Protolabs launches £20k ‘Hackathon Challenge’

Written by: Andrew Wade | Published:

Protolabs is set to announce a new £20,000 Hackathon Challenge to encourage the development of sustainable product design.

Designers and companies will be tasked to create a hand tool using Protolabs’ design analysis and manufacturability software, with entries judged on sustainability criteria and life-cycle analysis (LCA). Judges from Protolabs, Wevolver and the IET will also look at the potential market impact of the new hand tool and whether it responds to a current need, as well as how sustainability improvements could be achieved. The competition is one of the main events of the ‘InspirON’ series of talks and virtual seminars currently underway online for design engineers across Europe.

“If, as a society, we are going to hit our carbon reduction targets then designers have a massive role to play in creating more sustainable solutions to overcoming everyday problems,” said Bjoern Klaas, vice president and managing director of Protolabs, Europe.

“InspirON is delivering so much knowledge and expertise to hundreds of designers across Europe that we wanted to make sure it could be absorbed in a practical way that could also deliver new sustainable solutions to everyday issues.

“It will be really interesting to see how the different talks have impacted on participants and which areas of learning have resonated with how they see product design and development going forward.”

Entries, which can be made until 31st July, will be assessed by a panel of experts on how easy they are to manufacture as well as their LCA credentials. Further details of the competition are set to be announced as part of an InspirON webinar on Thursday May 13 at 12pm.

“The Hackathon Challenge is another way of making innovation and product development a reality, with winners being able to secure up to £20,000 in digital manufacturing services to bring their ideas to life,” said Klaas.

“All participants of the Hackathon Challenge will have access to the Protolabs design analysis and manufacturability software and our manufacturing capabilities in prototyping and low volume production will be available to the winner or winners.”

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