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Teams Collaborate At FABLAB-Stoughton This Weekend

Make48 is in the Greater Madison area this weekend with a challenge from TREK Bicycle. Stoughton, Wisconsin will hold the third city event of the year and seven teams will be supported by our usual cast of makers and volunteers, as well as a host of participants from the Madison region and beyond.

Madison-Make48 Teams Competing

Mentors and Tool Techs will include specialists from TREK Bicycle, AprilAire, Alliant Energy, Boyle Fredrickson, Lumafield, Stoughton Trailers, and PBS Wisconsin. Make48 is also bringing a few techs from our past events including; Tyler Isaacs, Chris Burns (representing ShopBot Tools), Lindsay Early and Dan Kane (from Onshape) as well as a new face.

Luke Gelman is heading to Stoughton this weekend for his first Make48 challenge. Luke is a maker, mostly of wood things. He got into woodworking at the beginning of Covid and fell head over heels. He’s been dating plywood for awhile now, but with most things covid-related, things got complicated and now they’re in an open relationship.

Luke is all about stretching himself creatively while having fun. An inventor, and father of two aspiring comedians, Luke comes with all the dad jokes. We think he’ll fit in nicely with our Tool Techs and Make48 crew.

Tool Techs will help the teams build their prototypes for the Sustainable Mobility challenge at the FabLab Stoughton. Stoughton High School was the first high school in Wisconsin and the second in the nation to have a FabLab. This September, FabLab Stoughton will celebrate its 10th year in operation! The digital makerspace is a motivational environment with an abundance of equipment to fabricate almost anything. Around 160 high school students per semester use the space to play, create, learn, mentor, and invent.

TREK is leading the challenge theme. Named one of Time’s 100 Best Sustainable Companies, TREK has a reputation for the quality of bikes they offer, and are often considered one of the world’s best bicycle companies by enthusiasts. Chad Manuell, Global Director of Engineering, was a guest at the Madison ‘21 event and Nationals (‘22), to watch his team The Free Wheelers compete. “It was really interesting watching the Madison and Wichita competitions. It's crazy witnessing the evolution of each team’s innovations as the clock ticks down from 48 hours to zero. At some point part way through, you start thinking that some of the teams are not going to finish, but they all do. It will be a blast watching the teams innovate in the sustainable mobility space!”

Teams will be able to speak to those who have already “been there, done that'' for some inspiration. Members of Madison winning team, The Free Wheelers will be on hand to help this weekend. Ben, Nikki, Claude and Zach placed First at the Madison regional competition with their product BocceRoll. The Free Wheelers have competed twice and have some advice to the next teams. “Build a team that has different skills,” Nikki offered. “I think that a lot of teams that I talked with picked their team based on being all engineers or something similar. I don't think that's a bad thing, but it’s nice for each person to tackle different tasks and have different areas of skills and passions. And I think that that's what really works with our team.”

Ben agreed. “I know that the premise of Make48 is to collaborate using diversity and different skill sets. The more diverse your group is, the higher number of ideas you'll get. It's exponential based on how diverse your group is and your way of thinking. So it encourages people to break out of the normal. If you're always with your engineering group, really reach out to people that are in different groups and it can help create a mutually meaningful, unique idea.”

We’re thrilled to head to Madison for the next challenge and meet the teams competing this weekend. The winning team will win $2k and advance to compete at the national competition, slated for March 2023, where one team can win $10k. Watch what happened last year at Madison-Make48 2021 HERE.

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