Exciting news on industrial design and product development efforts: the community on Quirky selected the battery holder (see previous post here) for expert review, putting it in the 90%+ percentile of product concepts on the website.
The post on Quirky can be found here – we now will have to wait as much as a month to find out if the Quirky team is interested in supporting the product’s mass market development. Only a few products ever actually make it into production but as it stands, the battery holder’s already threaded a narrow needle.
I’m fortunate to get to play with technology at home and at work. Part of product development includes prototyping objects. 3D printing is especially cool because the prototype itself can be sold, particularly if it has obvious utility. I was scrounging around my house, looking for a few AA batteries, and frustrated that my off-the-shelf battery holder from Amazon only held a few of each type. The Amazon holder limited me to buying a product that didn’t serve my needs and forced me to buy more to hold a reasonable number of batteries. Not to mention that it was quite ugly. I realized I could solve this issue right at home. I sketched up a few concepts until I realized one that worked.
It’s amazing to me how fast I can work with the entire prototyping chain in my office – my home office! The entire development cycle, from concept to product, took about 24 hours. The finished “home” product was a AA version in white and green.
I eventually posted it here on Etsy.com where we got a few sales. We developed two more common sizes (AAA and C) and put those up on Etsy as well. We also published the project here at Quirky.com. While it’s certainly viable as a product straight from the 3D printer, we think it’s also a pretty good candidate for mass market. Scaling a product like this can be expensive so Quirky represents a really great opportunity to get direct consumer feedback as a prototype and, if selected, scale with an experienced partner.
The design iterations happened in a really user-centered way. We realized quickly that a holder alone was nice (if it was attractive and held a fair bit) but the ability to choose which types of batteries – and how many! – was even more important. We altered it to be easily stackable and improved the wall mount design. For the 3D printed version, we bind the whole thing together with high heat glue (which is almost as hot as PLA or ABS in 3D and creates a great bond).
The whole project was a good reminder that development doesn’t have to be expensive, long, or complicated and that our better ideas come from a source of environmental inspiration.
This is an iPad 2/3 holder and charge that can be adjusted for optimal viewing angles. I designed and engineered the project in C4D, which is a great blend of tools for modeling and visualization. All that is required is an off-the-shelf Apple charging cable and a FFF printer. There are five parts: a primary adjustment dial (which also serves as the drive), a worm gear that connects to the dial and actually makes the adjustments, the cover, base, and a cable guide. The cable guide helps the design aesthetically by bringing in the second color but it also allows the user to change the type of cable (Apple now has two) based on the type of iPad they use.
Future versions will include channels for the original iPad, as well as the iPad mini, and iPhones. The finished project can be found on Thingiverse, or by clicking here!
Invitations haven’t changed much in the past seventy years. Our challenge was to reinvent the traditional invitation and I led our team through a communication adventure.
The Future of Inviting™ by Checkerboard, Ltd. is a cross-media product line that combines the impact of physical communication with the convenience of digital services. Our current design combines address management, a feature to help you find your addresses, RSVP management, and guest management.
This was launched in April through Checkerboard, Ltd.’s national and international dealer channel and became the most popular purchase at its tradeshow launch in three years of attendance by the company.