Everyone has an idea. One in a million go from an idea to selling the actual product. How me made it and why.


Today’s dreamers/inventors


Dino with his friends Nick and Jake.

Tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.


Lacrosse

The inventing bug hit 11-year-old Dino Zaharakis while playing lacrosse in Saucon Valley. He painted some stripes on his helmet so he would stand out among his teammates so his mom could find him. A month later he wanted his lacrosse stick to be unique too, and dyed the head of his stick, a concept his friends loved. To capitalize on this idea, Dino came up with a business plan that included order forms, a web-site and a $5-per-stick price.

Bethlehem Steel

Growing up in the rust-belt city of Bethlehem, Pa., Dino knows the importance of hard work, locally-made products and American pride. Bethlehem Steel Corp was once a gem of American industry, having been so powerful that during World War II, its laborers churned out a Navy battleship in a single day. But the plant has been long-shuttered, and a casino now stands where its mighty blast furnaces once roared.

The Challenge

Dino’s entrepreneurial spirit blossomed again when his parents reviewed summer camps on the family’s iPad. His father had rigged an impromptu iPad stand, but Dino found several flaws in the design and suggested he could do better. His dad challenged him: If he could design an iPad dock and web-site to market it, he could get a phone.

In our basement

Dino’s mind went into high gear. Manipulating pieces of aluminum stock with a miter saw and vise he made several paper prototypes.His favorites were dubbed Curly 3 Stooges, Alpha Slick, Big Z. Finally, "One" was created by using the best features of each prototype.

With the initial design concept set, Dino’s dad took him to Northampton Community College’s Fab Lab where they created 3D solid models and later created a prototypes using 3D printing.

Can you help?

Dino and his dad then approached a local company, Hill Metal Co. in Allentown, Pa., where their expertise and equipment allowed them to produce some real prototypes. After reviewing a prototype, Dino’s lacrosse coach and owner of Bracalente Manufacturing suggested we give the parts an annodized finish.

Adam & Eve

Now the prototypes were put to a test to evaluate their performance with iPads, iPhone, Kindles, nooks, other ereaders and smart phones.

More help...

A parent on Dino’s lacrosse team helped get dzdock patent pending. Next they worked on the web site, packaging, bar codes, listing dzdock on Amazon.com and creating a new corporation named ZLabs, Inc.

Made here!

In keeping local they chose Pennsylvania based companies, including Electro Space Fabricators for production manufacturing and IMP for anodizing dzdock.

Their first order was for 50 dzdock Ones were given by NCC Cbi to attendees of their annual event in October.

dzdock One fills Dino’s dream of a locally- manufactured product using locally-sourcedmaterials, including boxes made from recycled cardboard.
American-made. American-designed.

Yes, we can still do it!


Dino and his friends worked together on laser engraving, adding bumpers and packaging dzdocks. Why did they do it? Because they liked it! It was fun and creative. Learning how to design, manufacture and market.



The dzdock story.



Our first video coupled with some of our television and show appearances.

Our Story

Dying Lacrosse heads

By adding Rit color dye to hot boiling water Dino was able to color plastic lacrosse heads. Using tape and a glue gun allowed multiple color dips.

First Prototypes

Although many prototype were made, Alpha-Slick, Iron Man and Curly Three Stooges were the favorites. Features from each were combined into one, producing our first dzdock, appropriately named: One.

Final Solid Model

A solids model was created using SolidWorks 3D CAD. We did some attribute and center of gravity analysis. The model was later sent to a Dimension 3DSystems printer where all prototypes are printed!

Prototype Evaluation

Aluminum prototypes were created by the capable hands of Bill, one of the owners of Hill Metal. dzdocks were formed using an 80ton mechanical press. Bill also recommended Electro Space Fabricators for high quality production runs.

Torque Analysis

Torque analysis was used to maximize the stability of the stand while in use with a variety of devices. Here Dino simulates the user pushing on the top of an iPad, using a string connected to an iPad, a pulley and a box full of coins for weight.

Laser etching our logo

An Epilog laser engraver was used to engrave a dzdock logo and text on the botton of each dzdock. Logos were also engraved on the back of some dzdocks as promotional and coorporate gifts.

dzdock One for all device!

dzdock One was designed for the iPad, Kindle, nook, nook color, iPhone and other smartphones. The goal was to create One device for all.

One for all and all for One!