Protostripes Center at LSU Innovation Park Expands
BATON ROUGE – Since 2014, LSU Innovation Park’s Protostripes Center has equipped numerous Louisiana businesses with the technologies for designing and creating prototypes at a fraction of the cost. LSU engineering interns help clients through the design and production processes efficiently and effectively, turning out prototypes in as little as a couple of weeks.
“Previously, many of our companies had to contract with out of state prototype makers at 10 times the costs and timelines of six months or more,” said LSU Innovation Park Executive Director Charles D’Agostino. With the average prototype costing just under $300, the Protostripes center reduces the out-of-pocket expense in developing and testing new products.
In the first four years of operation, Protostripes helped local entrepreneurs create more than 100 prototypes. The center is anticipating an increase prototype production due to its recent expansion and addition of new technologies. The Protostripes facility has moved into a new office space in LSU Innovation Park that’s more than four times as large as the original facility.
The new space is over 1,200 square feet and features an office and design space, a manufacturing space, an electronics work station, and a large conference meeting area. Protostripes introduced two new Prusa i3mk3 3D printers and a drill press to its tech arsenal.
Other available technologies include the Tormach 3-axis CNC mill that allows local area entrepreneurs to design and prototype from many different materials. The Formlabs Form 2 3D printer boasts more intricate designs and smaller tolerances than previously available. The Epilog laser cutter is capable of cutting out shapes and fine engraving on parts. The center also has a Creaform 3D Scanner that can create high quality surface scans for reverse engineering purposes.
The center has developed prototypes for a plethora of industries including industrial products, medical devices, automotive parts, water filtration devices, toys and other consumer products.
“With their extensive knowledge on the latest cutting-edge technology and engineering abilities, we have been able to design our product and make adjustments that would otherwise be impossible for us. We are simply amazed every time we receive an update from the engineers and right from the start they were just as passionate about our work as we are and that obviously makes everything easier,” said Todd Dufilho, local entrepreneur.
LSU engineering interns and graduate students walk clients through the entire process. Starting with the initial design, Protostripes workers can brainstorm sketches for new designs, optimize existing designs and even reverse engineer available products. Next, clients are provided with CAD Drawings, CAD Models and illustrations.
From there, the manufacturing process begins using the technologies available at the Protostripes Center. After the prototype is created, the Protostripes Center will assist with commercialization plans. Protostripes provides resources to assist with exploring licensing or manufacturing options, working up production costs and crafting marketing strategies. The Protostripes Center can also help point entrepreneurs towards various capital acquisition routes.
LSU Innovation Park is a technology-based university research complex that offers a community for businesses to develop, foster and enhance innovation in Louisiana utilizing LSU’s vast network of resources. The park is located on more than 200 acres four miles south of LSU on Nicholson Drive and is the home of the Louisiana National Guard, the Emerge Center, New Schools BR and the Louisiana Business & Technology Center.
Protostripes Center: http://www.lsu.edu/innovationpark/prototyping.php
Contact Alison Satake
LSU Media Relations
Kenny Anderson or Van Le