You’re an independent, would-be inventor with an idea for a new product. You’ve even designed it with computer automated design software or printed out a model on a MakerBot. Next step: Manufacture an industrial grade prototype.
Our recent article about Rainbow Loom inventor Cheong-Choon Ng explains his decision to go to China for an injection mold of his small, plastic handloom toy: U.S. manufacturers quoted him $20,000 just to make the mold. In China he could get the mold and his first batch of products for half that. And half was all that the first-time entrepreneur had to his name.
But, as our story explained, he paid for that decision when his first shipment of 10,000 plastic loom hooks arrived mis-sized. It took him a year to file each one down by hand at home.
Had Ng known about a company called Proto Labs, he might have had an easier time.
Brad Cleveland, CEO of the Maple Plain, Minn., company, says his ideal customer is “anybody who needs a protoype or low volume production andRead More »from How Proto Labs makes manufacturing in the USA possible for more inventors