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Team spirit united in a domino stone

“It all started with a piece of cardboard,” Mechatronics' Employeneur Sara van der Hoeven laughs. “When I signed up for this project, I never imagined that so many people, including myself, would benefit.”

After finishing her study in physics, Sara developed in the field of mechatronics. When the management of TMC came with an interesting in-house project, Sara didn't hesitate and applied. “The assignment was to develop a challenging game in which multiple disciplines of TMC cooperate”, Sara says. A team was formed rapidly. Sara continues: “We started brainstorming and had the idea to create a 'domino face'. Other colleagues had teamed up as well, and the management team let us further develop our idea. We were a strong team because of the presence of multiple disciplines and because we had a clear leader.”

“The whole idea was to make a face out of domino blocks, but to realize that we had to create 1600 stones. That was not doable. So we decided to create a 'domino race' instead”, Sara explains. “We wanted to create a large domino stone which could independently fall and rise again. We started with a prototype made by a piece of cardboard. The stone had to have a lot of weight at the bottom. We discovered that material created by 3-D printing worked out.” But Sara's team also had to work on the inside. “We had to develop the mechatronics and electronics parts of the stone and to communicate intensively. The results were amazing: We have created 7 large domino blocks which can be driven by remote control separately and easily. They are provided with lights and make sounds and most importantly: they can fall and rise independently”, Sara proudly says.

The project not only provided a fantastic product. Cooperating with the producer of the stones resulted in a new business contact for TMC, Employeneurs learned how they could communicate with each other in a productive way. Besides that customers benefit by the development of the people concerned. Sara: “This project gave me insight in my strengths and weaknesses. Now there is a follow-up and other Employeneurs have the opportunity not only to improve our creation, but also to develop themselves, like I did.”

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