Cool Idea

Who Let the Dogs Out? Our 3D-Printed Cool Idea Award Winner

Innovative dog door concept makes managing your pet’s trips to the yard a breeze

America’s love affair with pets is undeniable. More than 76 million dogs and 58 million cats share our homes, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. But that love can be tested when you aren’t around to let your dog out into the yard. Our latest Cool Idea Award winner and a 2020 CES Innovations Award Honoree—the Wayzn Slide—marries human convenience and doggie happiness in one product. Wayzn’s founders invented a motorized opener that works on sliding doors and can be triggered by a touch on your smartphone screen.

“We wanted our dogs to have access to the yard when we weren’t home,” said Adam Smithline, Wayzn co-founder. “It made sense to devise something that lets residents use a smartphone to open and close sliding doors, giving them the flexibility to go anywhere, anytime.”

How Wayzn Slide Works

Wayzn Slide is a low-profile, powered opener you install just above the track of a sliding door and attach to both the door and jamb. The smart device connects securely to the internet via Wi-Fi. If your pet wants to go in or out, a button-push on your smartphone will send a signal to the device’s motor. The motor pulls the door open just enough to let your pet out, then closes it.

The Wayzn Slide can even open the door automatically when your dog approaches, or respond to commands from Alexa and Google smart speakers. The device is integrated with the Nest camera, which lets you receive notifications and images through their mobile app.

Wayzn Slide 3D Printed part
With SLA 3D printing at Protolabs, Wayzn could produce large parts from a durable ABS-like plastic.

Prototype to Product

Wayzn worked with Protolabs’ 3D printing team to develop its new-concept pet door. Through an iterative process, the device went through multiple prototypes using stereolithography (SLA). SLA builds plastic parts from the bottom up by fusing liquid resin with a precision laser.

The Wayzn Slide’s parts are made from an opaque, ABS-like plastic that is durable, impact resistant, and precise.

“Protolabs made it possible for us to manufacture larger 3D-printed parts that we couldn’t make anywhere else,” said Smithline. “That gave us the opportunity to test and validate critical aspects of the product quickly.”

The Wayzn Slide is still in development, though early production runs sold out quickly. The company expects to continue product revisions and develop new concepts over the coming months. The $399 device is available through Wayzn’s online store.