July 11, 2014 at 11:39 pm

Inventors pound visions into metal in Detroit competition

Teams work on 'Reinventing the Wheel' in Detroit

Nestled among the refuse and recyclables at Detroit’s Recycle Here, seven teams of makers, hackers and builders created themed inventions during the fourth annual Red Bull Creation competition.

The teams, including three from Metro Detroit, as well as entries from Chicago; Minneapolis; Mesa, Arizona; and San Diego, had 72 hours to bring to life their visions based on this year’s topic, “Reinventing the Wheel.”

Held in Brooklyn, N.Y., the previous three years, the “secret topic” was revealed at 8 p.m. Tuesday. After a night of planning, teams were allowed to put grinder to metal at 8 a.m. Wednesday, finishing Friday night.

“This is a chance for all these creative people who like to express their creativity by building machines and electronics to come and build in sort of a competitive way,” said Ted Hansen of Ferndale. “I say sort of because we’re not necessarily interested in beating each other; we all want each other to do well, building super-cool creations and these amazing machines.”

Working with his team, 1.21 Jigawatts, on their huge mobile typewriter that they plan on using to type works of literature on the side of buildings, David Heisserer talked about this year’s Detroit location.

“This is my second time to Detroit, and it is good, it’s going great. Everybody is talking about it (Detroit). We are from Minneapolis, and Detroit is what everybody is talking about; it’s something like the frontier of art right now.”

All seven completed creations will be showcased and judged on Division Street at Eastern Market from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday with $10,000 in cash prizes at stake.

Boyd Wheeler , right, with Julio Medina, in background, of Tactical Urbanist, San Diego, cut through sheet metal while they work on their creation. / Daniel Mears / The Detroit News