CDP’s new Hackspace helps us design better products

We have recently opened a new Hackspace within our Cambridge R&D centre to complement our extensive lab and traditional workshop facilities. We asked the team what the rationale is behind this new facility.

Mike Cane, partner at CDP explains, “Our mission at CDP is to create market-leading new products for our clients as quickly and efficiently as possible. To achieve this we take an evidence-based approach to make the right design and engineering decisions along the way.  The new Hackspace gives our engineers and visiting clients an informal space to collaborate, produce rapid prototypes and conduct proof-of-concept testing.”

He added, “When I was an undergraduate at Cambridge University one of our tutors told us that the only way to gain knowledge is through experimentation. It was one of those career defining moments for me. While inspiration and analysis are crucial to solve problems quickly they only get you so far. When you are creating something new you have to engineer it, build a prototype and test it in the lab. Unfortunately there are no short cuts. This is why we have invested heavily in lab and workshops facilities at our Cambridge R&D centre so we can do this quickly to a high standard.”

Reece Gale, site and workspace manager continues, “CDP has a large, well-equipped traditional workshop that includes several CNC machine tools, injection moulding machines and two high-end 3D printers. We encourage all our project teams to get hands on and use these facilities. But recently we are finding that the new generation of engineers joining us from university are more at home with digital prototyping methods than traditional workshop machines. That’s why we have opened the Hackspace. It brings together 3D CAD with the new generation of low cost 3D printers and laser cutters in an environment that is collaborative and creative. It’s a different way of working that is natural to the emerging digital generation. You can make almost anything using Delrin sheet, a laser cutter and a 3D printer!”