A night of additive excellence: TCT Awards 2022 winners announced

Over 200 industry professionals gathered to celebrate the winners of the prestigious TCT Awards ceremony earlier this week.

The sold-out, three-course dinner was held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, with entertainment throughout, and complete with celebrity host Jason Bradbury (The Gadget Show). 

This year’s awards recognised a multitude of achievements and outstanding contributions to the 3D printing and additive manufacturing sector. The night saw 11 winners in total, alongside 14 projects and organisations recognised as highly commended. 

The TCT Awards categories are split into two main areas: Innovations and Applications. The Innovations categories celebrate developments in additive manufacturing hardware, software, materials and post processing. The Applications categories celebrate how 3D technologies are applied to have real life improvements from financial and business to social, environmental and educational. Winners of the TCT Awards are chosen by the Expert Advisory Board, a selection of over 20 industry experts who vote on shortlisted submissions.

The 2020 and 2022 TCT Hall of Fame Inductees were also announced on the night. After a two year hiatus, Phill Dickens and Terry Wohlers were announced as the 2020 inductees, and Elaine Hunt was announced as the 2022 inductee. The TCT Hall of Fame celebrates those members of the additive manufacturing community who have made a positive, significant and long-term impact on the industry.

Phill Dickens has been involved in the area of what was then known as ‘rapid prototyping’ since 1990. A pioneer in additive manufacturing research and education, Phill founded the world leading Additive Manufacturing Research Group. His work both academically and industrially has unlocked additive technologies across the broad spectrum of manufacturing.

Watch Phill’s speech here. 

Terry Wohlers has been a leading consultant, author, and speaker in additive manufacturing for over 30 years, and is best known for producing the Wohlers Report – the undisputed industry-leading report on additive manufacturing and 3D printing worldwide.

Watch Terry’s speech here. 

Elaine Hunt was an early pioneer of additive manufacturing as the Director of one of the first AM University laboratories which provided industrial support for the uptake of the technologies. Elaine was a huge international advocate for education around AM and was a vocal proponent on a national and international level.

Watch Elaine’s speech here. 

After a busy first day at TCT 3Sixty (the UK’s definitive and most influential 3D printing and additive manufacturing event), guests enjoyed a three-course, black-tie dinner, drinks and entertainment.

Kristin Mulherin, Women in 3D Printing President, commented: “The TCT Awards event was an inspirational evening with an admirably diverse group of award recipients. It was fun seeing not only the varied awards but inspirational hearing from the new Hall of Fame inductees. It was my first time attending but certainly not my last. It was a great event highlighting the innovations across the industry and set a great tone for what’s to come.”

Todd Grimm, Additive Manufacturing Consultant and owner of T A Grimm & Associates, added: “It was a fantastic TCT Awards ceremony – I’ve been to all of them over the years and this was the absolute best. The awards were more than well-deserved. The host, Jason Bradbury, was fantastic, a little bit of humour and he kept the whole thing vibrant. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait till 2023.”

Duncan Wood, CEO of Rapid News Group, concluded: “It was amazing to bring back the TCT Awards after the pandemic induced hiatus and an absolute privilege to induct our three newest Hall of Famers, we are looking forward to 2023 already and have some amazing development plans for the Awards to take it to new level next year. Watch this space!”

Winners and highly commended entries from each category were as below. 

Aerospace Application Award – Sponsored by Additive Industries

Winner: Advanced Engineering Solutions

Advanced Engineering Solutions developed an innovative compact heat exchanger with Gyroid minimal surfaces that aims to ‘revolutionise the design of helicopter oil coolers.’ Utilising optimised 3D printed lattices as a single structure without any supports, the avionics heat exchanger offers higher structural strength, and four times better performance at half the bounding volume of its original design.

Highly Commended: CRP Technology

Consumer Product Application Award – Sponsored by Laser Lines

Winner: 3DEO.

The Era from Blackland Razors is the world’s first 3D printed production razor. Created with 3DEO’s Intelligent Layering process and C.N.C machining, The Era benefits from additive-only design features and a tool-less production process which has enabled 11 designs with increased speed and design flexibility.

Highly Commended: AREVO

Creative Application Award

Winner: Polymaker

While the aesthetics of this Go-Kart were inspired by the LEGO Technics kits #1972 released in 1985, it was the electrification that required an original solution to a design that was not intended for human transportation. Desktop 3D printing and Polymaker materials were used to create all bricks to assemble the Go-Kart with only a few additional non-3D printed parts, such as motors, brakes, and electronics required.

