3DP Applications

Protolabs offers £50,000 Cool Idea Award scheme for 3D printing

Protolabs, an award-winning on-demand manufacturing provider, is offering a £50,000 grant scheme in Europe for creators and early-stage companies to realize innovate products using 3D printing technologies.

Through its design competition, the Cool Idea Award, Protolabs is providing its range of services including additive manufacturing, CNC machining, and injection molding to help bring these new products to market. Ray Faulkner, a design expert at Protolabs, said:

“Great product ideas emerge every day but far too many of these promising ideas end up being scrapped because product development resources are scarce.”

“The grants can be used to build prototypes or even an initial production run and offer a tremendous opportunity for engineers and inventors to shout to the industry about how great their idea is.”

The Cool Idea Award

Established in 2011, the Cool Idea Award operates independently in Europe and the U.S, so far awarding over $250,000 in Protolabs’ manufacturing services. Concepts submitted to the competition are judged on originality, feasibility, the potential benefit to end users, and innate coolness.

“The sort of thing we mean by a ‘cool idea’ is simply a product that would make life a little better, easier, safer, healthier, less frustrating or more fun – for individuals or communities,” added Faulkner.

The Cool Idea Award is split over four quarterly programmes throughout the year. Earlier this year, Protolabs awarded its Cool Idea accolade to Tucson-based startup SafKan, for its 3D printed OtoSet headphones which relied on Polyjet 3D printing. These headphones use disposable nozzles to spray and extract a warm saline solution against the walls of the ear canal, ultimately cleaning it.  

As well as this, Protolabs offers Stereolithography (SLA), Multi Jet Fusion (MJF), Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), and Selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printing processes. European designers are eligible to apply for the £50,000 Cool Idea Award scheme until May 31st here. The following cycle will open from July 1st to August 31st.

SafKan’s OtoSet headphones. Photo via Protolabs.
SafKan’s OtoSet headphones. Photo via Protolabs.

The 2019 3D Printing Industry Awards Trophy Design Challenge 

Elsewhere, Protolabs is also sponsoring a design challenge for our 2019 3D Printing Industry Awards in this year’s Trophy Design Challenge.

Designers and creatives from all over the world are encouraged to develop a trophy that will showcase SLA and HP’s MFJ additive manufacturing. The winning design will celebrate the unique capabilities of 3D printing, whilst pushing Protolabs manufacturing capabilities to the limit.

The winning designer will receive an Ultimaker 3 3D printer, kindly provided by Ultimaker.

The 2018 3D Printing Industry Awards trophy made by ProtoLabs.
Last year’s 2018 3D Printing Industry Awards trophy made by ProtoLabs.

Submit your trophy design and cast your vote to decide this year’s winners of the 2019 3D Printing Industry Awards now.

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Featured image shows a Protolabs employee holding a 3D printed model. Photo via Protolabs.