Hosting a Challenge in GrabCAD helped American Ramp Company to get fresh ideas for product development.
American Ramp Company is the world's largest skatepark provider. They have built more than 1,400 parks worldwide and are the only skatepark company that offers every build option: precast and poured-in-place concrete, steel, wood, composite, and fiberglass. American Ramp Company is the result of one skateboarder’s dream to do what he loved. From humble beginnings as the son of a missionary living in Southeast Asia, ARC founder and president, Nathan Bemo was always looking for a place to skateboard, and if he could not find a place, he made a place.
ARC was looking for new designs for obstacles to use in their skateparks all around the world. They needed new ideas and skaters needed new obstacles to pull crazier and cooler tricks.
The challenge was to design and engineer an obstacle for skateboarders to use for stunts and tricks. The obstacle should look funky and give boarders variety of possibilities to pull different tricks.
Until the Challenge the most popular obstacles were tables, benches and different concrete boxes but the company wanted to expand the variety of possible solutions.
The purpose was not to limit the ideas and give engineers sufficient freedom to play. The only "hard" requirements were materials to be used and the object should be possible to dissassemble for shipping. Other than that there were no limiting conditions.
The process of the Challenge consisted of 3 phases:
- Selection of the Challenge idea and writing the specification and description with GrabCAD Chief Engineers
- Announcing the Challenge. The deadline was set for 2 weeks to give enough time for the engineers to develop their work. During the Chalenge ARC team participated by commenting the entries and encouraged them to unleash their full creativity.
- Choosing the winners. The competition produced as much as 104 entries. The most creative designs were chosen by the jury which consisted of GrabCAD and American Ramp Company team members. In addition to the design the winning works had best skate-ability, overall concept and variety of elements.
By organising Challenge through GrabCAD American Ramp Company accomplished multiple objectives:
- A selection of 104 creative unparalleled designs
- Fresh outside the box ideas for product development
- Saved time and company's own engineering resources
Joe Birner, Product Designer of American Ramp Company said:
"The challenge brought several new concepts and ideas from outside the box to ARC. We found this as a great way to broaden our view when it comes to new product development. There was such a variety of entries, it really surprised me with the quality and amount that we received. I'm sure that we will be looking at these for a long time to come."