A pop-up greetings card company teamed up with an ideas factory to help design a cost-effective card stand.

Bolton-based company It’s Unique, which makes football-themed pop-up cards, was having difficulty finding a way to keep the cards open to view in an aesthetic and cost-effective manner.

After two years, the solution was a plastic holder which cost £2 per pair. Not only was it expensive, but was liable to damage the card if sent through the post.

Fab Lab, the Manufacturing Institute’s hi-tech fabrication workshop, solved the problem in two hours with a simple laser-cut stand made from card, cutting costs by 98 per cent, which reduced the cost from £1 per stand to 2p.

It’s Unique managing director Mike Smith was referred to Fab Lab by the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and after a consultation, the Fab Lab team came up with a cost-effective and enviromentally friendly design, which folds flat for inclusion with the card.

Mr Smith said: “When we developed our unique pop-up stadium cards we realised that to display the stadium in correct perspective, they needed to be propped open as one would a hinged box lid.

“Our existing plastic stand pairs, although suitable for the job, were costing £2, which although fine when used for retail display use, were too expensive for customers, taking into account the card retails for £4.99. They also have a relatively large carbon footprint and, most importantly, they can damage the greeting card when included with it in an envelope.

“I can only describe the environmentally friendly, laser-cut, pop-up card stand Fab Lab came up with, and at only 2 pence each, nothing short of ingenious.”