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  • Holger Dielenberg

Space Tank Design Awards

At the end of last year Space Tank sponsored design awards worth more than $1,500 each to assistive technology provider Ryan Tilley for his wonderful work helping provide real solutions to people with physical challenges and RMIT and Swinburne design graduates Francesca Sykes and Adam Goodwin for their designs addressing manufacturing opportunities and the good old backyard party. The awards recognised outstanding achievements in design for each category and the winning students received a full time workshop pass at Space Tank to continue developing their concepts.

Space Tank will be giving out design awards at the end of every year in an effort to support emerging talent and help designers to commercialise their concepts. We see this as a valuable way to help break down the barriers that emerging designers face when entering the market especially as they can access not only Space Tank’s prototyping technology but they also get access to the community knowledge base and professional mentoring support that is available to all Tank members.

Read Australian Design Review’s feature article on Space Tank’s support of design graduates in November last year:

The recipients are now starting to roll up at the Tank to continue work on their concepts so here is a little expose of each winner and their concepts:

Ryan Tilley wins the GLOBAL IMPACT AWARD for his Universal Bottle Pourer

The Universal Bottle Pourer was created in 72 hours as part of an epic 15-person team at Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM) 2017 Makathon. It was designed for Mandy, a quadruple amputee to assist her in pouring liquids. Due to the rigid nature of her prosthetic hands, Mandy has difficulty gripping various shaped bottles and accurately pouring liquids.

By pressing a single button, the device is able to safely and efficiently pour a variety of beverages (milk, orange juice, wine) with a start/stop/reverse movement. The device is intended for universal use, and can be modified to suit individual needs, other users could include those with:

Muscle weakness, Rotation issues, Stroke, Motor neurone disease, Multiple sclerosis, Prosthetic limbs, Fatigue, Fractured arm/wrists/clavicle, Parkinsons, Arthritis, Limited fine motor skills, Cerebral Palsy, Intellectual Disability, Down Syndrome, Visually Impaired, Vascular disorders.

Ryan and his team will use Space Tank facilities to continue refining their design with the goal to achieve a commercially ready prototype that can be economically manufactured. The base functionality of this innovation is really quite simple and yet it has an enormous impact on peoples lives. The team hopes their solution can help many more people who have restricted limb function.

This project was also featured on Channel 10 ‘The Project’ and in the Herald Sun.

Ben Goodwin wins the MOST MAKER SPIRIT AWARD for the Plus Minus machine

The PlusMinus™ fuses subtractive (3D milling) and additive (3D printing) methodologies into an innovative integrated system that delivers significant workflow benefits. To achieve this level of productivity and accuracy, a unique build platform with built-in near-field communication (NFC) identification enables the build to be transferred precisely between the two processes. This novel approach offers a competitive edge over established subtractive and additive methods, for both bulk production and the new era of mass customisation.

PlusMinus™ mitigates the problems of time, quality, capital expenditure, reduces waste and shelf-stock, and decreases operating costs in terms of labour and space.

At Space Tank Ben will immediately refine the interchangeable platform from a 3D printed prototype to a more robust solution which will withstand the repeated testing required to get the system to flourish. The creation of a sturdier 3D printer should allow the additive process to be faster and more accurate. Access to the maker space and the collective brainpower of the community will hopefully expedite this.

Francesca Sykes wins the COMMERCIALLY READY AWARD for The Hostie

The Hostie outdoor trolley draws inspiration from Art Deco drinks trolleys and vintage food carts. Designed for small outdoor areas it provides a place to use and store a portable BBQ without compromising on style or functionality. The Host provides a serving space, a prep space or a cooking space, suitable for serving up champagne and oysters or cooking a barbeque feast. Current market trends show Australians are buying more portable BBQ’s than before, and home sizes are shrinking. The Hostie is a response to this trend, providing an elegant solution for design-minded people that love to dine and entertain outdoors.

The design incorporates a solid stone top, Accoya timber shelves and removable serving board, plus a custom spun and anodised aluminium ice bucket. All materials have been evaluated for outdoor use and are weather-resistant. Designed by Francesca Sykes in 2017 as in her graduate year at RMIT Furniture Design.

Francesca is utilising Space Tank workshops to finish final stages of prototyping for commercial release.

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