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10 Essential Tools for Every Make48 Competitor: Gear Up for Invention Success

The Make48 competition events are a whirlwind of creativity, problem-solving, and rapid prototyping – all packed into 48 hours!




A woman in a green jacket speaking with 4 people at a table
Mentors are a great tool for the teams!


To make the most of this exhilarating experience, here are 10 must-have tools that every competitor should arm themselves with:


  1. A Reliable Alarm: With the makerspace opening at 6 am and closing at midnight, every minute counts. A good alarm ensures you don't miss a second of precious creation time.

  2. Pencil & Paper (Or the Digital Equivalent): Brainstorming is the heart of invention. Whether it's a classic notebook, whiteboard, tablet, or sketchpad, have a tool ready to capture those spontaneous ideas as a team. (Make48 provides notepads from Rite in the Rain to every competitor to encourage you to write down those ideas!)

  3. Caffeine (Or Your Choice of Fuel): Long hours demand sustained energy. While Make48 provides a generous coffee supply from our generous supplier Quantum Coffee, consider bringing your preferred source of energy, whether it's tea, snacks, or a trusty water bottle.

  4. Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial for focus and endurance. Help reduce waste and stay refreshed by bringing your own reusable water bottle. (Make48 provides plenty of H2O!)

  5. Safety Gear & Fasteners: Safety first! Equip yourself with earplugs, safety glasses, and any necessary safety supplies. Additionally, having a variety of fasteners and bolts on hand (courtesy of Fastenal) can be a lifesaver during assembly.

  6. Get Digital: A laptop, PC, tablet, or even your smartphone is essential for research, marketing, and sharing your Make48 journey on social media. Be sure to tag us @gomake48!

  7. Prototype Materials: Ace Hardware is our choice for sourcing materials, but any local hardware store can provide the supplies you need to bring your vision to life.

  8. Hand Tools: Hammers, drills, screwdrivers, and measuring instruments are the backbone of any prototyping process. Make48 sponsors like KREG Tools and The Restorer often provide essential equipment, so be sure to utilize these resources.

  9. Makerspace Access: Make48 competitions take place in well-equipped makerspaces around the country.  These collaborative workspaces have become hubs for tinkerers, inventors, and creators of all kinds. Familiarize yourself with the available tools, resources, and staff to maximize your productivity.

  10. A Supportive Team: Perhaps the most valuable tool of all is a reliable and encouraging team! Collaborate with your fellow competitors, tap into the expertise of Make48 mentors and tool techs (supported by companies like ShopBot Tools and Onshape), and leverage the guidance of the Make48 leadership team. Take the Agilities Test to form your best team! 


Bonus Tip: Don't forget to have fun! The Make48 experience is as much about collaboration and learning as it is about winning. Embrace the challenge and enjoy the unique opportunity to turn your ideas into reality.


Are you ready to take on the Make48 challenge? With these 10 essential tools and a passion for innovation, you'll be well on your way to prototyping success!


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