#SugarHack 2019

Over the weekend Makespace had the pleasure of hosting the first of several Makeathons across Europe in collaboration with EIT Food. Our aim was to solve the sugar crisis over the long weekend.

Things started off with a few talks explaining the issues surrounding sugar in our society before groups were formed. These groups then brainstormed solutions to the sugar crisis. Once the groups had settled with an idea they were able to use all the equipment  Makespace has to offer in order to prototype their ideas before presenting them to judges (who represent Tesco and Pepsico) on the final day.

One group, Sugar-Cap, created a bottle cap which slowed down the rate you can drink soft drinks. Therefore, eventually reducing the amount of sugar you consumed.

‘they (Makespace) encouraged us to work with our hands and giving us the confidence’

Tina, an entrepreneur who already had a low-sugar soft drink company, told us that she was ‘learning a lot in terms of 3D printing and actual prototyping’ from her other team members as well as the Makespace members. For herself and her team mate, John, it was important to discuss such a relevant topic with others who had different backgrounds; as then a more versatile solution could be found. Sugar-Cap discussed how they were able to prototype their bottle cap by 3D printing different widths, or nozzle lengths to ensure it was commercial size as well as slowing down the drinking rate of the users.

The group highlighted that working together with people from all aspects of life, and experiences with the sugar crisis was what made the weekend enjoyable. John, who is completing his PHD on heart disease, said that the appeal of having ‘2 and a half days to go from nothing to physically having something’ was what he found most exciting about the Makeathon.

Another group was creating a board game for children to learn about their daily sugar and vegetable intake. They wanted to teach good eating habits from an early age, hoping that this would stop the next generation from becoming addicted to sugar. 

The winning team, SugarBabes!

The group, called Sugar Babes, loved being able to use their creative side. Justine said it was ‘rare’ for her to use proper machines and equipment – ‘9 times out of 10 we use digital presentations to show our ideas or concepts for designs’. To ensure it was child-friendly the team decided to have the game enterally wood based rather than having some magnetic elements. Their board game used several types of equipment to cut the pine and then have it engraved before being painted by the team members! 

Over all the team enjoyed being able to create, as they said they often missed their creativity because of their busy schedules, whilst also tackling such an important issue with people from different industries.  Müge said ‘they (Makespace) encouraged us to work with our hands and giving us the confidence’ all whilst solve one of the worlds sugar crisis.

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