Innovation, collaboration and speed. Today, these are the essential characteristics of a revolutionary product.

Make48, the fast-paced invention competition and docuseries, is where people of all ages can come together and make a new hit product to solve real problems with one difficult constraint – they only have 48 hours to plan, prototype and pitch. 

What is Make48? 

Every year, Make48 hosts regional competitions in cities throughout the United States, and a national competition that brings the 1st and 2nd place winners from each regional competition together.

Each competition includes eight teams of up to four people. The teams start by learning the theme and criteria of the competition, for example, the 2022 National Competition’s theme was STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) Toys. In the past, other themes have been Outdoor Entertainment and Innovative Household Products. 

Teams start with ideation, working together to come up with a product that both meets the criteria and provides new, unique value. Once the team agrees on an idea, they meet with a patent lawyer. If their idea does not infringe on an existing patent, they can begin prototyping their product and creating a pitch for the judges. 

The competition, which releases regional episodes on YouTube and the national competition on PBS, challenges contestants to rely on their team and dream big.

How Onshape Benefits Make48

As the exclusive CAD tool for Make48, Onshape aims to make the intense competition a little easier. All contestants get access to Onshape, training materials and resources in advance of the competition to ensure that all contestants are equally equipped with the tools they need to bring their idea to life.

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Teighlor Lockwood-Koehn, Strategy Director of Onshape and an attendant of the 2022 Nationals in Wichita, Kansas, was excited for this partnership because “it just makes sense.” 

“Designing and creating a prototype in 48 hours is a really heavy task, and if you're working on a traditional CAD program and trying to collaborate, whether in the same space or remotely with the other participants, that can be really difficult,” she said. “Onshape allows those in the competition to collaborate more easily with one another, which I think is incredible.”

With traditional CAD programs, it can be difficult to access the same design your teammates are working on, and often must be emailed or shared through a separate application. Onshape completely changes the game. Teammates can work on the exact same design at the exact same time without being held back by lengthy processing time, ensuring that teams can meet the tight deadline.

Gaby Rochino, the User Experience Team Lead at Onshape and a Tool Technician for CAD at Make48, felt the tight deadline at Make48 made the ideas that came from the competition even better. 

“It’s cool to see what is sparked because of the pressure of the short amount of time. Even more, Make48 reignited how powerful Onshape is to me and how beneficial it can be for these types of teams,” she said. “I just love being in that competitive design environment." 

Behind the scenes at Make48Behind the scenes Make48.

Lockwood-Koehn is also excited about what the collaboration between Make48 and Onshape will bring in the future. 

“From Onshape’s perspective, we're just really excited to be able to help not only the contestants but the larger community that Make48 supports like makerspaces, educational institutions and their partners,” she said. 

Participate in Make48!

If you’re looking to host a Make48 competition at your college, use this link to apply and nominate your college for next semester.

Make48’s 2022 National Competition in Wichita, Kansas, will air in September. 

Meanwhile, subscribe to Make48’s YouTube channel and Onshape’s YouTube channel for more innovation!

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