Archive for Product Design

Apple Watch Disappointed and Optimistic!

September 9th there was “One More Thing…” and that was the iWatch or Apple Watch. A slightly bulbous device that comes in a variety metal, straps and faces. It was a great day for Apple to release a new product category for their company.

But for us consumers, it is a bit disappointing. It’s difficult to justify the $350+ watch when your phone is nearby, and the phone is supposedly required for the watch to function properly. Hopefully soon we will know what are its limits and what it can do without the phone nearby. If it can at least show the time while away that might be good enough for me as I step away from my desk.

In the future it will no doubt become slimmer and gain new features like a camera and phone. Then eventually it will become untethered from your phone, as was the iPhone to your computer. Only time will tell …

Nodebots Day 2013 Las Vegas

It was the first Nodebots Day in Vegas at InNEVation Center. Since I had programmed in server-side NodeJS and got this meetup in my email I decided to give it a try. My teammate and I created Handlebar Mustache Bot, a sumobot junior with a thick popsicle stick plow (hipster stache) to scoop his enemies. It was made with 2 servos and an Arduino. It managed to get to 2nd place, due to special controller software my partner hacked it to recognize key-ups by routing commands through socketio and then through a web browser. So normally if you pressed left it would stay left until you hit space to stop it, but since a browser has a key-up event we could use that to stop automatically. So we had a software advantage and got into 2nd place. The 1st place winner was a electronics teacher. So it was a fun day, I learned a lot, and I got to try some electronics and programming together!

3D Is Not Ready? $77 PVC Connector

I created a special 5-way PVC pipe connector. If I were to print this out it would cost me $77 at Shapeways under their cheapest plastic material. So I need about 36 of these, yikes! More evidence that 3D is just not ready for prime time. I have 3 options if I were to go through with this project. 1) Print in 3D and blow through $2772 dollars. 2) Print just 1, make 1 rubber mold, 36 plastics with the mold. 3) Buy my own 3D printer for about $600 and a bit for filament. I will probably go with #3, and possibly #2. I’m also guessing with fitting errors I will probably need at least 3 iterations of this model to get it just right.

BTW, the measurements for this model was based on a 3 way PVC connector I bought at Home Depot for just $0.75, so if this were made the same way I’m guessing it would be a about $1.50.

Dual Golden Ratio Spiral on Shapeways

My first foray into jewelry design, and product design in general. Hopefully one of many other product designs in my future. Get good luck with the mathematically beautiful double golden ratio spiral pendant in a variety of materials from plastic, silver to even GOLD! 🙂

Experiments in 3D Printing

I did some experimentation with 3D printing from Shapeways. These are my own personal creations. Penny is there for size comparison.

The black thing is a part that was missing from my car, its supposed to be a door lock grommet, too bad my wife already found the spare parts for cheap. But it was an improvement to the existing one because it slightly locked down and grabbed tighter than the real thing, the existing one kept popping off. I used a caliper to precisely measure it and made slight improvements using Google Sketchup, a free and simple 3D modeling tool.

The white shell thing is my own design, a jewelry based on the golden ratio. It’s two golden ratio spirals connected together and flipped. It came out pretty cool, and it has a hole through the top so it can be worn like a necklace. The detail of the smaller inner spirals got lost, but the general idea is there. This was printed in simple white plastic, but I intended it for glossy white glass or white ceramic. It needs a leather cord, kind of like beach jewelry. I might try wearing it one day for fun.