From idea to prototype in 30 hours

July 18, 2018

Print Solutions


Five young Optima talents developed a prototype in only 30 hours at the second Makeathon in Munich from June 21 to 22. The team, consisting of students, trainees and employees of Optima, designed a product separator with feeding system. Some 124 participants from eight countries participated in the competition themed ‘Make, create & have fun’.



During the Makeathon, international teams follow the development of a prototype. Three students from Munich and Landshut joined the Optima team. The team decided to develop an in-feed simulator. It was intended to replace the existing space consuming procedure. Divided into the groups of design, actuator/sensor technology and software, the young engineers developed solutions for problems arising in the process. They built the prototype from a limited selection of available materials and using 3D printed parts. The prototype includes: separating the products from a stack, checking the product spacing, adjusting the spacing and accelerating to machine speed.



Project presentations as well as a final project report accompanied the work phase. The event helped improve many of the participants’ skills: teamwork, quick decision making, international communication, working under time pressure and interdisciplinary skills. ‘The speed with which an idea is transformed into a functioning mechatronic concept is always inspiring,’ said Dr Georg Pfeifer. He congratulated the participants on the great idea and the excellent implementation in only 30 hours.


Technology enthusiastic teams from Optima regularly participate in the so called ‘Makeathons’. The neologism from ‘to make’ and ‘Marathon’ describes a collaborative software and hardware development competition within a specified time frame. The last time young talents from Optima Nonwovens participated in a Makeathon was in February – at the ‘Smart Green Island Makeathon’ in Gran Canaria. There they developed a camera based detection system for a screw sorter. 

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