Fab City Hamburg presents winners of product ideas contest

22 June 2022
Winners of "Maker Challenge" include wastewater heat exchangers and stair-climbing wheelchairs

Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics, honoured Friday (June 17, 2022) the winners of Fab City's Maker Challenge. The contest had sought ideas for products with social or ecological benefit and that can be manufactured in a Fab Lab. The winners include bend lighting for bicycles, smart dustbins and a wheelchair that can climb stairs. A Fab Lab is essentially an open workshop with devices such as 3D printers and laser cutters. Hamburg joined the global Fab City network in 2019 to boost digital production technologies and to encourage manufacturing companies to settle in the city. 

20 ideas honoured 

"The Fab Lab offers great opportunities for turning around the products of tomorrow. Everyone can become an inventor and help shape things creatively. The ideas submitted by the contestants in the Maker Challenge are impressive," "Westhagemann remarked. The winners had previously been selected by a jury vote and during a public voting phase in which almost 30,000 votes were submitted. The winners secured one of 20 places for the prototyping phase. Special prizes went to outstanding ideas. Martin Peters, for instance, scooped the "Innovation Award" for a wastewater heat exchanger designed to recycle residual heat and save energy. Alireza Abbasimoshaei won the "Social Innovation Award" for an inexpensive and simple wheelchair that can be used to climb stairs.

Ideas to become real products

Dr. Tobias Redlich of Helmut Schmidt University and Chair of Fab City Hamburg e. V., stressed: "A digital infrastructure for local production needs products that can be built, further developed and sold. We are optimistic that the Maker Challenge allows us to lay the initial foundation of sample products." The winning ideas will be turned into real products when the prototyping phase begins in autumn at the Fab Lab. The prototypes are due to go on show at the Maker Expo in March 2023 in Hamburg.

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