Revolutionary Canister Keeps You From Getting Tied Up in Knots
Invented by Chris Rodgers, Rapid Rope® is a uniquely designed, compact rope dispensing system that neatly stores 120 feet of commercial-grade flat braided poly rope rated at 1,100 pounds of strength, making it usable for nearly every rope application. The convenient weather-resistant and shatterproof Rapid Rope canister has an insert that allows the rope to be cut to the desired length. Replacement cartridges are available to make it easy to always have rope on hand. Rapid Rope is patent-pending and currently sells in the United States and Japan, with product samples in the United Kingdom and Australia.
As an electrical lineman by trade and an avid outdoorsman, Chris Rodgers was always using rope. But when he needed a piece of rope, there was none within reach, it was not the right size or strength, it was knotted up and tangled, or he had no way to cut it to size. Rodgers knew there had to be a better way, so he began experimenting with storing rope in Pringles cans and water bottles. He knew he was on to something and decided to seek professional assistance to develop his idea further. He wanted to create a useful product and wanted it done in a way that would educate the consumer about what the product was.
He reached out to engineering firms but found they were too expensive, had crazy fast timelines, and didn’t always listen to his ideas. He sought out molding assistance, which was also expensive. A local molding company recommended that he get in touch with TechHelp, a member of the MEP National Network™. His wife, a Boise State University nursing graduate, knew of TechHelp’s New Product Development Team (NPD) at the College of Engineering and encouraged him to reach out for help.
Rodgers connected with Calvin Allen, Blaise Lawless, and Blake Young at the NPD Lab and worked over nine years to bring his idea to life. The project required a lot of research and development but was cost-effective and done at the pace of a family man who had a full-time job. Rodgers worked with TechHelp on small pieces of the project when he had the time and budget. The TechHelp staff was receptive and listened to Rodgers’s ideas, making the process more effective and enjoyable.
While developing canister prototypes, the team had to discover the best way to engineer the product and accommodate the unique commercial rope to be included in the canister. Rodgers chose to use a flat rope with twice the strength of the traditional round 550 cord and is soft, fray resistant, easy to untie, and doesn’t burn on the edges.
The Rodgers family recently moved to a nearby city with a production shop that allows them to expand. The finished product is now easily advertised through its website, social media ads, sportsman and outdoor shows, and Christmas shows, where it is a big hit. Rodgers has succeeded in obtaining contracts with large companies that have global distribution channels. Rapid Rope is currently sold through eighteen retailers and growing. The company is broadening its product line by offering more colors and sizes to meet consumer needs. All components of the Rapid Rope system are made in the USA. Molds, labels, and assembly are all done in Idaho, while the rope is manufactured in North Carolina.
The TechHelp Team at the Boise State NPD lab consistently goes beyond our expectations year after year. We have come to rely on their 3d printing and engineering knowledge to support the continuing development of advanced materials and processes. This is a capital expense many small companies cannot make. Whatever is necessary to ensure the continuation and growth of this service has become a critical need for our success. Without them, I don’t know how we would have gotten off the ground.
Chris Rodgers, Founder of Rapid Rope