Mechanical Engineering professor finalist in international 3D printing competition  

The research of a mechanical engineering professor, Mostafa Yourdkhani, is a finalist for an international additive manufacturing award along with a 3-D printer that prints chocolate and the Oscar-winning work of Wakanda Forever’s costume designer.

The 3D Pioneers Challenge is a prestigious competition among those in the additive manufacturing and advanced technology spheres. Each year since 2015, the competition has honored innovators from all over the world who think outside of the box to work toward a more sustainable future.

This year 3D Pioneers Challenge received hundreds of entries spanning 29 countries which were boiled down to 43 competitors. Finalists include a diverse range of projects from the fashion and sports industry, biomedical devices, and commerce. Yourdkhani, an assistant professor, is one of only two finalists from a U.S. university.

Yourdkhani’s freeform carbon fiber composite research eliminates the need for molds and support materials, making manufacturing more cost effective and energy efficient for everything from airplane panels to wind turbines. He also launched his company, Curable Composites, based on the technology with the help of CSU STRATA, the technology transfer arm of CSU, in Fall 2022.

Group portrait of Yourdkhani with his research group, standing in front of a sandstone building with lettering reading "Suzanne and Walter Scott, Jr. Bioengineering Building"
Mostafa Yourdkhani (far left, front row) and some of the current students in his research group. Carter Dojan, a Ph.D. student the School of Advanced Materials Discovery (back row, second from left), and Morteza Ziaee, a mechanical engineering Ph.D. student (not pictured), are coauthors on the carbon fiber 3D printing research selected for the competition.

“We have developed novel techniques to digitally manufacture carbon fiber composites at a fraction of time and cost compared to state-of-the-art methods, which substantially reduces the manufacturing energy and carbon footprint. We are excited to further expand our capabilities and become a leader in this field,” said Yourdkhani.

A panel of 32 juries from industry, science, and politics will judge finalist’s projects. Winners will be announced during a three-day additive manufacturing convention in Germany at the beginning of May.

“To be recognized by international experts in the additive manufacturing field is both exciting and motivating. Our research group is honored to have been selected as one of the finalists for the 3D Pioneers Challenge,” said Yourdkhani.