Imperial College London (ICL), who previously released a report on the importance of additive manufacturing within molecular sciences and engineering, has launched a summer hackathon program for college inventors.
The Summer of Hack, which officially commenced yesterday, will offer grants, competitions, and a variety of opportunities for the Imperial College Advanced Hackspace (ICAH) community that will help them create physical prototypes for their technological inventions.
ICL’s South Kensington and White City campuses will provide several hackspaces for the program, including The Invention Rooms – a bespoke workshop offering 3D printing technologies, woodwork equipment and a fully equipped bio-lab for prototype fabrication.
“Imperial College Advanced Hackspace is a hotbed of creativity and innovation, where hackers, inventors, and entrepreneurs from across all corners of the College come together to turn their ideas into a reality. This summer is the perfect opportunity to get involved,” said Professor Oscar Ces, Co-Director of the ICAH.
The ICAH community and summer-hack competitions
The ICAH community consists of over 2500 creators, hackers, inventors and entrepreneurs within ICL. Using the suite of manufacturing and prototyping equipment as well as professional experts, the ICAH has created a network of members that collaborate to turn their ideas into real life products.
One of the many events within the hackathon includes The Level Up! Competition. As the name suggests, this competition challenges participants to create original and innovative designs for installations, furniture, and exhibits that will be made for the opening breakout within the Invention Rooms.
The participants will work in teams with a budget of £1000 to fabricate their ideas using the Advanced Hackspace facilities and the winning entries will be installed for all to see within the new space.
The Summer of Hack will also provide Summer Boost Grants of up to £500 for staff and students who want to fully develop a prototype for their technological idea. This grant previously funded projects such as a low-cost neonatal incubator made from cardboard, a vaccine cooling, and delivery system, and a 3D printer for ceramics.
Breakthrough ideas from Imperial College London
An example of the innovations coming from the minds of ICL’s researchers is the unique 3D printing method involving cryogenics developed for replicating biological structures.
This new method, which was conceptualized earlier this year, aims to help with the human body’s tissue regeneration process and potentially replicate complex human organs with hydrogel-based cell scaffolds.
Additionally, another group of researchers at ICL have previously explored Electrochemical Additive Manufacturing (ECAM) processes as a low-cost alternative method for 3D printing copper objects.
The ICAH are inviting Hacker-in-Residence applications for the summer which is open to Imperial alumni. This program provides residents with opportunities to access ICAH workshops, facilities, and expertise.
The Summer of Hack concludes on the 29th of September.
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Featured image shows the White City Invention Rooms Design Studio. Image via Imperial College London.