Tag Archives: product development

A Lamp that Makes You Clean the Floor

It’s always a fun experience when a piece of furniture or lighting allows (or perhaps ‘forces’ is a better word) the user to perform an action for it to properly operate. Designer Arthur Xin created a clever way for users of his lean and modern lamp to clean their floors.

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At first sight, you can’t tell that there is something different about this piece. But after a couple of days (or however long the power lasts) you’ll notice that the light will begin to dim as time goes on. There is no cord or charging mechanism. So what are you supposed to do? To make the lamp brighter again the user has to actually mop his floor with the lamp. The bending motion of lamp, the handle of the mop, is a source of kinetic energy which is then stored to as power. Clever, right? To mess with your mind even more, Xin wanted to portray a larger meaning to this product – wash away the bad to create positive energy.

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NOTE: There is a possibility that your lamp will smell….

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A brand new way to Influence design

If you’ve visited our site in the last few days you may have noticed a few small changes. Who are we kidding? There are some major changes. We already discussed how the Submission process got an upgrade in this post a few weeks back. Now we want to discuss the next biggest improvement to the site: the Selection process.

Your voice is louder

This upgrade brings with it a whole new approach to identifying the most unique, most interesting, and most promising designs. It is now entirely driven by you, the community. We receive a lot of great submissions of all types and styles and as always, we’ve wanted to rely on our community to identify the most interesting. Now we’ve created the tools to help you do that.

We’ve revamped existing features to encourage you to provide feedback of all types to designers, positive or constructive. The voting structure has been changed from a simple vote-or-not system to one that relies on scores. This allows you to give varying levels of support to designs rather than simply placing a stamp of approval. The designer will never be alerted of specific votes but the data will be shared with them in aggregate. Additionally, you can now give feedback in a quicker fashion by QuickScoring designs on the “Browse & Score Designs” page or easily navigate between detail pages using the PREV and NEXT buttons on the sides of the screen.

Scoring

Look, better navigation and scoring on the details page!

The second form of feedback that contributes to Selection is the updated comment system. In reality, comments work as they did before, except for the ability to quickly comment after scoring a design while on the details page. The real improvement, though, is that now each community member will have an opportunity to answer questions posed by the designer. In the Submission post we mentioned that we decided to require feedback questions so that designers could help kick off the conversation and ask for specific input. Now you can address those questions and provide the requisite positive and/or constructive feedback to improve and drive designs.

The third main driver of design Selection is the viral component. When community members share a design on their own social networks, they are showing support in a major way. They are endorsing that design and helping to build recognition for that designer.

Track the Selection progress

Unlike before, everyone will be able to see how the scores, comments, and shares have helped a design with the new Progress Bar. The Progress Bar is straight forward and simply indicates how much positive feedback the design has received and more importantly, how close it is to advancing from Selection to Refinement. Each feedback component has a different impact on the Progress Bar, but the more support, the better!

Progress

This design has some ways to go

The Progress Bar will update regularly so you can watch as a design moves closer and closer to 100% of the required feedback. Check your favorite designs regularly and help bring more and more support if you would like to see it refined, produced, and sold.

Build your Influence

Your feedback doesn’t just add value to the designer. You now have the ability to build your own Influence within the community by designing, commenting, scoring, and being an active community member. What does that get you? Lots! Exclusive offers and opportunities will be made available to the top community Influencers so get involved and start building your Influence.

If you have any questions or comments about the new Selection process, the Progress Bar, Influence or anything, send us an email at support@unbrandeddesigns.com. Don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know what you think!

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The immense potential and immediate power of the 3D printer

Perhaps the most intriguing piece of manufacturing technology to come from the past few decades is the 3D printer. These machines are simply amazing, enabling the immediate development of any imagined and electronically-rendered design.  Additionally, the precision and detail these tools enable quick, cheap, and accurate creation of the designs and products envisioned by the creators. These machines, that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars just 15 years ago, can now be purchased from companies like MakerBot  for as little as $1-2K. So now literally any organization, institution, and soon, any individual will have the ability to create and print their own products. That’s an exciting and scary thought.

 

I’ll start with the exciting thought though your imagination is probably already running wild. Not only do these machines give us the potential to all be creators, they also give each of us the opportunity to easily become entrepreneurs by turning our ideas into commercial products. The barriers to entry into any industry decrease when you have a tool that can create your product in a space of 2 cubic feet.

 

The scary thought is the potential opposite effect that these products could have on our economy. When we reach the point where every household has their own 3D printer and each person becomes capable of replacing thousands of products they regularly purchase in stores with products they print, what does that do to established producers? Or what happens when companies begin to implement these machines in their plants and are able to replace nearly all of their labor force? Will we have slipped all the way into a Matrix/Terminator/Wall-E world???

 

Calm down, let’s not be so dramatic. Though we could conceivably journey towards a society where adorable robots are our society’s best hope, let’s live in the present for a little while. In my opinion there is one big constraint that 3D printers deal with today and that’s materials. 3D printers are capable of insane speeds but are limited by the time it takes for the material to set at one level before moving on to the next level of drawing. Until better materials are created to keep up with the speed of the machine, the true potential of 3D printers won’t be unlocked. Additionally, the material constraint will likely keep large scale manufacturers from moving to a completely electronic production system. So it’s unlikely we’ll see a full-scale shift to 3D printers by today’s major existing manufacturers in the near future.

 

Now here’s the really exciting part: 3D printers may actually be able to help local and domestic manufacturers! Today a die cast or mold can cost thousands of dollars and either prevent creators from production or incentivize them to produce abroad. 3D printers give creators the opportunity to eliminate these initial fixed costs and look to local manufacturers to fill their orders. The economics of global manufacturing, especially with the cost and lead time of transportation, could shift the needle back in favor of local and domestic manufacturers! Time will tell.

 

What do you think? Am I way off? Is 3D printing going to save our economy? Wreck our economy? Let me know your thoughts!

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