G-Code: Why Make48 is Great for Artists

April 13, 2017

You may recognize some of these happy faces from our ads and Facebook posts! We love the fact that all of the members of G-Code were and continue to be students at our last & next Make48 event location: The Kansas City Art Institute (AKA: KCAI). Lila, Hannah, and Robby are seniors and Clint is a junior.

<p>

G-Code at Make48

KCAI clearly prepares their students to handle anything; from the get-go this team was not afraid of the pressures of a 48-hour invent-a-thon! They believe that their time creating art under the pressure of deadlines prepared them well for this competition. “We are all artists and we design / create all the time under the pressure of a deadline, so we thought this competition would be a fun thing to try… We are always juggling studio, work, liberal arts, etc. It can be a lot when we have critiques, deadlines, papers and tests every month. We are definitely used to the last 48 hours before critique being crunch mode. It doesn’t make it easier but I think we are just used to that way of working.” Because of this, the team really “especially” encourages artists to apply! “It was a great way to apply what we have been taught as artists in a unique way.”

<p>

Although familiarity with design fabrication software is by no means a prerequisite for Make48, (our amazing tool techs can assist teams with any software and prototyping needs!) this team’s experience with design was also one of the reasons they originally wanted to compete in Make48. “We all use digital fabrication in our work and since the competition was hosted at our school, we knew it would be a perfect opportunity.” Hannah believes that these skills did come in handy for the team. “Although anyone can come up with a great idea, it is the execution of the prototype and presentation where skills would really benefit the group. The more efficient your group can be the better.”

<p>

Like every Make48, teams arrive at the competition completely in the dark about what they will be inventing. After being told the secret event category, teams must come up with innovative and never-before-created or patented product. Narrowing down to one idea can sometimes be a challenge! The team ended up going with their original idea, which they were ultimately happy to have done, however, they weren’t set on it from the get-go, “we spent the next day trying to come up with “better” ideas. After thinking for too long, we went back to our original idea and it paid off.”

<p>

G-Code having a blast while brainstorming


<p>

Once the idea was set, it was time to create a prototype. Here, tool techs became essential. “We used the laser, CNC mill, and 3D printer [for the prototype]. The ShopBot technician gave us a lot of tips on the CNC router. The tool techs gave us a ton of insight on manufacturing cost and things we would’ve never thought about.”

<p>

Once teams have a prototype, they create a product video and pitch their ideas to the judges. Often this can be one of the most challenging parts for some contestants! ” This was an interesting moment for us. In the midst of scrambling to finish, one of our team members got really sick right before we were about to begin the pitches. In order to finish, we had to cover their part and go on without them which left us feeling really nervous but, we did the best we could! We were just hoping our team member was okay and that we could get through the pitch. The pitch was definitely the most nerve-wracking part!”

<p>

For G-Code, Make48 was also a great opportunity for team bonding. The team, already familiar with each other, found the 48-hour process together to be very harmonious. “It was a bonding moment. We work together and with each other at school all the time so it was nice that we have that level of respect and communication. We can tell each other honest opinions without worrying about offending someone and we really feed off each other’s creativity.” The team members agree that given the opportunity, they would compete again, “after we are done with school”.

<p>

Lila & Hannah during Make48

<p>

G-Code is excited about the upcoming Make48 TV show and what it’ll bring to its viewers. “I think it is a great way to show the public everything that is involved with taking a product from prototype to market. Although it was only 48 hours, it will be encouraging to see how quickly an idea can turn into a product or invention.” Make sure you watch the first season of Make48 TV, airing on local PBS stations nationwide this fall, 2017!

<p>

For prospective applicants, this Make48 team has a piece of advice: “Make sure to stay healthy and hydrated during these 48 hours. Sleep when you can and make the most of it.” Wise words! Overall, Hannah admits, “It was one of the most exhausting 48 hours I have ever experienced…but also the most rewarding.”

<p>

The casting call for the next season of Make48 TV is now officially open! Apply for the chance to join us this September 28-30 at the Kansas City Art Institute, winning products are taken to market! Apply now!

 

About