Build It Better Round 3

Build It Better Round 3 Now Open

The latest round of the AMHub ‘Build it Better’ voucher program is now open! The ‘Build It Better’ voucher program involves a grant for small to medium manufacturing businesses in Victoria looking to increase their integration of additive manufacturing. The grant provides up to $20,000 in matched funding for businesses looking to either redesign or re-engineer an existing product or for new product development that uses additive manufacturing within the process.

Cobalt is a Registered Service Provider (RSP) under the ‘Build It Better’ Voucher program. Successful applicants can use the funding for Cobalt’s development services which include design and engineering support, business case development, materials selection and/or prototyping support.

A recent project that took advantage of the Build It Better grant was development of Advatek Lighting’s PixLite LED Controllers. These new devices provide pixel-based LED control to create visually stunning pixel-mapped images and text. Partnering with Cobalt under the program enabled us to rapidly embody their unique electronics technology in a rugged, configurable and compact enclosure.

Cobalt developed the industrial design and production engineering of the range in an accelerated 4-month timeline to market entry. Additive manufacturing was used during prototyping to allow extended product testing and evaluation before the design was finalised for tooling for mass production.

Additionally, a more recent project completed under the Build It Better program was the Cobalt and GoProto developed additive adapter kits for sub-acute COVID patients. These kits convert existing and approved CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) masks and N99 filters into positive lung pressure devices – a solution for COVID patients waiting in hospital beds for ventilators. The accelerated development process as a result of the assistance and commitment from the Build it Better program to make the vouchers available fueled a concentrated effort.

Round 3 is currently open for applications, closing on Friday 4th September 2020. For more information or to confidentially discuss your idea please contact us at Cobalt on + 61 9320 2200 or email sales@cobaltdesign.co. For more information on the grant or the AM hub, see here.

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Lockdown 2.0

Latest COVID-19 News

NOTE: We are regularly updating this page to keep you updated as to our status. Last updated 23 Sep 2020.

At a glance:

Cobalt is fully operational with staff mainly working-from-home (WFH) or from the office and workshop where required.

  • The Victorian government has assessed Cobalt as a ‘permitted’ business based on a number of essential projects. This allows staff to work at our office as required under COVID-Safe protocols.
  • Client work is being completed in near normal timing with all staff fully connected via virtual channels and networks.
  • All Cobalt staff have remained engaged since the start of COVID (March 2020)
  • With positive progress and COVID infection rates falling, Melbourne’s Level 4 restrictions are in the process of being wound back toward ‘COVID-Normal’.

In Detail:

Last week the Victorian Government unveiled its roadmap to returning Melbourne to ‘COVID-Normal’. After 8 weeks of tough ‘Level 4’ lockdown restrictions, the positive health statistics are a relief to many Melburnians, as well as local business and national businesses.

Fortunately for Cobalt and the nature of our design and engineering work, we have been able to successfully transition our people, processes and key equipment to a WFH arrangement. Though it took some logistics and getting used to, Cobalt is immensely proud of our team for being resilient, adaptable and discovering new ways to complete normally office-centred tasks remotely. We believe this is attributable to the team’s strong culture of clear communications, established practices and supportive teamwork. Collectively this has allowed Cobalt to continue providing exceptional work outcomes for our clients throughout this pandemic.

It’s been heartening to see the human resilience in practice through the record numbers of new enquiries we’ve had from people and businesses interested in developing new product ideas. We encourage anyone interested in new product development to get in touch with us to discuss how Cobalt can help transform your idea into reality.

We’d also like to thank our interstate and overseas clients for their good wishes and understanding, and we join with all our local community, clients and suppliers in supporting each other. Together we can, and together we will, get through this.

Related Initiatives

Following on from this, Cobalt was proud to recently launch an initiative to help boost local manufacturing. The #ManufactureAus initiative aims to strengthen and support local manufacturing capabilities against the unpredictable nature of the COVID pandemic, whereby Cobalt will give discounted design rates of 15% to approved new clients seeking to manufacture in Australia.

In particular, this includes one of our most recent projects that saw Cobalt and GoProto intensively apply their resources to find a solution for COVID patients waiting in hospital beds for ventilators. The accelerated development process included collaboration with senior ICU doctors to create specialised 3D printed adapter kits that could convert existing and approved CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) masks and N99 filters into positive lung pressure devices.

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