JHC protolab is up and running – and it’s nowhere near ready

LUT's rapid prototyping center, the J. Hyneman Center (JHC), opened for both students and the public during the last week of September.

JHC is named after LUT's honorary doctor, Mr. Jamie Hyneman, who is also one of the center's designers. True to the spirit of rapid protolabs, Mr. Hyneman spent the opening week coaching student groups in speed building prototypes based on the groups' ideas.

On Saturday, September 29, LUT invited the public to an open house at JHC. Hundreds of visitors toured the facilities, dozens exchanged ideas with Mr. Hyneman, and the social media flooded with photos with the famous builder and science enthusiast. The fully-booked opening ceremony took place at the Lappeenranta City Hall later the same day (Watch the recording of the live stream).

Speed building as a kick-off

An ocean garbage collector to tackle plastic pollution in the oceans.

An ocean garbage collector to tackle plastic pollution in the oceans, a new device for measuring the overall energy expenditure of a human being – these are examples of the prototypes built in the first ever JHC speed building session.

Based on applications, six teams composed of students from LUT and Saimaa University of Applied Sciences were selected to pursue a real-life test at JHC. Coached by Mr. Hyneman, the teams built their prototypes during the opening week. Members of the teams described the week as unforgettable, inspiring and relaxed.

You will fail 100% of things you don't try.

"It's not just a room with tools. It's a place to test ideas, to collect evidence, and to increase your knowledge. You will fail 100% of things you don't try," Hyneman described the core ideology in his presentation at the opening ceremony.

JHC is now up and running, but its idea is to remain unfinished.

"JHC is meant to evolve and change over the course of time. Whoever comes in and starts working has the right to make the place what he or she wants it to be. The interior and the resources will also evolve as different combinations of students and corporate partners interact. This is the starting point, but we don't ever want it to be ready," explain Associate Professor Markku Ikävalko and Development Manager Marko Kasurinen, both members of the JHC core team.

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