How can additive manufacturing turn a good idea into a good product? What opportunities does it offer engineers in the future to bring new products even closer to the customers’ requests? And how do I manage to keep an eye on the profitability of my company?
From 28 February to 1 March, nine European student groups developed visionary concepts for future mobility using additive manufacturing at the Mobility goes Additive – VDI Students Competition in Berlin. In order to find answers to the questions of the increasing autonomy in future mobility, nine interdisciplinary teams from German-speaking universities registered for the Mobility goes Additive – VDI Students Competition.
The task was to develop a product for Personal Mobility Space during one weekend. Free of limitations regarding target group or transportation means the products did not necessarily have to be additively manufactured at the end. However, it quickly became clear to all groups that AM could be a vital success factor for both the development process and production of the first small series.
On Sunday, the teams finally presented their results to the jury: from infotainment systems in a kind of “personalized helmet” to function and weight optimization of armrests to completely new seating systems with additively manufactured spring elements or new anchoring techniques. In addition to the technical implementation of the products, the English business presentation, the business plan and teamwork were also rated.
The TU Darmstadt team won with their concept of ChairyWear™, a partially printed orthosis that supports people with walking disabilities and with which they can wear their own seat always on their body. When the legs are bent, the individualized orthosis extends two supports and can be anchored at the back to designated counterparts in public transport, trains or airplanes. The orthosis then functions as a separate seat that you bring with you, for the transport means it only requires the back padding and the hook-in mechanism. Chairywear™, “the chair to wear”, not only helps when seated but is meant to also support when standing up with built-in springs.
The team wins tickets for the Additive Manufacturing Forum 2020 in Berlin and the opportunity to present themselves and their product at their own booth! In addition, Volkswagen as a sponsor also offered an internship or a thesis in the group.
Second and third places went to the Technikum Wien and the University of Augsburg for seating concepts with personalized adjustment options. The teams can look forward to an exclusive visit to Airbus production sites and a high-quality training at Altair.
Second edition next year
Due to the enthusiasm of the teams, us and the VDI, we are going to repeat the competition next year for sure!
Next year at the Industrial Additive Manufacturing HUB (IAM Hub) in Berlin but in particular with an increased number of even more international teams.