About Make48

Make48: Inventing Against the Clock

Teams have 48 hours to plan, prototype and pitch a new idea within the specifications of a challenge.

In 48 hours, teams must collaborate, solve a problem and build a physical prototype based on one of the challenges within the category.  By using state of the art equipment and expert tool techs, it allows ANYONE to make their ideas into something real. 

Throughout the competition, teams are supported by tool technicians and industry mentors, including some of America’s most successful product inventors.

  • Teams build a prototype within challenge specifications.
  • Teams utilize a variety of tools, materials, work spaces and expert guidance provided by a resource-rich fabrication workshop.
  • “Tool Techs” provide the resources to prototype ideas of ranging complexity for competitors. No prior invention experience necessary!
  • Create a promotional video.
  • Pitch your idea to the judges.
  • One winning team will be chosen, and the remainder of the series highlights the process of taking the winning product through a journey of product development.


Winning team receives:
  • Cash prize
  • Custom Make48 trophy
  • Potential product development
ALL TEAMS will receive:

Showcase your talents and idea to top brands, investors and industry experts.

Learn about the tools, materials and tricks available to help prototype your idea! Led by fabrication experts, see and experience, hands-on, prototyping techniques with the latest tools such as 3-D printers, laser cutters and molding/forming machines.

Meet speakers, sponsors, other team finalists and VIP guests.  Influential and knowledgeable people in the invention community, gathered to share, help and see you amaze.

Lots of SWAG & FUN!
From books, tools, t-shirts and energizing treats, along with a few SURPRISES, teams will take away more than they expected and do more than they thought they would…or could!


  • Teams can consist of 2 to 4 members and team captain must be over the age of 18.
  • 1-2 minute application video of you/your team is required, e.g. YouTube.
  • Team applications will be reviewed and finalists notified personally.
  • If selected, you’ll receive a packet with guidelines and schedule.
  • If selected, member entry fees are required prior to competition.

Past Competitions

Make48 March 2020

Location– Union Station – Science City, Kansas City, Missouri
Competition Theme – Storage and Organization

Make48 August 2018

Location– Stanley Black & Decker Maker Space, Towson, Maryland
Competition Theme – Emergency Preparedness

Make48 September 2017

Location– Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri
Competition Theme – Outdoor Entertainment

Make48 October 2016

Location– Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri
Competition Theme – Innovative Household Products

Make48 June 2016

Location– The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC
Competition Theme – Eco-Friendly Household Products

Make48 October 2015

Location– Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri
Competition Theme – Barbeque

Make48 April 2015

Location– Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri
Competition Theme – Kitchen