Last November 22nd, 2017, the official opening ceremony of the “HONDA MEETS FABLAB” contest took place in the Cenacle Hall of the Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo Da Vinci. Presented by Davide Sher (3D Printing Business Media), the event was held from 2 p.m to 5.30, in a series of live webinar talks, which gave the active European Fablabs a chance to participate directly. 3D Printing Business Media was the official media partners for this unique and groundbreaking initiative.
The initiative aims at connecting the world of European digital manufacturing laboratories and the world of research and development of HONDA. The representatives of the contest developer – Honda R&D Europe Italy – were also present: Daniela Tempesta, Antonio Arcadu, Luca Caruso. Honda R & D Europe Italy its research and development projects within the big HONDA family, and how the idea of such a contest for the Fablab was born: As a matter of fact, Honda’s R&D has a strong Maker-Soul with the desire to experiment. In a co-design contest, the Fablabs are therefore the natural interlocutors.
Other important contributions followed, such as the one from Lorenzo Negri, Tutor Fabacademy, who spoke on behalf of the European Fablabs, and the one from of Annibale D’Elia, Urban Policy Specialist and spokesperson and observer of the Milan City Council. Other guests included Sandra Gnos and Matteo Crocetti of Autodesk, Sara Bonomi of Formlabs, Alessandro Papaleo of 3DiTALY and Luca Valentino Colmi of DamA , who contributed to the discussion on the delicate relationship between Open Innovation, the maker world and the market for the production of goods.
Subsequently, the explanation of the contest itself came to life. Objectives, operation, timeline. The aim of the contest is to create a smart device that can improve driving conditions and generally the HONDA motorcycle user experience. The concept should, therefore, facilitate interaction between man and machine through ease of use, ability to connect and share information. The device will also enable the customization of some features or aesthetic parts of the vehicle, making it unique.
The system selected as contest winner will then need to be installed on a HONDA test engine to test its real functionality. The representatives of the host companies gave their opinion on the subject of the contest. DamA has stressed to the aspiring participants the importance of teamwork, where each team member has a very precise role, just like in an industrial department. 3DiTALY has focused on the need to carry out feasibility studies during work, needed to move from a good idea to a concrete project. For this purpose, Autodesk will provide support to the Fablab competitions with free training webinars open to participants.
The winner of the contest will receive everything that is needed to produce the device: a prize of €8,000 and a Formlabs Form2, the best 3D SLA desktop printer currently on the market in terms of price to quality ratio, complete with various resin kits: flexible, high temperature resistant , long-lasting, solid for mechanical effort. Annibale D’Elia and David Sher closed the discussion focusing on the innovative scope of the contest; that aims at creating a laboratory based on the synergy generated by the company-urban labs’ relationship, a model where each and every citizen can enter the nearest and active Fablab in its area and become an active cell.
The Fablab, in turn, co-participates in the production process of a company. The company’s final product delivered back to the citizen thus becomes a “prosumer” and no longer a mass product. This process generates virtuous circle, with an organic production network taking the place of the old hierarchical pyramid. Last but not least the debate ended with the open question session of the Fablabs, which thus provide the developers with specific requests. HONDA R & D Europe Italy closed the event with the official launch of the contest and the invitation to the Fablab to take part.