Highly Commended: Imaginarium

Hardware Award – Non-Polymer Systems – Sponsored by Hearnshead Recruitment

Winner: WAAM3D.

Aimed at the aerospace, defence, energy and research communities, the robowam is a large scale metal AM innovation capable of processing virtually any material available in the form of wire. The huge 2 cubic meter build envelope is powered by Wam Planner software for trajectory generation and process parameters, and Wam control for process monitoring, data analysis and quality control.

Highly Commended: Desktop Metal

Hardware Award – Polymer Systems

Winner: Boston Micro Fabrication.

Boston Micro Fabrication’s microArch S.2.30 platform is capable of printing up to five times faster than its previous models in the 2 micrometer series. Designed to produce micro parts with tight tolerances, the microArch S.2.30 uses active layer levelling, automated laser calibration and has the capacity to handle higher molecular weight materials with viscosities of up to 20,000 centipoise. This allows for the production of strong, functional parts.

Highly Commended: Cubicure and MASSIVit 3D. 

Healthcare Application Award – Sponsored by Apium

Winner: Ricoh 3D.

Designed specifically for additive manufacturing, this knee alignment device boasts improved stability with a larger contact area and an improved fit with a more organic shape that is in line with patient’s anatomy. It also features a reference datum arrow to allow for accurate placement on a patient, which means fitting is simpler and can be reproduced effectively. Using 3D printing, Ricoh 3D took lead times down from weeks to days and also achieved a 50 percent part consolidation.

Highly Commended: Apium Additive

Industrial Application Award

Winner: Cold Pad.

This heavy-duty bonded mechanical fastener is designed for concrete surfaces. To achieve the required anti-seismic performances, the fastener has to accommodate the occurrence of a crack into the concrete. In order to give sufficient flexibility transversely and to achieve a relative high stiffness in tension, a 3D printed intermediate deformation layer is introduced between the metallic fastener and the concrete surface. The 3D pattern repetitive micro-structures generate the required macroscopic anisotropy.

Highly Commended: SLM Solutions and PepsiCo.

Materials Award – Sponsored by Righton Blackburn

Winner: Fortify

The first photoresin on the market designed for thermal management applications that require electrical insulation, T.C.D.R has a thermal conductivity of up to 2 watts per meter Kelvin and dielectric strengths over 27 kilovolts per millimetre. Because of its dielectric strength, T.C.D.R can print parts like heat sinks and heat exchangers that are placed directly against electronic equipment such as batteries, printed circuit boards and R.F devices.

Highly Commended: 6K Additive.

Post Processing Award – Sponsored by Rena

Winner: GPAInnova. 

This technology combines dry electropolishing technology with a jet of fluid composed by a non-conductive liquid and free solid particles to remove roughness from metal surfaces. Recommended for large, heavy parts and pieces with different degrees of roughness or complex geometries, this electropolishing technology is suitable for blind holes, slots, occluded areas and inner channels.

Highly Commended: Reinforce3D. 

Software Award 

Winner: Elise.

Based on intelligent algorithms, Elise’s software allows users to digitally model products, execute the additive manufacture of the components and then systematically reuse the information for new variants or projects. Within this one environment, users can access CAD, finite element simulation, topology optimisation, support generation, process simulation, nesting, slicing, cost calculation and CO2 footprint calculation. It can also seamlessly integrate with other software platforms.

Highly Commended: Teton Simulation and TOffeeAM.

Transport Application Award – Sponsored by CRP

Winner: Additive Industries.

Volkswagen deployed the Additive Industries metal-fab 3D printing system to achieve a 650% cost reduction in the manufacture of a tooling nozzle used for the automated deposition of a rope in the chassis flange of the VW Tiguan. This part, which helps prevent flange corrosion, was manufactured in a single piece in 316L stainless steel. Previously, the component was made up of two pieces and produced in a more expensive titanium-alloy.

Highly Commended: Xjet.

Women in 3D Printing Award

Winner: Eliana Fu.

After having worked extensively in materials science in the traditional manufacturing world, Eliana Fu turned her attention to Additive Manufacturing at SpaceX and then with Relativity Space. Eliana then joined Trumpf as Industry Manager, Aerospace & Medical. During this time she has worked tirelessly to encourage women and girls to join the field of AM.

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