RS Components and Allied Electronics: Inventors Reveal World-Changing Prototypes from 48-Hour 3D Design Challenge

  RS Components and Allied Electronics: Inventors Reveal World-Changing
  Prototypes from 48-Hour 3D Design Challenge

  *Prototype products for water conservation, water filtration, energy
    generation, and bike security hot off the 3D printer in under three days
  *Online voting for most popular design opens today for one week
  *Legacy of DesignSpark Mechanical challenge to highlight free accessibility
    of 3D design and encourage everyone to start inventing

Business Wire

MANCHESTER, England -- September 20, 2013

Time is up for the participants of the DesignSpark Mechanical Challenge, the
3D prototyping challenge organized by RS Components (RS) and Allied
Electronics (Allied) the trading brands of Electrocomponents plc (LSE:ECM),
the world’s leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance

For the past 48 hours, four teams of inventors and top engineers from across
the UK and beyond have been immersed in creativity at the Museum of Science
and Industry in Manchester, UK, tasked with the serious yet fun challenge of
designing a ‘world-changing’ product that could have a significant impact on
people’s lives.

Today, the challenge came to an end as the teams, which included Trevor Baylis
OBE, the eminent English inventor of the wind-up radio, presented their final
prototypes to the world in the shape of 3D printouts.

Followers on Facebook, Twitter and the online DesignSpark engineering
community watched the challenge live as the teams conceived and created their
designs using DesignSpark Mechanical, the free and intuitive new 3D modeling
and assembly tool co-developed by RS/Allied and 3D design specialist

The most popular prototype will be decided by an online poll, and viewers are
now invited to cast their votes at Voting closes at 2pm
British Summer Time on Friday 27^th September 2013.

Over the course of the 48-hour challenge, the teams proved that it is possible
to quickly and simply design a viable, valuable product through creative,
collaborative thinking and the right design tools for support.

Trevor Baylis said, “While we have undoubtedly had a lot of fun over the past
few days tinkering with our designs, we have all been here to convey a serious
and urgent message to the world. The future of technology will not take care
of itself, and needs the intervention of ambassadors like RS/Allied, who are
at the heart of engineering, and are clearly motivated to inspire creativity
and invention with their free, easy-to-use design tools.”

Martin Keenan, Head of Applications Strategy at RS, added, “Invention need not
be limited to the experienced few and it is becoming easier for anyone to get
involved in engineering innovation. We hope that this challenge will have
helped kick start a new surge in interest among people of all ages, and from
all walks of life, thanks to the participation of household names like Trevor

The four teams consisted of design engineers from Arduino, Elektor, Hitex,
RepRapPro, Schneider Electric, SpaceClaim, 3M, TE Connectivity, and
TraceParts. To replay the action from the event, go to

The world-changing inventions

Team Baylis

A device for efficiently watering plants which minimizes water wastage

Team Baylis’s design conveniently fits any standard plastic bottle. It takes
the form of a conical device that easily inserts into the soil, resembling the
appearance of a carrot. This invention controls the flow of water and removes
the need for manual plant watering, reducing the risk of over-watering. It can
be used in any situation where water needs to be dispersed in a controlled
manner. The design is simple and cheap to produce, long lasting and scalable.

Inspiration: To encourage people to grow more plants and vegetables and assist
with the upkeep of gardens and allotments.

Team Kao

A smart lock that revolutionizes bike security

Team Kao have created a smart lock for bikes that integrates an audible alarm
and an immobilization system. As well as securing the bike, this device locks
the brakes and handlebars in position. The smart lock will sit inside the
front forks of the bike in a single tube, meaning it can easily be fitted to
the frame of any bicycle. Most importantly, this invention is a universal
add-on, which does not compromise the structure of bike frames.

Inspiration: To cut the cost of bike crime by creating a smart lock device
that keeps pace with the technologies of car security systems. To encourage
healthier lifestyles through pedal power!

Team Tesla

A water filtration system to provide clean water in the event of natural

Team Tesla has designed a two-bottle water filtration system using standard
plastic bottles. One bottle is used as the funnel of the system and the second
‘receiving’ bottle as the storage. Dirty water passes through the filter
element to remove contaminated particles producing water suitable for human

This filtration system can be used over and over again and plastic bottles are
readily available.

Inspiration: Disaster relief. In the event of a natural disaster, each filter
can provide approximately 70 liters of uncontaminated water. Also, this
sustainable invention addresses the problem of people in developing countries
drinking from dirty water sources.

Team Babbage

An energy generation device using pedal power

Team Babbage has created an energy conservation concept inspired by pedal
power. The plan is to mount a disc on the wheel spindle of a bicycle, which
generates electricity as it spins. This energy will be used to charge the
batteries of smartphones and tablets. Initially conceived as a retrofit design
for proof of concept, the team’s ambition is to get the device fitted to bikes
as standard during manufacturing.

Inspiration: Energy conservation and reducing carbon footprint.


About Allied Electronics

More information can be found at:

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Follow Allied Electronics on Twitter: @alliedelec

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Relevant Links:

Electrocomponents plc

RS Components



Allied Editorial Contact:
Elisa Weber
Director of Brand Strategy
Allied Electronics
PR Agency Contact:
Bob Jones
Managing Director
Publitek Technology PR
+44 (0)1225 470000
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