Proto Labs has announced the launch of its Cool Idea! award, a new program designed to give product designers the opportunity to bring innovative products to life. Proto Labs will provide $100,000 worth of prototyping and short-run production services to award recipients.
“We’re extremely excited to launch the Cool Idea! award because we know there’s a single Cool Idea at the foundation of every innovation that changes our lives for the better,” said Brad Cleveland, CEO of Proto Labs. “In fact, the success of our company is due to a cool idea that made quick-turn injection molded prototypes a reality. We’re eager to propel the cycle forward by supporting the next generation of innovators who may otherwise lack the resources to get their ideas to market.”
Unlike other awards that recognize products or innovative design after the product has already been created, the Cool Idea! program will help designers take their product idea or part from a 3D CAD model to its first-run production stage by using Proto Labs’ proprietary Firstcut CNC machining or Protomold injection-molding services. To be eligible for consideration, Cool Idea! applicants must clearly demonstrate the benefits of their product to the end-user and why they believe it qualifies as a ‘cool idea.’
The award will go to one or more people per quarter with a cool idea for a product and a 3D CAD design. Winners can use their functional Firstcut and Protomold parts for prototyping, design iterations, testing, or even an initial production run.
“We’re in the business of ideas,” said Proto Labs founder and CTO Larry Lukis. “Our single focus is to provide product designers with the easiest, fastest and least-expensive way to obtain low volumes of parts based on their 3D CAD design. The Cool Idea! award takes our mission one step further by showing our support for innovative thinking and enabling designers to bring their cool ideas to life.”
To enter, download and complete the application form. Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll be asked to describe your project or product, tell us why it’s cool and how it will benefit the end user, describe the type of assistance you need (type of parts, quantity, timeline etc.). After you send in your application, you upload your 3D CAD model to us by using the Upload a Part link. If your project is chosen for the award you’ll need to use it within 90 days, so you should be at a stage where you can begin executing right away.
For more information about Cool Idea!, visit www.protolabs.com/coolidea