Project Case

FAB RACERS: A co-creative project between companies and a community of over 300 individuals

Since 2014, FabCafe has held the FAB RACERS CUP where participants can learn about engineering and design through racing mini 4WDs, drones and other small vehicles. We hold workshops and hackathons aimed towards preparation for this yearly event, where adults specialized in their respective fields get the chance to learn while having serious fun.

Sine it’s inception, the community has grown to over 300 individuals. This platform that provides business opportunities between companies and creators.

Project outline

  • (For adults) Hackathons and workshops where you can learn engineering and design.
  • (For kids) Workshops designed around STEAM education.

Over 300 members ranging from children to those in their fifties.

The first FAB RACERS CUP was held in 2014, under the sponsorship of FabCafe. Since then, every year, we hold a competition where individuals race mini 4WDs and drones at FabCafe or an outside venue. The sight of excited adults seriously enjoying themselves with heavily modded mini 4WD machines is a must see.

The participants encompass a wide range, including children who have not entered school yet, elementary schoolers, parents with their children, and even people in their fifties.

In the community, there are members influential in the automobile, motorcycle, and design industries, including the competition committee chairman Kota Nezu from the Toyota Motor Corporation, who worked as the product designer for the electric motorcycle zecOO, and the self-driving concept cars, Camatte and Setsuna. Also participating is the competition committee vice-chairman Takayuki Yamazaki from Honda R&D Co.,Ltd. who worked as a designer for hit products including Ape, ZOOMER, and GROM.

Fab Racers’s mission statement

There are two parts to FAB RACERS’s mission statement:

1. Support learning through fun.

One of the goals for FabCafe in holding the FAB RACERS CUP is to “promote the desire to create by supporting learning through fun.” To do this, we hold the mini 4WD competition as well as hackathons and workshops where participants can learn about a wide range of modern topics including engineering, design, IoT, and AI.

2. Provide a link between companies and creators in an effort to discover new business opportunities.

Another goal is to actively collaborate with outside companies together with community members and bring about an impact that could not be had with previously existing methods. Creators and professionals from various fields gather with a motivation outside of work. We search for opportunities while having fun with these community members.

 

Workshops and hackathons held by professionals in various fields 


Before and during the competition, we hold workshops and hackathons where individuals can learn topics themed around mini 4WDs and drones including product design, programming, and engineering.

The facilitators are members of FAB RACERS and each are professionals in various respective fields. The workshops and events are designed and run by community members. In other words, the events are promoted by the community members themselves.

Workshops designed around STEAM education for children. Learning together while having fun!

Mini 4WDs and drones are fun contraptions that are popular even with children. At FAB RACERS, we hold several programs where children can gain an interest in art and technology through having fun together with adults.

The workshops are designed so that children can develop a design-orientated mindset and gain ways of thinking essential to engineering through activities that go all the way from constructing the machines to controlling them. Many parentss use these workshops as a chance introduce STEAM education* to their children in hopes of encouraging their interest in math, science, and/or art.

*STEAM education is a comprehensive way of referring to education in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.

Connecting the community with companies

The FAB RACERS CUP started as a place where individuals get a chance to learn through having fun and has grown to be a community that connects individual creators with companies and other autonomous entities. We have collaborated with over 30 companies to this day and have provided a stage for many business opportunities.

Autodesk, Inc.: Creating an example with product users

Fusion 360 is a 3D modeling application by Autodesk that anyone from beginners to professionals can use for free. We held a workshop where individuals could learn the basics of 3D modeling through designing parts for mini 4WDs, such as the wheels. This introduced people who had no interest in CAD software up until that point to 3D modeling and became an opportunity for content creation. The “Cut-metal mini 4WD”, which was produced through the latest CNC, has been often utilized after the competition as an example.

Creative Box Inc.: Used for meetings with companies from other industries as well as a mindset education for company staff

Creative Box, Nissan’s design studio, held an automobile design workshop before the competition. As well as creating connections with companies with new technologies and connections between creators and engineers, this became an educational experience for the participating company staff, creating a new mindset.

Suwa city: Spreading the technology of local companies with Fab Racers

Loftwork, which runs FabCafe Tokyo, collaborated with Suwa city in Nagano Prefecture. For this collaboration, we held a hackathon together with FAB RACERS for the SUWA Design Project which aims to discover and transmit the appeal of Suwa City’s world class precise cutting technology. This project was a big success in both discovering and transmitting the appeal of precise cutting technology. See more details here.