Over the last few years, hackathons have been rapidly growing in popularity, giving the maker community around the world ample opportunities to tinker with multiple technologies, such as computers, augmented and virtual reality, and 3D printing and design. Most hackathons typically have a challenge or two included, so participants can race to the finish line with their own hacking inventions.
Imperial College London, which has plenty of experience with 3D printing in the medical field, knows that hacking communities are important for inventions to bloom. For example, the College’s campus in South Kensington is home to several hackspaces, and Imperial even opened a bespoke workshop last year at The Invention Rooms in White City. This workshop – one of the largest of its kind in the world – offers state-of-the-art 3D printing, electronics, metalwork, and woodwork equipment, in addition to a fully equipped bio-lab.
Imperial has a unique community called the Imperial College Advanced Hackspace (ICAH), which is made up of over 2,500 entrepreneurs, inventors, and makers from across the College. Growing by 100 users each month, ICAH gives its community members free access to a network of other members, as well as specialist manufacturing equipment and training, so they can succeed in turning their ideas into viable prototypes and solutions.
Last week, ICAH announced that it is holding its own type of hackathon this summer.
Starting on July 3rd, and running through September 29th, the summer-long My Summer of Hack program will consist of multiple activities for hackers, innovators, and makers from the College.
“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,” said Professor Oscar Ces, the Co-Director of ICAH. “This summer is the perfect opportunity to get involved.”
My Summer of Hack includes all sorts of excellent options for the community, like a new competition, grants, and some hacker-in-residence opportunities, that will help them make their great ideas a reality.
First up in My Summer of Hack, the Level Up! hackathon competition challenges participants to develop innovative new exhibits, furniture, and installations, the winners of which will be installed in a new breakout office space above the Advanced Hackspace at the Invention Rooms that will open soon. The theme of the competition is “Moving up Levels,” from classic video games to dream inventions, and entries for the exhibit are encouraged to be interactive, though it’s not required.
Teams that make the cut will receive a consumable budget of up to £1,000 to use the Hackspace’s facilities in order to create their ideas, and in addition to having their work installed, the winners will also receive a cash prize: £300 for third place, £750 for second, and £1,500 for first.
The My Summer of Hack program will also include Summer Boost Grants from ICAH of up to £500. The grants will be awarded to staff and students who want to develop an idea for the program over the summer. In the past, these boost grants have funded multiple innovative projects, like a 3D ceramics printer, an inexpensive neonatal incubator made from cardboard, and a vaccine cooling and delivery system.
In addition, ICAH is also accepting summer applications for its Hacker-in-Residence program, which is only open to Imperial alumni. This program gives users opportunities to use the facilities and workshops of the ICAH, along with taking advantage of the expertise of other members.
The kick-off for the hackathon competition, and My Summer of Hack, will take place at 6:30 PM on July 3rd at the Invention Rooms, and begin with a networking event.
Discuss this hackathon program and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.[Source/Images: Imperial College London]