Here’s an interesting example of social product development with the added reward of benefiting a good cause. Intercad, a distributor of 3-D CAD/CAM technology to the Australian and New Zealand marketplace, has joined forces with Triple Eight Race Engineering and Racetech Steel to champion the Electric Superbike Project, a community-based initiative which brings together designers, engineers and manufacturers to create and build a unique motorbike.
The winning design will be auctioned off to the highest bidder with all proceeds going to the Red Dust Role Models, a non-profit group that seeks to improve the health and well being of disadvantaged youth living in remote communities in this region. The winning design will also be road tested by racing great and Triple Eight Race Engineering driver Craig Lowndes. Intercad engineers will be on hand to ensure the motorbike design is structurally sound and is road tested.
Entries are now open for part one of the design phase–the frame design. Entrants submit their designs in SolidWorks for any of the parts of the motorcycle, from the frame to the mechanics and even the batteries. They can also submit complete designs. A build phase will follow and then testing, and a review team comprising participants from all of the companies will judge the entries, which will be evaluated based on creativity, build-ability and weight.
Those interested in charting the progress of the group effort can follow it on the Electric Super Bike blog, and the team is encouraging the wider community to provide comments and suggestions.
No doubt, the contest is a sign of the times as the idea of social product development emerges.