Hack Week: Digital fabrication powered by Fab Lab Berlin

by Bastian Gerhard - 16 Dec 2014

Just in time for Hack Week #3, we have invested heavily into some really cool digital fabrication tools - 3D printers, smart wearable electronics, circuit boards and a lot more. Now we have organized several workgroups to learn to calibrate and operate our new toys. All of them are supported and guided the entire week by Fab Lab Berlin, a very geeky “maker” laboratory close to Zalando's Tech hub here in Berlin.

After conducting initial workshops at Fab Lab, the teams relocated back to BMO where they can find all necessary tools, machinery and technical guidance to build first prototypes with their newly acquired skills.

3D Printing

Based on 3D scans of their feet, our colleagues are designing and printing shoes using state-of-the-art 3D printing technology. Professional shoe product managers from zLabels, Zalando's fashion subsidiary, and colleagues from our Technology department experiment together in a multidisciplinary setting and learn all the basics from scratch.

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Smart Wearables

Another team turns a regular glove from our shop into a functional, interactive controller device. It could be used in virtual-reality environments to provide tactile feedback - for example to control a video game or move around in a virtual fashion store. The goal here is to learn more about electrical engineering, soldering as well as the programmable smart wearable electronics platforms that make this all happen, i.e. Ardunio LilyPad and Adafruit FLORA.

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Laser Cutting

This project team designs fashion accessories, giveaways and small gimmicks from acrylic glass and other plastic materials. The prototypes will be cut using a carbon dioxide laser (Epilog Zing 6030). The goal is to produce tangible Zalando merchandise that could be given to staff and customers.

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