The 2016 Hackathon
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
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.
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
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.