The 2016 Hackathon

Feb. 16, 2016 in News

In 48 hours, a rock climbing wall, an arcade machine, and a breakfast robot appeared in the Formlabs office. These were just a few of the projects in the company’s first Hackathon, a 2-day event in January when employees could make anything.

A few weeks before the event, Formlings (Formlabs employees) submitted proposals. Some ideas were wild: one group wanted to build a pneumatic tube between the office’s three floors for sending “sandwiches, beers, kittens, and mysteries.” Another proposed to rig the Form 2 to cook breakfast food, frying eggs on the print platform and boiling oatmeal in the resin tray. A handful of ideas were approved (including the breakfast food one), and teams formed. Here are just a few of the projects that teams created during the 48-hour making spree.

Rock Climbing Wall

Rock Climbing Wall 1

Rock Climbing Wall Detail
Some of the holds were printed with the Form 2 in Tough Resin.

Team Rocklabs constructed a huge rock climbing wall on the office’s third floor. Their main components were large pieces of plywood, holds, and paint. Some of the holds were printed on the Form 2 with Tough Resin. The team adapted the design for different experience levels, building the left side for novices and the right for advanced climbers. They even added a picture of a mountain range on the adjacent wall. The rock climbing wall is a mainstay in the office, encouraging Formlings to enjoy the occasional climbing break.

Arcade Machine

Arcade game with people

Arcade game over the shoulder
Inside the cabinet, the electronic components consist primarily of a Windows PC and an emulator.

Team Arcadia built an oversized arcade machine. The team constructed a seamless, professional-looking black cabinet to hold the electronic components, which primarily consist of a Windows PC running an emulator. The cabinet includes fully functional buttons and joysticks to replicate the design of a classic arcade machine. The Formlabs arcade machine remains in the office lunch area, inciting friendly rivalries during breaks and the office’s many social events.

Form 2 Mini

Mini Form 2 gif
Each Form 2 Mini connects to a Form 2 printer via WiFi and changes color based on the printer's status.

Team FormTotem created pocket-sized Form 2s that show a printer's status. The inside electronics use the Form 2 Dashboard API to get the current status of a printer and display it with LEDs. The light changes color depending on if the printer is idle, currently printing, or finished printing. The team printed the exterior with the Form 2 and filled the inside with the electronic components. They designed the lid to open and close hands-free. The team topped off their design with a mini speaker that plays a victory song when a print is complete.

It's not every day that you get to imagine and build fun, elaborate projects with your coworkers. But then again, Formlabs is not your typical workplace.

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