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Prototype Lab Manager (Contract to Hire)

Peak Design

Peak Design

San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2024
The purpose of Peak Design is to create happy, meaningful lives for the people that work here. We believe this purpose can only be achieved when self-actualizing, highly stoked people enthusiastically step into (or log onto) the Peak Design office every day. Our purpose and our mission go hand-in-hand and we encourage and celebrate authenticity and the unique perspective each of our employees brings. We’re a close-knit team that thrives on mutual respect and the belief that every voice matters—especially when it’s got something interesting to say.
We make radical, meticulously-engineered gear for detail-obsessed people. Our backpacks, travel bags, camera gear, and phone accessories are used dang-near everywhere. If you’ve visited Machu Picchu, Tokyo, or an REI store in the last 10 years, you’ve been within ogling distance of a Peak Design product.
Alongside our award-winning gear is a brand that truly reflects who we are as people—passionate about design, deeply caring about our environmental and social impact, unafraid to speak up, radically transparent, and generally down to clown. Whether we’re explaining a product, running a sale, launching a nonprofit, sponsoring a film, or razzing the biggest company on Earth, we do it with our trademark honesty, warmth, and wit. Through our products and our brand, we aim to create delight, and leave this world better than how we found it.
Peak Design has been based in the AIC building in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco since its founding in 2011. We are moving within the building to a new office with much more square footage, completely redesigning our prototyping lab. The lab will support many different processes related to hard goods & soft goods product development. Over the years, running the lab has been a shared responsibility for the product design team. We are getting to the point in company size where we would really benefit from a single threaded leader for this critical physical space.
We are seeking a contractor to temporarily serve as our Prototype Lab Manager. However, unlike typical contract positions at Peak which do not have a pathway to full time employment, this contract position will be up for transition to full time in October 2024. This transition will be made with consideration to candidate performance and business performance this summer.

What You’ll Do:

  • Complete the initial buildout of all of our physical prototyping areas: wood shop, metal shop, 3d printing, assembly & storage area, soft goods area, and EE lab.
  • Maintain a clean, organized, and safe prototyping lab. Operate, maintain, and troubleshoot every piece of prototyping equipment, providing technical guidance and support to lab users. Develop and implement SOPs, continuously improving lab workflows to maximize the utility for our design team.
  • Assist designers in creating looks-like & works-like prototypes.
  • Be a hands-on resource for testing products. Help design and build jigs and fixtures which test the limits of key performance metrics of prototypes and early production samples.
  • Manage the lab’s budget, track expenses, source materials.
  • Always be on the lookout for ways to improve prototype quality, throughput, & help reduce time to market for our design team. Remove waste from our iterative processes (time, money, material, etc), whether by modifying workflows, specifying or introducing new equipment, outsourcing, etc.

Required Skills/Experience:

  • 5+ years of experience doing this job for an analogous company (ideally, a consumer product development with both hard and soft good products)
  • Strong project management and organizational skills.
  • Proficiency in operating and maintaining prototyping equipment such as 3D printers, CNC machines, and laser cutters. Technical expertise in troubleshooting and resolving equipment issues.
  • Knowledge of safety regulations and protocols
  • Ability to supervise and mentor staff, interns, and volunteers
  • Effective communication and collaboration skills
  • Proficiency with CAD design software
  • Deep familiarity with consumer product development process


  • Deep experience with CAD design software and other design tools
  • Background in engineering or industrial design
  • Knowledge of inventory management systems

In-office Requirement:

  • This job is considered on-site and will work out of our Peak Design office in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco
  • Unlike typical contract positions at Peak which do not have a pathway to full time employment, this contract position will be up for transition to full time in October 2024. This transition will be made with consideration to candidate performance and business performance this summer.
Equal Opportunity Employer
Having a team of wildly-talented, fully-stoked people with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skillsets is how we make this whole shindig possible.
Peak Design complies with all laws set force by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces Federal laws that protect you from discrimination in employment: https://www.eeoc.gov/poster
Peak Design also complies with all laws set forth by the California Civil Rights Department (CRD), which is responsible for enforcing state laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or employee because of protected characteristics: https://calcivilrights.ca.gov/Posters/