Print Page | Sign In | Join
Design Competition: For Students
Share |


  Follow the Student Design Competition on Facebook!

All entries are due no later than April 2, 2018!

Aluminum extrusions are all around home in windows, doors, railings, appliances...on the road, on the water and in the work or the gym, the playground, the stadium, the supermarket, the doctor's office. Every day we come in contact with a myriad of products made better by aluminum extrusions.

Instructors: AEC can help teach your students about aluminum extrusions. Go to "Academic Resources" to learn more.

Learn more about how to design using aluminum extrusion below.

The 2018 International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition: Student Class

Students have a unique way of looking at the world, which makes them well-qualified to offer innovative solutions to design challenges. Think beyond the ordinary to come up with new and resourceful uses for extruded aluminum!

Winning designs in the Student Class are presented with scholarships for First, Second and Third Place. A scholarship for special Sustainable Design Category is also available.


First Place
Second Place   $2,000
Third Place   $1,000
Bonnell Aluminum Sustainable Design Challenge

Download the brochure for information and how to enter.

All entries must be submitted no later than April 2, 2018.


Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition Tips

  • Must currently be enrolled as a student in high school, college/university, technical school, or graduate school to be eligible.
  • It is highly recommended to include a 3-D printed prototype of your component design.
  • Your extrusion design must fit within no larger than a 10-inch circle size to be considered for an award.
  • Provide as much support material as possible to illustrate the design, its utility and practicality (i.e., art boards, images – jpeg preferred, drawings, full and complete explanation of how your entry meets the four judging criteria).
  • Proper grammar and spelling is a must!


Competition Rules & Judging Criteria

Designs must be original and make use of at least one extruded aluminum component. Multiple entries may be accepted. If any category yields no entries deemed by the judges to adequately address the competition’s criteria, a prize will not be awarded in that category.

Winning entries will be those that best demonstrate the benefits of aluminum extrusions – whether by inventing a new product or improving an existing one – by achieving the following objectives:

Innovative design, new application capability, methods to meet a new design challenge.

Ease of fabrication and assembly, cost-effectiveness, use of extruded aluminum over other materials or processes.

Product/Process Advantage
Product/Process improvement: customization or improvement of extrusion processes, close tolerances, takes full advantage of extrusion capabilities to improve a product.

Market Impact/Potential
Design/product marketability and likelihood of market success. A panel of professionals from the aluminum extrusion industry, academia, and/or the trade press will judge the competition in spring 2018.

For complete rules and criteria, visit

Bonnell Aluminum Sustainable Design Challenge

Humanitarian and environmental disasters and people with physical disabilities often inspire savvy designers and inventors with ideas to develop solutions to these challenges – and aluminum extrusions offer the perfect sustainable material.

The Bonnell Aluminum Sustainable Design Challenge accepts entries that, in addition to the four basic ET Foundation Design Competition criteria, best addresses societal and/or environmental challenges or concerns.

  • The entry must be a viable extrusion-based product that meets the demands of the environment while contributing to the quality of life for its intended users.
  • Interested students should indicate they are seeking consideration for the Sustainable Design Award on the Student Design Competition Entry Form.
  • Explain in the written brief, how their entry meets the criteria
  • Examples of entries for the Sustainable Design Challenge Category include:
    • A refugee tent
    • Water purifier
    • A hydroponic gardening system
    • Assisstive device for individuals with physical limitations

The student winner of the Bonnell Aluminum Sustainable Design Challenge will win a cash scholarship in the amount of $2,500.

>> View past winning entries


How to Enter the Competition

To enter the 2018 Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition, please download the brochure here!

All entries must be submitted prior to April 2, 2018!

2017 Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition Winners

Winners in the 2017 International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition have been announced. View the winning designs here.


Academic Resources

Learn more about designing with aluminum extrusions


An educational presentation is available for instructors and students to learn more about aluminum extrusion. The PDF presentation is a primer on the advantages of aluminum and aluminum extrusion, as well as a good resource for some aluminum extrusion design tips (hint: it's not effective to simply transfer your steel design to aluminum extrusion).

Use this presentation to educate yourself about the extrusion process and how to improve your Design Competition entry.

This classroom presentation was specifically created to help instructors and students understand the many advantages that designing with aluminum extrusions offers.

Download the newly updated presentation Designing to the Limits of Your Imagination!

(File size: 7 MB)

Instructors: Incorporate the Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition into Your Curriculum

The Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition provides an excellent opportunity to teach your students design techniques while exposing them to the material advantages of aluminum and benefits of designing with extruded aluminum. Incorporating the Design Competition into your curriculum provides an excellent teaching opportunity while offering students a real-world experience in product design. And, the opportunity for students to earn scholarship money is always a strong motivator.

The competition is intended to enlighten students studying engineering, design, and architecture about the superior advantages of extruded aluminum profiles.

Aluminum's favorable strength-to-weight ratios, the flexibility of numerous alloys, and the unsurpassed advantages of the extrusion process, including the ability to design to close tolerances, make aluminum extrusion the material process of choice.For more information on the aluminum extrusion process, download the presentation above or visit the Aluminum Extruders Council's website at

Many members of the Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) conduct plant tours for instructors and their students from local learning institutions. If you are interested in finding an AEC-member extruder who will provide an educational tour of their facility, contact the ET Foundation at or AEC at

AEC on Campus

Check out AEC's Academic Outreach Program for Educators here.