BigRep Innovation Award

What sort of chair will change the way the world thinks about seating? New technologies make for exciting opportunities to revolutionize furniture + design.

BigRep and NOVACAD Systems are thrilled to launch the BigRep Innovation Award, and invite post-secondary students from across Canada to develop designs that will shift the way we manufacture furniture in the future.

If you’re a student enrolled in a Canadian program for design, engineering, architecture or another related field, we want to see your vision for an innovative 3D printed chair.

It’s your chance to explore the possibilities of FDM (fused deposition modeling) to create a chair that could only be brought to life using a 3D printer. Play with form, geometry, shape, materials and color – show us your talent for fusing aesthetics and function!

Get yourself a seat at the future table, by designing it yourself.

We’re excited to see the fruits of your creativity!


FURNISHING THE FUTURE is open to any certificate, undergraduate or graduate student (university, college or private institution) currently enrolled in a design, architecture or engineering program in Canada.

The competition will award to a winner selected via a combination of online voting and expert jury, which includes:

  • a $3000 cash prize;
  •  fully printed and finished scale model of the winning design (additional models assigned to BigRep and NOVACAD for display/marketing purposes)
  • return airfares to Halifax for the designer/one (1) representative of the design team to receive the award.

Winners will be announced on March 5, 2018.

The final model will be shipped to the winners’ location.


  • Designer MUST be a currently registered student in an accredited Canadian design/engineering/architecture course;
  • Entrants must provide an original chair design (design ideation MUST be supplied);
  • Chair to be designed for production on the BigRep ONE large-scale 3D printer to incorporate primary construction materials from BigRep’s range of filaments. Other materials can be used to finish the chair but will be juried based on how they enhance the overall design;
  • Single printed parts cannot exceed 1000 mm X 1000mm X 1000mm;
  • Chair should be aesthetically innovative, while maximizing human comfort;
  • Winning designs will be produced by BigRep GmbH and shipped to the winner’s primary address;
  • BigRep GmbH and NOVACAD Systems Inc. reserve the right to produce an additional three (3) copies (additional chairs may be considered in consultation with the designer) and to use images/media from the competition for display/promotional/social media purposes.

Design submissions will be juried based on ergonomics, structural mechanics, and overall aesthetic design, in combination with results from an open online vote.


BigRep GmbH and NOVACAD Systems Inc. are committed to supporting the next generation of designers and engineers to integrate the full potential of advanced manufacture technologies into common practice. Organizers have included a small syllabus of documents in the FAQs section to assist designers/teams in relation to large-scale 3D printing, materials, ergonomics etc.

These resources have been created to assist students with their entry submissions, which must include a Design Brief consisting of a few short paragraphs (150 words) explaining the design process from inspiration through final design, and a Technical Brief (200 words) that explains the chair’s ergonomics and structural mechanics (including information on proposed finishing requirements).

Yes, you certainly may indicate other materials, such as wood, metal or fabric to complement your 3D printed design.

Unfortunately the BigRep Innovation Award is only open to students who are enrolled in a Canadian post-secondary institution. The winning entrant will be required to provide proof of enrolment in order to claim their prize.

Your design may be comprised of multiple pieces. Although designs that creatively utilize the benefits of 3D printing technology for innovative geometries are favorable.

You retain all rights to your original design. The Organizers do not claim rights over any designs submitted as part of the BigRep Innovation Award contest. Entrants accept that if their design is selected as the winning entry, three iterations of their designs will be printed / manufactured. Videos and photographs of this design may be used for marketing and promotional activities by BigRep GmbH.

As long as your design did not win the prize in the other design contest, and does not violate the terms and conditions of that contest or the BigRep Innovation Award, then it should be ok. Please ensure you submit an original design of your own making, and does not violate any copyright or intellectual property laws.

There is no entry fee, however entrants are expected to cover internet connection fees and any other costs associated with their submissions.

Yes. If you can fulfil all Award submission criteria, including creation of the requisite STL/STEP design file, you may enter the BigRep Innovation Award.

Have you got another question about entry submission?

Email us here: [email protected]


Amir Fattal
BigRep GmbH

Gregor Ash
NOVACAD Systems Inc

Lindsay Lawson
BigRep GmbH

Brian Lilley, Dalhousie School of Architecture