MEX 2017 – Anyone attending Moulding Expo in Stuttgart will be able to take home a very special memento: the "3-2-eat!“ eating utensil - developed by mechanical engineering students in cooperation with tool construction and mould making companies, and injection moulded under the eyes of the trade fair visitors on stand A02 in Hall 4.
"We want to be the first trade fair to supervise our own give-away from the design stage right through to series production," said Florian Niethammer, Team Director for Moulding Expo at Messe Stuttgart. Messe Stuttgart acquired the services of competent partners to implement this ambitious project. "Acting in the same way as a customer, we turned to the students in the mechanical engineering Master's degree course of Professor Steffen Ritter at Reutlingen University and announced a supplier competition for an item of cutlery - almost like in real life.“
The stipulations were clearly outlined. The required product was to be innovative and sustainable - a gift for visitors that won't be thrown away straight after the trade fair. A robust and multi-functional part was to be created. It had to be made of high-performance plastic and was easy to transport. Naturally multi-functional, self-explanatory to use, with an attractive design and a pleasant touch, and with an area on which a logo can be placed.
Stipulations which make the project an "ideal-typical" case for Steffen Ritter. "Every semester I organise a 'real product development project' with my students," said the Reutlingen University professor. "Input with all the real questions of a "customer" is a true blessing here when it's a question of preparing students for the labour market."
The final product is an example of the challenges facing tool construction and mould making," said both Niethammer and Ritter. The cutlery will not only look good, it will also have high utility value, as visitors will be able to see for themselves. Using material from BASF and Granula, "3-2-eat!“ will be produced live at the trade fair on an injection moulding machine from Arburg true to the motto of Moulding Expo, i.e. "by the industry for the industry". Incidentally, since the give-away is made of plastic, it can even be carried in hand luggage - important for everyone travelling to Moulding Expo by air.