Proto Labs, the world’s fastest manufacturer of CNC machined and injection molded parts, launched the Cool Idea! Award to help product designers bring their innovations to life by awarding prototyping and short-run production services to recipients. Proto Labs provided Flipout, located in Bellingham, Wash., with tooling and a subsequent first production run of injection molded parts in preparation for the product’s Kickstarter campaign.
“This screwdriver can truly fit any project. From the professional contractor to a DIYer, a lot of people will have use for the Tantrum. With the Cool Idea! Award we are very excited and ready to launch a limited product release through Kickstarter,” says Joel Townsan, Flipout founder and CEO.
The idea for the Tantrum came while Townsan was working on a project of his own – replacing the speaker in his car – and was not able to find a tool that would fit in the confined space. Townsan took it upon himself to learn computer-aided design, or CAD. After several iterations of prototypes, Townsan arrived at the finalized design for the Tantrum. Complete with a low profile design and a patented gear system, it can be configured into 168 positions, giving the Tantrum access to spaces inaccessible to traditional power tools.
“When I was ready to start production, I teamed up with a local community college. Unfortunately, they weren’t yet skilled enough to machine my parts,” says Townsan. “When I went to a local CNC machining company it was too expensive. Luckily, that company recommended Proto Labs, and I found the Cool Idea! Award. The Cool Idea! Award is a god-send. It brought down our production costs, which ultimately means lower product costs for our customers, and a successful launch.”
Unlike other product awards that recognize products after they’re in mass production and on store shelves, Proto Labs’ Cool Idea! Award is meant to help cool ideas come to life. Eligibility for the award is determined during the design and development stage, when innovators are too often stymied by lack of resources or funds to turn their ideas into real products.
“The Tantrum is a brilliant tool for a lot of different groups,” says Larry Lukis, CTO and founder of Proto Labs. “Proto Labs customers make things, and this tool could help any one of them. It’s exciting to support a product that could directly benefit the makers of the world.”
For more information about the Cool Idea! Award and how to apply visit www.protolabs.com/CoolIdea.
About Proto Labs
Proto Labs (PRLB) is a leading online and technology-enabled quick-turn manufacturer of low-volume CNC-machined and injection molded custom parts for prototyping and short-run production. The company provides “Real Parts, Really Fast” to product developers worldwide and has two quick-turn services in North America, Europe and Japan: Firstcut (www.firstcut.com) CNC machining and Protomold (www.protomold.com) injection molding. Both are capable of providing parts in as fast as one business day. Product developers who use Proto Labs for prototypes and short-run production can upload a 3D CAD file at any one of Proto Labs online sites, get an interactive quotation and place an order for Proto Labs services directly online. For more information, visit: www.protolabs.com.
Flipout’s vision is to create an entirely new experience for power tool users, to change the way people think about electric screwdrivers, and to bring excitement to everyone who uses their products. Flipout hopes to empower customers to take on projects in new ways and literally go where they've never gone before with a power tool. For more information, check out www.flipoutproducts.com, and be on the lookout for Tantrum’s Kickstarter campaign.