunity to present their developments, products and services in an accompanying show in the CongressCenter.

The design and consultancy company with a wealth of experience in developing and organising design challenges. Its expertise in design, additive technologies and the global network supports the 3D Pioneers Challenge.

3DPC & Friends

Under the umbrella of 3DPC & Friends, 3DPC brings together the creative minds and high-tech pioneers of the 3DPC platform in an interdisciplinary way, resulting in new, groundbreaking projects in which everyone can contribute and live out their expertise - design rethought! The 3DPC shows today what tomorrow will bring - pushing boundaries.

  • 3DPC & Friends 2021:
    nTopology and 3DPC
    In 2021 the next project of 3DPC & Friends is the partnering with nTopology,
    The 3DPC is cooperating with nTopology. The winner "3DPC 2020 Digital" supports this year's competition as part of the 3DPC & Friends network and give participants a free license for the nTop platform as well as training materials for the engineering software whilst the competition. Users will be able to see 3D printing to its fullest potential and gives everyone the opportunity to shape their ideas and concepts.
    More information at the nTop 3DPC blog

  • 3DPC & Friends 2020:
    Talk by Ross Lovegrove and Lin Kayser about A paradigmshift in Design.
    Press release in German and in English.
    Here follow the Movie about "A paradigm Shift in Design".

3DPC Trophy

The 3DPC Trophy was created within the network "3DPC & Friends"!
In 2020 Ross Lovegrove (3DPC Jurymember) and Hyperganic (3DPC winner Digital 2019) designed together the trophy that will be handed from now on to the 3DPC first prize winners. The beautiful production was realised by the Materialse (3DPC partner).

Watch here the movie about the Movie about the 3DPC Trophy.


Patrik Schumacher, Zaha Hadid Architects

The 3D Pioneers Challenge is a wonderful opportunity and invitation for young designers, architects and engineers to submit and have a platform where they can show and compete- where they can also gain recognition and resources to continue their research.
Thanks for letting me be part of it.

Ross Lovegrove

"My appreciation of what you have established in supporting the positive emergence of additive technologies in the 21st Century!"

Michael Kynast, Managing Director of Messe Erfurt GmbH

We are pleased to support 3D Pioneers Challenge with Rapid.Tech 3D. We are delighted that the Challenge has established itself so strongly in the additive manufacturing industry and gains reputation worldwide. We are already curious to see which interesting contributions will be submitted this year.

Simone and Christoph Völcker _ 3DPC initiators

It's fascinating how the 3DPC´s network is drawing circles already. Partners as well as the expert jury belong to the Who's Who of the industry and the attention rises: all eyes are now focused on this competition when it comes to Additive Manufacturing and Advanced Technologies. Every year we are motivated by the fact that the annual selection of the finalists presents as Innovation monitor the best concepts and ideas of the inspiring AM industry and also of the young university scene.



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3D Pioneers Challenge
Völcker & Völcker GbR
Simone Völcker
Fronhof 2/1
70378 Stuttgart