Our funded two year project ecoMaker comes with many exciting tasks. The two three day Hackathons with students from Wilma-Rudolph-Oberschule and Georg-Schlesinger-Schule were definitely some of them.
For both Hackathons we invited students to Fab Lab Berlin to design and build sustainable products. In preparation for the Hackathon our colleagues and project partners from TU Berlin introduced the topic of sustainability to the students via an ecoDesign Sprint and also gave an introduction course in CAD software to enable all students to design their products and prototypes.
The first Hackathon took place from April 23 to April 25 with students from Wilma-Rudolph-Oberschule. The products developed during this session included a recycled Shisha with 3D printed adaptable spare parts and a bathroom tissue holder from recycled materials. The students had access to all Fab Lab machines to work on their products and took great advantage of the facilities. From the lathe, to the 3D printers, the CNC machine and our laser cutters all of the machines were used and there was great fascination among the students to get to use digital fabrication tools for the first time.
Similarly there was a great amount of excitement among the students from Georg-Schlesinger-Schule during our second Hackathon from June 18 to June 20. Again, first the students were introduced to the possibilities at Fab Lab Berlin and went through an ecoDesign Sprint developed by TU Berlin. Then students formed groups to start working on their projects. While some students had already experience with CAD design, electronics and various hand tools others were using these tools for the very first time. Hence it was great to see how various groups interacted and supported each other with complementing skill sets. Projects from this hackathon included a massage roll from recycled construction materials and a speaker assembly from spare parts combined with a CNC custom housing.
Overall, despite some room for improvement, both Hackathons were a great success. We surely take it as a great compliment that students decided to skip the schools rugby tournament to keep working on their ecoMaker projects;-)
Our next round of Hackathons for students are scheduled for next year.
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The Textile Prototyping Lab (TPL) is Germany's first openly accesible laboratory for prototyping future-relevant textile products.