I am currently redesigning a product that I invented and developed over the last Year. The product is called the FlipSteady.
This old video from my Kickstarter project explains the product quickly.
I designed the FlipSteady so that it could be manufactured by myself and a few friends.. I didn't have much money so I designed almost all of the jigs and tooling from scrap and waste. You can see parts of the manufacturing process in this project update video.
Since the KS project, I have made and shipped more than 400 cases. It's now apparent to me that I should refine the product and the manufacturing process.
For the second generation version of the FlipSteady I thought Core77 could be a good place to catch some feedback on my progress and new ideas. I would love to have design feedback from some professional product designers.. I am a day or 2 away from having a new Prototype ready to show. Anyone interested in this?
For me the next level of refinement is the edges, there are a lot of visual edges now, and the diecut edges are always difficult to have raw. Have you looked at the live type of hinges in products such as the Joseph Joseph Chop2Pot or Chop2Rinse? Recent version of the product also have a rubber co-injection.
This product is made with a combination of injection molding and "coining" compression and stretching of the plastic in the hinges, something you could easily prototype with your Clicker machine and a sheet of polypropylene or polyethylene.
Thanks for adding all the images in.
Last edited by nxakt on November 17th, 2012, 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
Thanks for the tip on coining. I'll do some research and maybe give it a try. This also has me wondering if I could get away with machining the living hinges out of the plastic.
I love the feel of a leather or fabric case but I see your point about having a raw fabric edge. Good news is that I am using all non-woven materials that produce an edge about as clean as an Apple Smart Cover. I imagined that the edge could be covered in some sort of rubber or hard Silicone so I spent some time playing with coatings or dips. After trying a few experiments with the goop, I had a hard time imagining a clean, cheap and easy way to precisely coat a complicated edge. Any ideas?
joyride wrote:Finally a kickstarter campaign that actually is involved in the process rather than just advertising their product...
Was this the first item you had patented? How did you feel the process was? Was there anything that you had learned that you would do next time?
Yes, the FlipSteady was my first patent. The process of patenting something can be as expensive and difficult as you make it. Honestly, finding the right people to help was the key to getting a patent filed. The wrong people will exhaust your resources and draw things out if you let them. I found a straight forward firm that took great care of me. Next time I patent something Ill have most of the literature and Cad files ready for the Attorney and the specialized draftsman. I imagine the patenting process will become a lot faster now that I know what the Attorney needs.
As much as the product is by itself, I think you're providing valuable information for our members who may think of themselves as "designers" but not necessarily as "manufacturers". For students, and recent grads, this might help them realize that they can do more than just design; materials and process (patenting is a process) are necessary tools every designer needs to master.
In our current economic predicament nothing could be more important to know that one doesn't need to be "Apple" to manufacture.
Thanks for posting your project.
Lew Morris "It's what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden
NewPencil wrote:Thanks for the tip on coining. I'll do some research and maybe give it a try. This also has me wondering if I could get away with machining the living hinges out of the plastic.
Likely a combination of machining and coining the hinges would get you the result you are looking for. Efunda gives a figure of a million flexes possible for that type of hinge. The final aesthetic of the part in plastic would the thing to work on. You could get a hold of some of the Tectonic Toys hinges to quickly experiment with.
tectonicraw.jpg (71.64 KiB) Viewed 7794 times
tectonic2.jpg (68.97 KiB) Viewed 7794 times
If you look for sheets of plastic to build prototypes from, Crown Plastics supplies a PE material used in sports that is likely to be offered in different colors and the approximate thickness you are looking for. DuraSurf. http://www.crownplastics.com/catalog/in ... 7c7d3c7c34
NewPencil wrote:I love the feel of a leather or fabric case but I see your point about having a raw fabric edge. Good news is that I am using all non-woven materials that produce an edge about as clean as an Apple Smart Cover. I imagined that the edge could be covered in some sort of rubber or hard Silicone so I spent some time playing with coatings or dips. After trying a few experiments with the goop, I had a hard time imagining a clean, cheap and easy way to precisely coat a complicated edge. Any ideas?
Leather bags have combinations of dyed and burnished edges, with most synthetic ones seeming to be a roller applied thick coating to seal the edge. This looks like a pain to apply, and requires the thickness of the material to pull it off.
I could imagine, ( but have never seen ) an application of bead of two part PU that could encapsulate only your edge, however, robotic and probably left to a huge company to figure out first. PU's can be formulated to set up in seconds.
Athletic shoes are the height of synthetics, the cleanest look is the latest generation of Nike et al. using laser cuts and laminations, the lasers melt and seal the edges perfectly with no fray, that would be the simplest thing to prototype.