Challenge <p>Scalable 3D Printing: Speeding-Up Sintering Processes with Polyolefins</p>

Scalable 3D Printing: Speeding-Up Sintering Processes with Polyolefins

Award:  $30,000 USD
Deadline: Aug 08 2018 23:59 EDT
Active Solvers: 45
Posted: May 09 2018
Challenge ID: 9934053
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Braskem is challenging Solvers to improve the state-of-the-art of 3D printing speed using polyolefins, whilst maintaining a high standard of product quality, when compared to the same part made by traditional manufacturing.

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation, experimental proof-of-concept data, and sample delivery.


3D printing is a technology that promises to revolutionize the manufacturing industry. However, it still lags in comparison to more conventional and established manufacturing methods, mainly due to the fact that although efficacy has been thoroughly demonstrated in pilot projects, it has yet to prove to be successful at industrial production scales.

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and High Speed Sintering (HSS) are two examples of 3D printing processes that are the focus for the Seeker in this Challenge. Both of these methods show two types of shortcomings:

  • The lack of materials specifically developed to make the processes successful, leading to products that have comparably poorer properties (surface finish, porosity, etc), and
  • Speed of manufacturing - while 3D printers might not need to be retooled in between production runs, the speed at which a 3D printer can assemble an object often pales in comparison to the traditional assembly line. This is because 3D printing requires each object to be assembled one layer at a time, with each new layer being directly placed on top of the previous one

The Challenge to Solvers is to improve the state-of-the-art of printing speed of SLS or HSS using polyolefins, whilst maintaining a high standard of product quality, when compared to the same part made by traditional manufacturing (injection moulding).

The submission to the Challenge should include the following:

  1. The detailed description of the proposed Solution addressing specific Solution Requirements presented in the Detailed Description of the Challenge. This description should be accompanied by a well-articulated rationale supported by literature/patent precedents.
  2. Experimental proof-of-concept data (and/or delivery of the produced sample parts if requested by the Seeker).  Solvers will be asked to produce sample part(s) using the proposed approach for a comparison with traditional manufacturing. For further details, please consult the Detailed Description of this Challenge.

The Challenge award is contingent upon theoretical evaluation and experimental validation of the submitted Solutions by the Seeker.

To receive an award, the Solvers will have to transfer to the Seeker their exclusive Intellectual Property (IP) rights to the solution. However, the Seeker will be willing to consider a licensing agreement for a partial award if exclusive IP cannot be transferred by the Solver.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on August 8, 2018. 

Late submissions will not be considered.


Braskem is the largest producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas and the largest producer of polypropylene in the United States. Its production focuses on polyethylene (PE), including the green polyethylene produced from the sugarcane, from 100% renewable sources, polypropylene (PP) and polyvinylchloride (PVC) resins, in addition to basic chemical inputs such as ethylene, propylene, butadiene, benzene, toluene, chlorine, soda, and solvents, among others. Innovation is part of Braskem's DNA and the company wants to accelerate this process by bringing disruptive solutions beyond its corporate universe.

What is InnoCentive?
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an RTP Challenge?

An InnoCentive RTP (Reduction to Practice) Challenge is a prototype that proves an idea, and is similar to an InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge in its high level of detail. However, an RTP requires the Solver to submit a validated solution, either in the form of original data or a physical sample. Also the Seeker is allowed to test the proposed solution. For details about treatment of IP rights, please see the Challenge-Specific Agreement.

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