Our Story

Image of the Innovation Accelerator Building at the UWM Innovation CampusThe UWM Prototyping Center was founded within the UWM Innovation Accelerator building upon receiving a federal grant to create such a campus. The grant was provided to ensure the facility could be used by the public to develop the economy through commercializing ideas and technologies in a collaborative environment. Within the UWM Innovation Accelerator building, there are a number of entities from public and private sector to share unique lab space, to network, and to foster those “accidental collisions” between teams of experts in various fields. These collisions often lead to partnerships and innovations that individual experts wouldn’t have ever thought of in the first place.

Initial setup of the show in 2014 (left) versus the shop in use today in 2020 (right)

The UWM Prototyping Center has worked on projects as short as a day and as long as a year. We’ve fulfilled 100 part pre-production runs and made just a single critical prototype for our clients. We’ve created systems of parts used to demonstrate in patents, for investors to evaluate the design-intent, for research and usability trials, to communicate product use during licensing agreement negotiations, and to prove there is or isn’t a market for the product before putting the effort and investment into getting ready for production. We’ve handed over prototypes and CAD drawings to local suppliers on behalf of our clients to perform long-term production runs on systems of parts when the designs were mature enough and proven ready to go.

We’ve developed products and prototypes in industries such as consumer products, industrial technologies, medical devices, scientific instrumentation, and more!  We’ve made precision surgical stainless steel implants smaller than a pea to custom gym equipment larger than the size of a car. We can make pretty much anything you can think up, but from time-to-time must rely on our network of outside suppliers for when things like heat treating or finish painting or sewing is outside of our core capabilities. We will consider these needs ahead of time for your project and be upfront with what it will take to get the job done by the right processes.

Learn more about our business on our Frequently Asked Questions page.