The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association hosts a yearly contest called ‘Makers Madness,’ which involves a bracket-style tournament in which the public decides what product earns that year’s title of The Coolest Thing Made in Illinois. The fourth annual Makers Madness event was held earlier this year in February and March. The competition celebrates the incredible work of manufacturers across Illinois. Nearly 250 unique products from every corner of the state were nominated for this year’s contest, with submissions ranging from agriculture equipment to COVID testing supplies to sweet treats and a variety of vehicles. The contest celebrates the diversity and strength of Illinois’ manufacturing industry. Qualifying products must be made in Illinois.
This year’s winner of the Coolest Thing Made in Illinois was the Rosenberg Moon Habitat, made by Ingersoll Machine Tools in Rockford. More than 300,000 votes were cast through the eight-week competition. The habitat is a 3D printed polymer structure designed to house humans on the moon. Built to house a crew of two people, the habitat is the world’s tallest single-piece 3D printed polymer structure, with a height of 23 feet but a thickness of only five millimeters. Previous winners of the contest were the Rivian R1T All-Electric Truck, Caterpillar 797F Mining Truck, and Self-Regulating Traffic Signal Heater by Termico Technologies.
Today’s modern manufacturing sector is high-tech, diverse, innovative, sustainable, and moving at the speed of light. IMA members employ nearly 600,000 people and produce $300-plus billion in economic output, the single largest share of the Illinois economy.