A patent-pending hex key case design by mechanical engineer Matt Nestor is the latest recipient of the Proto Labs Cool Idea! Award. Proto Labs will provide Nestor with prototype parts he can use for demonstrations to major tool companies.
The part will be used in the new magnetic QuicKaddy Hex Key case that Nestor designed, with slots in the front and back that allow the user to easily remove a tool without having to move other tools in the process.
“Almost every person in the U.S. and elsewhere has used or owns a set of hex keys. In fact, many people use hex keys in their daily work routine,” said Proto Labs Founder and CTO Larry Lukis. “This product is cool because of its simplicity and magnetic function. It takes a standard product and makes it faster and easier to use.”
The QuicKaddy Hex Key case allows a tool to be quickly pulled straight from the case since there are slots, not through holes, which are typical of most cases currently on the market. The keys are held in place by powerful magnets located in the body of the case. Nestor’s design allows tools to be organized and accessed faster and easier than existing hex key cases, saving the user time and increasing productivity.
“The amount of time spent fiddling with other tools to get the one you need may seem small, but the minutes can really add up. It can also be frustrating,” said Nestor, a Boston, Mass.-based product designer. “The simplicity and functionality of this product will quickly pay for itself and make it a must-have for any toolbox.”
The Cool Idea! Award is a program offered by Proto Labs, which gives product designers the opportunity to bring innovative products to life. Nestor is the fourth recipient, with additional award winners to be named. During 2011, Proto Labs will provide an aggregate of up to $100,000 worth of prototyping and short-run production services to award recipients.