SOLIDWORKS xDesign Hackathon in Milan

SOLIDWORKS xDesign Public Lighthouse Program was in full swing last few weeks through xDesign Your Way to Milan Challenge! Among the frenzied and fun-filled moments, five xDesign users made their way to participate in SOLIDWORKS xDesign hackathon. Their entries reflected their personal story and passion in solving a problem through a design that touches on various aspect of our life. We’ll share their stories on the blog in the coming weeks. Congratulations to the winners for making it to the Design in the Age of Experience event in Milan, Italy.

The week in Milan was packed with fun, bonding, learning and getting inspired by listening to speakers and designers who were reimagining the future. Over the course of the event, we challenged these five winners to collaborate as a team and reimagine a robotic arm for the Freight Farms.

“Five strangers, two days, one project – What could possibly go wrong? Sounds like fun!” That was the first thought that went through Thomas Veloskey’s mind. Others did not think much differently. Bring it on!

What followed were two of the most memorable days. We witnessed a dream team forming. In less than 10 hours, this team researched the existing technology, looked for innovation in the field, brainstormed ideas, identified constraints, sketched the concept, identified components and used SOLIDWORKS xDesign to create a cool robotic arm.

Here is what was cool when I saw it demonstrated:

  • The robotic arm was designed to be a collapsible arm that pivots to stacks into other arm saving space when not in use.
  • The gripper design was inspired by motion of fingers with hard base but flexible grip, which could be controlled by the actuator.
  • The arm could rotate 360 degrees around the base, as well as the wrist. In addition, the arm itself could be rotated by 360 along with being able to pivot around 3 axis, giving the robotic arm versatility to cover full range of motion.

It was amazing to see the collaboration, creativity, passion and love for xDesign all melding together to bring an idea to life. The team learned and leaned on each other to learn the various aspect of the software and used its unique capabilities to speed their design efforts.

Below are some of the pictures and videos to relive the action and fun the team went through during the challenge.

The video below shows the result of Design Guidance for a robotic arm. Design Guidance in SOLIDWORKS xDesign allows you to determine the best shape to support design constraints with the most efficient shape and minimum weight.


The video below shows a Timelapse of the five SOLIDWORKS xDesign users who got together in Milan to participate in a hackathon.


The video below shows the robotic arm the team created that could rotate 360 around base, as well as the wrist.


Sadly, the event is over, but the friendship, bonding and love for xDesign is here to stay.

Interested in being part of the next SOLIDWORKS xDesign Challenge? Join us by signing up for the xDesign Public Lighthouse Program.

Divi Lohiya

Divi is a Senior Manager, Product Portfolio Management at SOLIDWORKS. He is passionate about how new technologies are coming together to change the way how products are designed, made and sold and engaging/teaching kids in STEM activities. Divi graduated from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay with a dual degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters degree in Engineering from University of Texas at Austin.