Fridays for Future goes 3D

At this year’s Siemens Engineering Summer Camp, 25 teenager created creative “tiny houses” using the Solid Edge software and produced the first prototypes with a 3D printer.  

There are more than enough problems on this planet – so it’s no wonder that the generation Fridays for Future is proclaiming them loud and clear. Many young people want to actively make a change, and 25 of them took a big step by attending this year’s Siemens Engineering Summer Camp.


This year’s challenge: To develop ideas for creative “tiny houses” by first drafting sketches and then digitally designing and optimizing their solutions using the Solid Edge CAD software. Students have access to Solid Edge Student Edition software – a free version of the same easy-to-use software suite used by professionals. The young people were supported by experts from the AM Design Lab, Siemens Industry Software (SISW), and Siemens Professional Education (SPE)

Recycling flip-flops with 3D printing

There were no limits placed on the attendees’ creativity, and the spectrum of projects included space labs, mobile vegetable patches that use soda lime filters, a small folding house for child daycare centers that can be ordered via an app, recycling containers for plastic waste from the ocean, and small employee apartments installed right on the office façade that offer a very short walk to the workplace. 

Learning fast: CAD and 3D printing

For many of the young participants, the camp was the perfect setting to get familiar with CAD and 3D printing, and they also quickly learned how to use the Solid Edge software. “The time constraints on the individual steps, from generating innovative ideas to realizing them in practice, were the greatest challenge” explains Tutor Niclas Holz, former German Champion at the “Formula 1 at School” mini-racing car competition. So it comes as no surprise that the participants engaged in in-depth and sometimes controversial discussions about the concept, implementation, and presentation of their tiny houses. In some cases, a consensus was only reached at the very last moment.


The models created on the 3D printer were presented to the attendees’ parents and a Siemens delegation headed by Managing Board Member Cedrik Neike and Urban August, CEO of Siemens Industry Software GmbH, on the last day of the camp.

I’m truly impressed with what the camp participants achieved in just five days.
Cedrik Neike, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG and CEO Smart Infrastructure

A big “hello” from Fridays for Future

“I’m truly impressed with what the camp participants achieved in just five days,” Neike enthused on-site and also on Twitter. Environmental and climate protection resonated in all the projects – in accordance with Fridays for Future. It wasn’t easy for those present at the ceremony to decide which project was the best. Ultimately, the award went to the “FLIPBOX.” The winning team invented a recycling container that can be installed on the beach to collect plastics from the ocean, recycle them, and then produce custom-made flip flops on a 3D printer. 

August 2019