Wednesday, June 13, 2018

European Inventor Awards - The 2018 Trophy

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Each year, the EPO award winners receive a Miriam Irle-designed trophy, in the shape of a sail (with no English pun intended). 5000 years ago the power of the wind was harnassed in sailboats to promote trade and exploration. Thus, the trophy’s sail shape represents the spirit of innovation, each year celebrated anew at the EPO awards ceremony.

2018 trophy
The European Inventors’ Award trophy is not only symbolically loaded because of its shape, it is also, each year, manufactured locally in the country hosting the awards ceremony, using materials or a manufacturing process that is locally significant.  For example, when the awards ceremony took place in Venice, Italy, the 2017 trophy was manufactured using Murano glass. When the awards ceremony took place in Lisbon, Portugal, the 2016 trophy was manufactured using azulejo ceramic tile. This year is no exception, in Saint Germain-en Laye, France. Indeed, the selected manufacturing process, using computer-aided parametric design with 3D stereolithographic printing, is even re-emphasized, as it was previously selected in 2015, when the awards ceremony took place in Paris, France.   

The 2018 European Inventors’ Award displays an intricate double layer latticework, which can only be computer-generated using computer-assisted parametric design, molded and produced with 3D stereolithographic processes. Whether the intricate latticework selected is reminiscent of Gustave Eiffel’s famous tower (as it was for the 2015 trophy), or inspired by the fractal wonders of nature (as it is in 2018), the sail trophy is also awarded each year, as a work of art. In 2018 specifically, the trophy was awarded as a work of art celebrating the computer, and especially computer-generated art, including the computer-driven 3D stereolithographic printing process.

The YouTube video included below shows some of the manufacturing process invoked in the production of the 2018 trophies.

Incidentally, the 3D-stereolithographic printing process, used to manufacture the trophies, was invented by Charles W. Hull, who was the recipient of a European Inventor’s Award in the non-EPO country category, in 2014, in Berlin, Germany.

European Inventors’Award – The 2017 Trophy
European Inventors’Award – The 2016 Trophy
Charles W. Hull - 3D Systems – Our Story
Miram Irle

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