Makeathon large format 3D printing

Hans Weber Maschinenfabrik GmbH ran a two-week long Makeathon in cooperation with Creapolis, a project of Coburg university, involving students from Coburg university and interested members of the public. The purpose of the ideas competition was to find new product ideas and concepts for Weber’s new 3D printers. Seven students from courses in Integrated Product Design, Mechanical Engineering, Automation Technology and Robotics as well as one interested participant from outside of the university submitted their ideas. Hans Weber established its Additive Manufacturing division at the start of January 2019 and has been developing and producing industrial systems for additive manufacturing by extrusion of granular compound ever since.

Participants were able to enter the ideas competition on their own or in teams. They received assistance in the form of intensive discussions with technical contacts at Hans Weber Maschinenfabrik, as well as through on-site visits to the Development department. In this way participants received help and support in the implementation of technically feasible ideas whilst gaining a fascinating insight into the company. Following the two-week brainstorming and design phase, there was a final presentation at Weber’s premises, where the participants had the opportunity to present their concepts and product ideas. Prizes were awarded to the best three ideas by Hans Weber Maschinenfabrik. A huge range of applications were represented, ranging from everyday objects to functional parts for industry, including a horn loudspeaker, a bumper and E-scooters.

“We entered the Makeathon because we’re interested in innovation. We relished the opportunity of inventing something together. We particularly enjoyed collaborating in an interdisciplinary way,” explained the winning team. Aspiring automation technician Markus Dinkel and application developer Josef Slezak took first place with their 3D printed horn loud speaker. 

Manuel Kolb, initiator of the campaign and Business Director of the Additive Manufacturing division at Weber is delighted with the positive feedback from the participants and the good ideas. “The campaign was a huge success for Hans Weber in any case. We were amazed at the professionalism demonstrated and the development of ideas and concepts - especially given the short timeframe.”

The contact with CREAPOLIS, the innovation and networking platform of Coburg university, came about through the IZK (Innovations-Zentrum Region Kronach e.V.). “It is our job to intensify knowledge transfer between the university and companies in the region – especially via innovative forms of cooperation such as the Makeathon with Hans Weber Maschinenfabrik GmbH,” explains Verena Blume, Project Manager at CREAPOLIS. Hendrik Montag-Schwappacher is also excited by the results. “I believe this format is a successful model and am convinced that it can be useful, in particular to smaller companies here in the region.”

So what next for the entrants’ ideas? They will be printed this year by Weber on large format 3D printers. “And we’ll definitely be staying in touch with the participants,” reveals Manuel Kolb.