Refining my product

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?

Isaiah Coberly

Jump to - History of the FlipSteady

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.

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.

Limit 3 images in post- Next post


Isaiah Coberly
NewPencil Inc.

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.

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”.

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.

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

It was time to start trying live fabric hinges.

Continued Below…

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

more coming…

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.


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?


Isaiah Coberly
NewPencil inc.

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?


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.


Isaiah Coberly
NewPencil inc.

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.


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.


Isaiah Coberly
NewPencil inc.

Prototype 5 - Very close to the shipped version.

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.

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.

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.

I’ll score some plastic and and machine a test. I agree that plastic may be a great engineering/manufacturing solution for the articulating front panel but I am doubting that it would feel right in the hand. In my mind, a tablet or phone cover falls more in line with wallets and purses and less in line with toys and cutting boards.

I did run some tests cutting the fabric on a laser. The edge cuts fast and clean. Only problem is that I dont want to design (at least the next generation product) around the idea that I will have a laser to use.

I wonder if there is a heat sealable or adhesive backed material that I could use to wrap the edge. I always imagined that the right finished edge would come in a little ways from the edge, would be a material that doesn’t slip and slide easily on surfaces and would be easy to stamp out and easy to string along the edge of the cover…

I always liked the edge on this silpat
And tire patches
Something to wrap…

Probably can’t use silicone with adhesive… Maybe just another thin non- woven fabric.



I thought I would share a minor new option. A keeper for stylus and/or cord.

Out of the way and simple to use.



IC, It’s very nice design…

Have tried this design with PP Corflute Sheet ?




I have not… The closest thing I have tried would be cardboard. PP Corflute looks like fun.


Isaiah Coberly