U.S Department of Energy: Solid State Lighting (SSL) – Additive Manufacturing for Optical Materials

  • Status: Closed
  • Prize: $3000
  • Entries Received: 3
  • Winner: mdeagen

Contest Brief

U.S Department of Energy: Solid State Lighting (SSL) – Additive Manufacturing for Optical Materials


*Prize eligibility limited to U.S. citizens and permanent residents*

*Full contest description attached below*

DOE will award prizes for up to three meaningful SSL manufacturing concepts of $3,000 for each winning submission.


Light emitting diode (LED) and organic light emitting diode (OLED) based solid state light (SSL) are revolutionizing the lighting industry. Not only is SSL much more efficient than conventional lighting technologies, the new levels of control by SSL enable improved lighting performance, can improve health and productivity, and can enable additional energy savings through more efficient delivery of light. The efficiency of SSL still has room to improve through scientific, integration, and manufacturing breakthroughs. More information on the status of cost and performance of SSL products can be found in the 2017 Department of Energy Solid State Lighting Research & Development Plan.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) invites submissions for new concepts in additive manufacturing/3D printing concepts of optical materials for SSL, including advanced reflective components for luminaires. New concepts could be developed for additive manufacturing of prototype or custom optical parts for luminaires, which could increase design flexibility, speed of developing prototypes or custom products, and decrease manufacturing parts inventory. Additive manufacturing could possibly develop the ability to create advanced shapes for refractive or reflective optics. Printed materials could be glass, optical plastic, or specular or diffuse reflective materials.


The submission must include:
A description of the concept, its proposed use, and justification for why the approach is advantageous compared to traditional manufacturing techniques or materials.
Submissions must include discussion of materials issues and how the additive materials can satisfy the lighting performance requirements in terms of optical performance while also being amenable to the additive manufacturing process.
Technical drawings and/or computer-aided design showing the specifications for the concept are encouraged.

The full submission should be less than 10 pages total and should specifically address all the criteria described below.

Evaluation Criteria

The submissions that meet eligibility criteria and are responsive to the request described in the contest description will then be scored on a scale of 0-100 points (one hundred being the highest) in the categories described below.

Innovation (35/100 points): The degree to which the proposed concept does not currently exist and/or meets an existing need where no other viable solutions are available.

Impact (35/100 points): The amount of impact a technology solution could have on meeting challenges, creating economic impact, providing new solutions to critical problems if it existed as an off-the-shelf capability.

Feasibility (30/100 points): The technical feasibility of the proposed concept as described by the applicant.

Next Steps

Winners may also be invited to attend the annual DOE SSL R&D Workshop to be held in Dallas, TX, January 29-31 and have their concept acknowledged by DOE and given the opportunity to present at a poster presentation. Additional, non-winning, but highly rated submissions may also be invited to present posters at the DOE SSL R&D Workshop as well. Registration fees may be waived for invited attendees to the Workshop. The Workshop is an excellent opportunity to connect the developers of innovative manufacturing concepts with industry researchers who can bring the concepts to practice.


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Public Clarification Board

  • nellisblanco
    • 3 months ago

    Hi, I worked on this project,
    my specialty is to design and optimize indutrial processes and frabrication, and with the conditions exposed, I am aware that I do not enter the contest, but will there be the possibility of presenting my proposal at the event?

    • 3 months ago
    1. alviolette
      • 3 months ago

      You need to be a permanent resident of the USA ...

      • 3 months ago
    2. DOEuser1
      Contest Holder
      • 2 months ago

      Good morning, Luis. To learn more about presenting at the DOE SSL R&D Workshop, please contact prizechallenges@ee.doe.gov.

      • 2 months ago

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