NoiseAware 3D printing prototypes to save money and minimise risk

Case Study

//NoiseAware 3D printing prototypes to save money and minimise risk
NoiseAware 3D printing prototypes to save money and minimise risk2018-12-07T15:43:25+00:00

Reducing prototype production costs from $800 to less than $10 per product

NoiseAware, the startup behind a noise monitoring and management system for high-risk, short-term rental properties, designed and prototyped their product with their in-house Ultimaker 3 printer. Saving thousands on the initial prototyping process for all parts, the NoiseAware team is able to create new design iterations in a matter of hours, and efficiently test designs before sending them to a manufacturer for final production.

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Garrett Dobbs, Head of Product at NoiseAware

“If we didn’t use 3D printing on Ultimaker to assist our product development, we’d either take 10 times longer to test the product—which opens the door for a competitor—or we’d roll the dice by going to a manufacturer with less testing under our belt.”

Garrett Dobbs, Head of Product at NoiseAware

NoiseAware – Introduction

NoiseAware is a startup company that provides a noise monitoring and management solution for high-risk, short-term rental properties like Airbnb. With their product installed in rental homes, property management is efficiently alerted when noise levels exceed community guidelines for quiet hours, diminishing the likelihood that neighbors will complain or call the authorities. Having sold their product for over a year with the next generation in development, design and testing remains a critical phase for the NoiseAware team.

3D printing their prototypes on Ultimaker has allowed them to ensure that the overall design, performance, and architecture features are perfected before parts are sent off for final production. Without the ability to rapidly prototype in-house, they would have spent upwards of $20,000 on the initial prototyping phase for their first product and about $800 per part if they outsourced to a vendor. With reliability as the most important factor in their decision to go with the Ultimaker 3, NoiseAware now has the ability to 3D print for hours at a time and ensure that their products are ready for the final manufacturing stage.


NoiseAware needed to adhere to lean startup methodologies for validating, testing, and iterating on ideas quickly and cost-effectively. As the early prototyping phase would have cost them upwards of $20,000 if outsourced, it was essential that they found a way to produce functional prototypes for field testing with customers to improve design, acoustic performance, system architecture, device provisioning, radio frequency (RF) transmission, and more.


Rapid prototyping on Ultimaker 3 allows NoiseAware to fully test their product before sending it to supply chain partners for final production. 3D printing has reduced outsourcing costs from $800 to less than $10 per prototyped product, narrowing production time from days to mere hours. Additionally, they’re able to demonstrate value to customers, potential investors, and vendors by supplying tangible products for demonstrations.


Head of Product Garrett Dobbs states, “The cost of completing our required prototyping with a vendor would have covered the cost of the Ultimaker four times over by now.” Their Ultimaker 3 saves money and provides the ability to create prototypes for mere dollars per part at a fraction of the time it would take to outsource.

NoiseAware Saving Costs using Ultimaker 3D Printers

Saving money with rapid prototyping on Ultimaker, the NoiseAware team experienced swift ROI and reduced risk.

External Vendor In-house Ultimaker 3D printers
Cost per product
Cost per product
Time per product
5 to 15 days
Time per product
2 to 55 hours
As Head of Product Garrett Dobbs states, “The cost of completing our required prototyping with a vendor would have covered the cost of the Ultimaker four times over by now. If we skip prototyping, we risk the future of our company by manufacturing an untested product.”

Why choose a 3D Printer in Product Design?

  • Iterate Freely – Make unlimited changes to deisgn with no added expense
  • Improve Time Efficiency – Print both batches and bespoke pieces, let the print do the work for you
  • Acturate Data – Valuable feedback early in the design stage by printing functional prototypes
  • Attain Complex Geometries – Realise your most complex and intricate designs
  • Customer Focus – Producing multiple, different, beautifully crafted prototypes is easy and cost effective
  • Minimal Running Costs – By using up to 90% of the raw material, reach maximum cost-effectiveness

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