3D systems enter Heineken’s innovation challenge

3D SystemsThe Heineken Innovation challenge is a $10,000 competition to find solutions for sustainable packaging and distribution solutions, although the true prize of a really great solution which can be patented could be much more if you could create the next ‘Tetrapak’.

The Heineken Innovation challenge is suitably cutting edge and uses a lot of technology and crowd sourcing ideas and 3D systems decided to get in on the act. 3D Systems create the world’s largest range of 3D printers. These printers are used for a whole range of applications but especially for rapid prototyping.

The Heineken innovation challenge then is a great fit for 3D systems, the use of rapid prototyping in design is being transformed by 3D printers making the design process much quicker and cheaper; now models of designs can be quickly made for testing and for consumer testing to get reactions. Products such as 3D Systems Cube put rapid prototyping into people’s homes though with entry level desktop 3D printers that anyone can use.

3D systems chose to work with Heineken and Janne Kyttanen of their Freedom of Creation group became the star of the launch event for the challenge with a 48 hour design-a-thon.

Janne who has considerable experience with rapid prototyping, design and 3D System’s printers spent the 48 hours in a undisclosed location in order to work on her own ideas using a laptop with a webcam to share her process and 3D Systems’ printers: the tiny Cube, the super fast Projet 1500 and 3D Touch printer.

The process was then recorded and added in great detail to the Cubify website and via Tweets, Facebook and e-mail as well as communicating directly with those observing her going through the process.

Jann’s efforts have now been submitted to the Heineken Innovation challenge with many more designs expected to follow from other entrants. Designs will then be judged by sustainability experts and criteria will include innovation and feasibility as well as the level of sustainability. Votes for deigns will also be cast at the ideasbrewery.com website from which the competition is based and a few stand out designs will go forward so entrants can work with Heineken’s designers to perfect their ideas; after this a panel of experts and Heineken’s own management choose a winner.

Those entering are expected to be amateur and professional designers, most will have CAD skills and many will work in design agencies or in rapid prototyping. 3D systems of course hope that their involvement will get them noticed by more designers already with the skills to print for personal use or as a business and those who may have influence on whether their employers switch to 3D printing for their rapid prototyping and whether they outsource or invest in 3D printers such as those 3D Systems have on offer.

It may well be that the range of three printers used by Janne Kyttanen wasn’t accidental and was a good way to show of the range of printers likely to be of most interest to observers and others entering the competition.



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