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Electric screwdriver designed for tight spaces receives Cool Idea! Award

Published: 23 May 2013 - Rachael Morling

An electric screwdriver designed for tight spaces by Flipout Screwdrivers, has received a Proto Labs Cool Idea! Award.

Proto Labs, the manufacturer of CNC machined and injection moulded 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, Washington, USA, with tooling and a subsequent first production run of injection molded parts in preparation for the product’s Kickstarter campaign.

“This screwdriver (called Tantrum,) 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 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.

Townsan said: “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 recognise 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

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