Putting on a GrabCAD challenge, and I need your input!

Hello fellow GrabCAD'rs!
I need your help!

I've brought a client to GrabCAD and we're putting on a GrabCAD challenge SOON to create some NEW innovative products for their company.

To ensure the highest success for this challenge, as well as satisfaction for its participants, I'm asking our community of fellow GrabCAD'rs for their input.

A few "key" points to help with your answers:
✓This company's products will retail between $30 - $100 when available.
✓These product types are rapidly growing in popularity; trend setting.
✓This is for a new start-up company.

Please answer any of the following questions:

➔What kinds of prizes would you most be interested in? (e.g. cash, royalties, products, other)

➔If cash was a prize, what is fair payment for 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place finishers?

➔If you won the challenge, would you like to do more work with the company?

➔Would you like to see a online voting system for the community to pick favorites, that weighs in on the jury's final decision?

➔What has been the biggest drawback to past GrabCAD challenges that you would like to see amended in the future?

➔Any other feedback you have regarding GrabCAD Challenges and what you think contributes to the most successful ones, for both the company sponsor and the community participants.

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3 Answers

Yo Tommy, I will try to answer your question.....
I have competed in quite a few of your challenges, was a lot of fun, but it was only for fun.

want to start with some general feedback:

A real product for a real client is something completely different than a "fun" challenge.
Most important thing to do is to live up to the expectations of that client, that need to be written down in a full blown product-specification describing all the issues involved such as: norms (DIN, ISO etc.) materials used, typical production tolerances, material finishes, replacement strategy (for damaged parts), maintenance strategy, etc, etc....
Than it is also important the the design lives up to the technical standards, this means that the engineer/designer involved has to have sufficient knowledge of the item/technics that has to be designed. ( can a car designer design a ship or an airplane??) Also a driving force for the design is the way it is gonna be (mass)produced. So the designer has to have sufficient knowledge of the production methods.

* prize: I would pick royalties....the more items are sold, the better the pay..
* cash prize: leaves this up to the client, he is the one who has to reward the entries
* challenge winner: always nice to be appreciated and if this evolves into a longer (designing) relation with the client....great.
* Voting.....NO!! To many times I see that "friends or countrymen" vote for each other and not for the best design. Leave the voting up to the end user (client).
*challenge drawbacks: language barrier..in order to understand what is expected and to communicate with each other and to/with the client the knowledge of the language used (mostly English) needs to be of a high standard. Also the technical descriptions of the product need to be clear in order to understand fully what is expected. (technical English is far more difficult than plain English)



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I would second everything that Hans said.
Every challenge will be different, with a different client, company size, Different financial resources culture, vibe, expectations etc.

Here is roughly how I would break it down and I think it's a very reasonable way of looking at things, for the client and for the designer.......

Option 1. Client wants a design inspiration, ie just an aesthetic, cosmetic, outer shell design......often a company will just want input from designers as to design aesthetics for a new product....and then their own engineers will take it from there------ So in this case I think a descent cash reward, prize or company product will suffice.

Option 2. Client is looking for a designer to design a product that will be mass produced, sold in the tens, hundreds of thousand maybe millions of units. The design needs to be functional and goes beyond aesthetics ----- In this case, a royalty should be offered along with a percentage of patent rights along with any other cash or reward prize the company feels necessary. But anytime something is to be mass produced, and if the designer is doing a lot of the work, research etc. a royalty deal should be made. This is only fair.

Option3. Company wants a logo or emblem designed ---- what can I say, rewards could run the gambit but I think I would use the profile of the company to judge what "compensation" could be rewarded. If the company is Grampa Jacks propane accessories then obviously they're not going to be in a position to offer a whole lot...but if the job is to design a logo for Nintendo....then I want to see at least a few thousand dollars worth of prizes...it's only logical.

Option 4. The client just wants a design for fun --- offer nothing to anything you want!

There will be variations on these four but overall I think this sums things up. For free-lance designers, it's nice to have companies offer possible on-going employment relationships incorporated in their rewards structure also.


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still looking for more input... Anyone else?

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