What is the tool you miss most for your design work?

I wonder what is the tool (can be hardware or software, existing or future one) you miss most at you work?
A tool you believe could be a great benefit to your product design project.

A tool that makes customers, outside vendors, and retailers agree with me automatically. The “yep-o-matic”

I think this would be helpful to be an expert on whatever was needed that day (the upload of knowledge feature though the kung fu would be handy for past due accounts):

I miss working in a studio that made liberal use of an internal chat client.

It’s the best way to get answers to short “yes/no” questions, without pestering with a phone call or desk visit, and without cluttering someone’s email.

Not having easy access to a Cintiq is a pain at times. Throw it on an ergotron arm and its even better.

Not having Dual Monitors actually caused me to bring a monitor from home. More screen real estate is never a bad thing.

Having a small 3d printer would be nice for general form/size studies.

Having a dedicated PC and MAC machine though it awesome at times.

The internet.

SolidWorks, more markers and more walls (You never get enough of these last two)


I miss having about nine square feet of perfectly level and smooth off-white or gray drawing surface, set at the right height, with three boxes of Triple-Nine pencils from Takashimaya, a good chair, a soft eraser, and a goddamn electric pencil sharpener that works (no thanks Boston/XActo, you suck).

And a job that required me to sketch 8 hours a day, with over-ear headphones.

I pretty much sketched 10 hours a day at a white drawing table for 4 years straight at my first job and working with CAD jockeys. My day is very different now, but I feel lucky to have cut my teeth in design at the end of an era.

Yup, pretty much like my first 3 years… on the other hand, now I can totally kill it in InDesign. Whoo hoo. :unamused:

I shudder at the what the state of your shirt cuffs must have been after so many years of pencil dust. Yikes. This reminds me of the nostalgia factor that Don Norman talks about in The Design of Everyday Things or Emotional Design or whatever book it was.


I have a fascination with the kuka robots. I’d love to get my hands on a used one and learn how to program it to play with. Not sure what I’d use it for. They’re just awesome.

I wouldn’t mind a Cintiq again - Would much rather have one in a dual monitor set up than just two widescreens.
I didnt realize how spoiled I was by the sheer convenience making notes, quick sketches to email, quick little sketch demos until I went somewhere without them

I second the Kuka type robot. Looking for a used one. Took a course last year in programming which was surprisingly easy.

I want in combination with atarus clay cnc machine. no second-hand market for those it seems.


Someone who cleans my office properly…

I do miss: using/collecting ellipse templates, using a real photo studio, the office sound system at Ashcraft Design in LA and coordinate measuring gear.

I don’t miss: chalks, cheap ink jet printers, Raytrace rendering in Alias, hot tungsten bulbs, programing a Bridgeport milling machine, fiberglassing and urethane foam dust.

Time, I guess.

lol. Important bit: “properly”. Same here.

It is only second or third place, though. Most important missing tool:

This is missing on any Black & Decker or BOSCH Tool in the workshop!