This technical information has been contributed by
Proto Labs, Inc.

Proto Labs Launches Cool Idea! Award to Support Tomorrow's Innovators

Cool Idea Award

MAPLE PLAIN, Minn.--A new program launched by Proto Labs is designed to get great ideas off the ground by giving product designers, engineers, entrepreneurs, and innovators the opportunity to bring innovative products to life. The custom manufacturer of CNC machined and injection-molded parts will provide up to $100,000 worth of prototyping and short-run production services to award recipients--people who have clearly demonstrated the end-use benefits of their product and have submitted 3D CAD models of their parts.

"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 a statement announcing the program. "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."

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 utilizing Proto Labs' proprietary Firstcut CNC machining or Protomold injection-molding services. In this sense, the program is unlike other awards programs that recognize products or innovative designs after the products have already been created.

"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."

Proto Labs is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company that offers two quick-turn services in North America, Europe, and Japan: Firstcut ( CNC machining and Protomold ( injection molding. Both services are said to be capable of providing parts in as fast as one business day. According to Proto Labs, it has "radically changed the economics and lead times associated with low-volume production of CNC machined and injection molded parts through the use of proprietary software running on a compute cluster at over 3 trillion floating point operations per second."

This technical information has been contributed by
Proto Labs, Inc.

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