The winner of the PROTO Challenge 2023 is the team from the University of Trento that worked on the GPALMEC project, which was considered by a jury of experts to be the most innovative and best-developed of five.
The challenge set by the Rovereto-based company, which deals with technology in the service of industrial automation, consisted in redesigning the hydraulic system of a tracked agricultural machine to increase its performance. The 7 students from the Department of Industrial Engineering succeeded by applying topological optimisation to a set of hydraulic blocks used for its movement.
Accompanying the participants during their 10 weeks of work was mentor Gianluca Berti, a specialised technician from ProM Facility, the prototyping and 3D printing laboratory of Polo Meccatronica, who will now provide GPALMEC with his skills and technology to prototype the solution designed for the challenge.
PROTO Challenge 2023
The PROTO Challenge is an open innovation project of the Trentino Innovation Hub Foundation (HIT) created to foster dialogue between companies, the world of research and young engineering talents through open and participatory innovation.
The rules of the game
The 33 students who took part in this year's challenge come from the Universities of Trento and Bolzano and attend the Master's degree courses in Mechatronics Engineering and Materials Engineering. They were divided into five teams, which worked for two and a half months on optimising the performance of industrial products and components proposed by companies. In this work, they were supported by researchers and experts in the field of additive manufacturing from ProM Facility, NOI Techpark and the two universities.
The members of the winning team were awarded 3D mice, working tools that make it easier to handle the complexity of three-dimensional digital design.