Mar 25, 2016 | By Benedict

Wevolver, a webplatform for sharing and collaborating on open hardware projects, has won the "3-DIY" Interactive Innovation Award at the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. Since its inception, Wevolver has helped to bring a number of 3D printing and 3D scanning projects to life.

When building a piece of technology, two heads can be better than one. For Wevolver, a hundred heads can potentially be better than one. The London, UK-based startup is on a mission to connect aspiring technology designers so that they might pool their expertise and resources to create the best open source hardware on the web. Determined to encourage “greater innovation through collaboration”, Wevolver allows users to explore, post, and contribute to collaborative open source hardware projects.

Wevolver is held in high regard by many members of the 3D printing community, having been at the center of several exciting 3D printing projects. Retr3d, for example, is a project dedicated to designing RepRap 3D printers that can be built from e-waste, making them extremely affordable and suitable for construction in developing countries. 3D printing favorites Ultimaker have also been involved with Wevolver, contributing the Ultimaker Original to the site two years ago. Need a gigantic 3D print? Open Gigabot is a concept 3D printer with fully open source hardware and software and a massive 24 x 24 x 20 inch build volume, currently receiving regular contributions and upgrades from Wevolver users, while the site also features a 3D laser scanner which can be built for less than $30.

Open Gigabot 3D printer

The hardware collaboration platform isn’t just bringing together 3D printer manufacturers. It is also helping designers to make incredible 3D printed creations, such as these fully functional Hovalin 3D printed violins. Thanks to the efforts of a large group of designers, makers can build their own 3D printed violin, designed in Autodesk 360, for just $70. For those who would rather hear bleeps and bloops than Beethoven’s Kreutzer sonata, Wevolver also hosts the 3D printable InMoov Robot project. Initially designed by Gael Langevin, the human-sized robot can be built on any home 3D printer with a build area at least 12 x 12 x 12 cm. Although that 3D printed robot has met Prince Andrew, other (smaller) 3D printed bots such as the PLEN2 demonstrate equally impressive feats of engineering.

Hovalin 3D printed violin

3D printed InMoov robot

After a long day of DIY hardware assembly, there’s nothing quite like sitting on a 3D printed Gaudi Stool, the result of an ambitious and thoughtful project which aims to channel the architectural techniques of Barcelona icon Antoní Gaudi into effective, lightweight furniture design. However, the Wevolver platform also caters for more childlike tastes in lounge decor, as can be seen in these fun 3D printed bits&parts chairs featuring a “puzzle piece” design. When sat in one’s 3D printed chair of choice, one can even gaze through the 3D printed Ultrascope telescope or fly this 3D printed quadcopter.

Given its contributions to the 3D printing community and the tech world at large, it seems fitting that Wevolver was recognized at SXSW Interactive, where the startup scooped the “3-DIY” Interactive Innovation Award, “[a]warded for making 3D printing technology more accessible or affordable, or to the Maker using such technology in new and exciting ways”. SXSW Interactive is the technology arm of the immensely popular SXSW (South by Southwest) festival which has been taking place in Austin, Texas, every year since 1987. The festival is also widely known for its live music acts and film screenings.

"Getting this award at SXSW as a young startup is fantastic, especially for the open hardware movement,” said Richard Hulskes, co-founder of Wevolver. “This movement, where project creators share all the knowledge and files from their hardware project openly, is a relatively young movement. The fact that SXSW recognizes this is very important because it brings open hardware to the attention of a large audience. This and the fact that people have easy access to the knowledge and tools, such as 3D printers, will make people realize that they can make a lot of technology themselves.”

exiii-HACKberry 3D printed prosthesis

The SXSW award is not the first that Wevolver has received. In 2015, the British startup won the "Health and Wellbeing" Accenture Innovation Award for its role in making advanced DIY prosthetics more accessible to patients, thanks to its role in developing the exiii-HACKberry 3D printed electric prosthetic arm and e-NABLE’s 3D printed Cyborg Beast prosthetic hand. The open source platform has also been used to develop other 3D printed medical devices, such as Openpump, a syringe pump that dispenses fluids over a set period of time.

Wevolver co-founders Hulskes and Bram Geenen are currently taking a 7-week tour across the U.S. to meet the designers and builders behind some of Wevolver’s most popular projects.

 

 

Posted in 3D Design

 

 

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