Polymer Prototyping

Ghent Event

Over two days during Autumn 2014, Redfront took college students from the South West UK to participate in the grand finale of the international Mega Brainstorm event in Ghent, Belgium. Competing (and collaborating) with university teams from all over northern Europe, the students developed ideas, prototypes and business models in response to a challenge from global plastics company, Recticel.

This project built upon Redfront’s previous work with students, helping them develop collaboration and prototyping skills. The students themselves were from business and creative courses but had never participated in an event on this scale.

Challenge teams came up with rough ideas for an innovative material that Recticel had invented. This new polymer, with some unique shape-memory properties, was already being used by the company in some initial products. But the material’s real potential had yet to be realised and so they set a challenge for the students: help them identify new products and applications for the material. This was the starting point.

Despite considerable competition from the university enterprise groups our students managed to take third place with a customisable gaming controller. Overall, the application of service prototyping methods to product prototyping proved to be a useful development route for the group. We look forward to participating in future events.

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