Refining my product

Postby NewPencil » November 15th, 2012, 4:26 am

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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?

Thanks,
Isaiah Coberly

Jump to - History of the FlipSteady
Last edited by NewPencil on November 16th, 2012, 2:31 pm, edited 8 times in total.

Re: Refining my product

Postby nxakt » November 15th, 2012, 11:00 am

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Sure, would like to see the next steps you take. Nice second video of your process. That is the kind of thing that expands the knowledge base on this board.

Re: Refining my product

Postby NewPencil » November 15th, 2012, 1:25 pm

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Thanks nxakt.

Ill make sure to post further developments.

Here is a look at the development to date. From humble cardboard beginnings to the humble fabric implementation I have today. This product still has a way to go.

Cardboard_FS1.jpg
1st Discovery


fABRIC_FS2.jpg
1st Revision

fABRIC_FS3.jpg
Experiments


Limit 3 images in post- Next post


Thanks,

Isaiah Coberly
NewPencil Inc.
Last edited by NewPencil on November 15th, 2012, 11:21 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Re: Refining my product

Postby nxakt » November 15th, 2012, 2:54 pm

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Isaiah, nicer for the flow and record of the conversation if you post some of the pictures here and not point everything to outside sites. Pictures and videos can be embedded easily here. Thanks.

Re: Refining my product

Postby Lmo » November 15th, 2012, 6:48 pm

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Could not have said it better myself Shaw. Thank you. :wink:

I would just add that around here, we're more about "design-ing" than "the "design".
Lew Morris
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Re: Refining my product

Postby NewPencil » November 15th, 2012, 11:25 pm

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Continued from above..

This is the discovery of the inversion that makes the FlipSteady fold automatically. This is the design and function that I patented.

Inversion_discovery_FS4.jpg
Discovery - inversion



I quickly mocked up a Cardboard prototype that would use the new auto folding mechanism.



Fromt there I made a Higher quality Prototype with the Auto-folding mechanism. This Prototype had biased hinges in the panel
pROTOtYpe3.jpg
Sparkly..


It was time to start trying live fabric hinges.
Lamination_FS1.jpg
1st try Lamination


Continued Below...
Last edited by NewPencil on November 16th, 2012, 1:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Refining my product

Postby NewPencil » November 16th, 2012, 1:05 am

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Then I made a fully functioning version using the previous method.

PrOToTYpE4_FS1.jpg
Complete with Live Hinges


more coming...

Re: Refining my product

Postby nxakt » November 16th, 2012, 2:13 am

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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.
Cutting-Board.png

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.

Re: Refining my product

Postby NewPencil » November 16th, 2012, 3:43 am

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Shaw,

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?

Thanks,

Isaiah Coberly
NewPencil inc.

Re: Refining my product

Postby joyride » November 16th, 2012, 8:28 am


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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?

Re: Refining my product

Postby NewPencil » November 16th, 2012, 4:10 pm

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joyride wrote:Finally a kickstarter campaign that actually is involved in the process rather than just advertising their product...


Thanks!

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.

Thanks,

Isaiah Coberly
NewPencil inc.

Re: Refining my product

Postby Lmo » November 16th, 2012, 6:33 pm

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Isaiah, what I'm seeing here is great stuff.

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

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Re: Refining my product

Postby NewPencil » November 16th, 2012, 7:37 pm

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Lmo,

Thanks for the kind compliments! I'm doing my best to find a way for my product and career.. I don't mind sharing in the process.

Thanks,

Isaiah Coberly
NewPencil inc.

Re: Refining my product

Postby NewPencil » November 16th, 2012, 7:39 pm

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Prototype 5 - Very close to the shipped version.
PROTOTYPe5.jpg
Getting better..
PROTOTYPe5.jpg (114.12 KiB) Viewed 8511 times

PROTOTYPe5_FS2.jpg
PROTOTYPe5_FS2.jpg (95.42 KiB) Viewed 8450 times

Re: Refining my product

Postby nxakt » November 17th, 2012, 8:29 am

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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
tectonicraw.jpg (71.64 KiB) Viewed 8402 times

tectonic2.jpg
tectonic2.jpg (68.97 KiB) Viewed 8402 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.

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