“TOM provided the opportunity for us to be fully integrated with the project team, involving us in the design and decision–making processes, which was unique in that it made us feel empowered, fulfilled, and included during this exciting challenge. The ingenuity, experience and enthusiastic hard work of the TOM teams enabled the design and production of a very useful piece of custom equipment on a tight budget in a very short period of time.”
– TOM:Calgary 2015 Need Knower
HOW IT WORKS
TOM:Alberta facilitates an annual 3 day marathon of making (a “makeathon”), bringing together engineers, designers, makers, and people living with disabilities.
We surround them with a comprehensive range of modern manufacturing tools and equipment: 3D printers, laser cutters, software, electronics, traditional fabrication tools, and industry expertise. The diverse teams work for 72 hours to develop working prototypes that help empower people to overcome obstacles in their lives.
15 teams, each consisting of 4-6 participants from communities across Alberta, will take on 15 challenges. Each team will consist of:
- Need-knower(s) – either someone living with the challenges of a disability, or someone with a deep knowledge of a challenge
- Makers – Experienced industrial designers, technologists, or engineers, as well as a limited number of students or mentees.
TOM:Calgary accepts and processes proposed challenges as well as individual and groups of designers year-round, and matches the two into teams based on complementary and sufficient skills.
One month before the Makeathon, teams meet for the first time at our official Kick-Off event. This is the point where teams meet their need-knowers and their challenge, and begin design work and planning for the Makeathon.
At the Makeathon event itself, the teams are given access to a space and every tool needed to get the job done: 3D printers, laser cutters, milling machines, software and electronics. Teams work 72 hours straight on their common goal of delivering a working prototype.
Open Source Design
After the Makeathon, projects are made available on the TOM:Global website so that others facing similar challenges may build off the work that has been done. If needed, teams refine the prototype developed during the Makeathon for functionality, style, and comfort.