Archive for the ‘Design in the Media’ Category

Machine Design

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Industrial Design Excavator

Industrial Design Excavator

The walking excavator is not a new idea, but I think future adaptations in a mid-size product line such as a new Liebherr 417, with updated cab styling of the interior for advanced in-cab computer power could be promising..

This machine slews like a standard excavator for dumping the spoil, as the main pivot between the upper and lower sections remains relatively the same. But the lighter construction of the arms, and cabin made from a reinforced polymer – enables the machine to adjust its balance to move heavier materials in the bucket without pulling itself off its feet. Combined with the larger footprint to reduce ground pressure, multiple function levelling gives operators increased performance for sensitive areas, such as city maintenance of underground cables and piping, or where landscaping might need to be left relatively untouched in sensitive environmental areas.

This concept might appear like a cumbersome mechanical elephant but, just as in nature where large animals create efficiencies to live and move about successfully, the improvements in robotics and energy efficiency come into play with this design. The idea of a fuel cell hydrogen-electric hybrid came to mind and the concept reflects this in the hydro-blue colour accents and LED light piping. The fuel cell-look is encapsulated between the chassis and upper housing promoting the advanced technology inside.

Industrial Design Excavator Cab

Industrial Design Excavator Cab

IDWS is a contributor to IVT the International Industrial Vehicle Technology Magazine ivtinternational in the UK.

Industrial Design Process in Video

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Design Video: In Progress!

In the design process there are many things that need to take place from concept to production.

Industrial Design Video Link

Industrial Design - Sketch

Industrial Design - Sketch

Here David Duncan from IDWS Inc. | Innovative Design WorkShop is seen working on a new product with in-house engineering as an R&D partner to bring innovative new products to market.

Industrial Design Clay

Industrial Design Clay

From Sketching out new ideas, to the development of the sketch into a 3D format using a mock up material such as Automotive Clay for concept buy-in.

We then draw upon our sculpting skills in the computer to improve upon the shape and sculpt the form into 3D CAD with Rhino3D surfacing.  Where we can add symmetry, style features, build in structural features, as well as add sourced components to make sure everything fits.  This new computer file can be easily transferred into full CAD assemblies using parametric modeling software systems like Solid Works for in-house engineering.

Industrial Design Review

Industrial Design Review

The Industrial Design development is shown near the beginging of the video, however this video also offers insight into the whole production process. From the concept, design and engineering stages, into the injection molding process from mold design, inspection of products and final assembly to be shipped out the door.

We offer the ability to do more with your idea, from concept renderings into full 3D CAD for manufacturing, contact David Duncan at IDWS Inc.

Product Marketing Video from Industrial Design 3D CAD

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Product marketing : Videos utilize many things in order to convey an idea, and we have had the opportunity to work on a handful of product video releases that show three options.

If you are looking to add a marketing video to your product development, we have worked on taking 3D CAD and get it into our 3D CGI video editor, but also we have assisted with creating unique hand drawn video, as well as reality merged with CGI.

If it requires a little bit of everything, we have done storyboarding, music, voice over, and editing into one package as we collaborate with other professionals to make it a one stop shop for cutting the finished package.  Scroll down to see the 3 video options and styles, video links are provided below the short descriptions.

Story Board

Story Board

Video Option 1:

In this video, the style was to create a hand drawn simplified story line. In which we described the product development process, with a bit of company history, how the ideas get developed and the features of the product. IDWS worked on bridging the hand sketching storyboard with music and voice over into one package.

Industrial Design LED Light

Industrial Design LED Light

Video Option 2:

Because we work to help customers design and develop products from Industrial Design to Manufacturing we create both the concept sketches to start out, but also the process of developing the 3D CAD for manufacturing and virtual product assembly and fit.  But these 3D CAD files can also be used to generate 3D CGI for HD video.  The CRS LED light project used this process to render out the 3D CAD into a format for Video with music background for a trade show presentation.

CRS LED Light CGI Annimation Link

Industrial Design Clay

Industrial Design Clay

Video Option 3:

To blend both the 3D CAD with reality you need to involve both video and CAD and merge them into one video. Here David Duncan from IDWS is seen at the beginning of the video showing the transition of concept development into clay sculpting and onto 3D CAD development. The video goes on to show the production cycle from concept to production.

Industrial Design Clay Sculpting

In the end using this method of marketing can really show the full potential of what your company can offer.  If you need further information about your product or video needs, contact David Duncan by email at IDWS Inc.

Rapid Prototyping - 3D Printing

Friday, July 8th, 2011

3D Printing

3D Printing

At IDWS we create new products, either revamping an existing product or creating something new from just an idea or discussion.

We start out by generally drawing out what the product might look like.  Then make very rough volume models to start working out the size and scale of the features… But once refined we then build it in 3D CAD for a first-off virtual build of the concept - something that we can spin around and view from all sides.

Which we can print the CAD file for concept validation in an tangible, real part that you can hold in your hands…. Very Science fiction for those new to the process…

Sometimes this 3D Printing option, can be hard to visualize the process - but watch this video on 3D printing from National Geographic – this is what we use prior to signing off on molding costs … have a look:  3D Printing With National Geographic on Youtube

There are many variations on Printing in 3D, so you have to get the right machine and process for the application required…  So if you’d like more information on this contact us at IDWS Inc. as we’ve used most from SLS, Z-Corp, to FDM and Object printing.

Niagara’s 2011 Top 40 Under Forty Awards

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Niagara's Top 40 Under Forty 2011On May 11, 2011, I was able to take home one of Niagara’s 2011 Top 40 Under Forty Awards, celebrating Niagara’s Next Generation of Business Leaders.




The 8th Annual Awards night celebrating the achievements of Niagara’s top 40 Under Forty winners was held at the Quality Hotel Parkway Convention Centre in St. Catharines. 


The 40 Under Forty Business Achievement Awards gives recognition to Niagara’s next generation of business leaders. These 40 individuals are under 40 years of age and consistently make their mark in business and contribute regularly to their respective communities.


Business Link Niagara


David Duncan,

Industrial Designer


Contact Info Page

Rugged Tablet Awarded for Technological Innovation

Friday, April 8th, 2011

The Tablet Xpad is a system using the Android OS that provides digital control of the new Air Cooled Almex Quantum Press redesigned by IDWS as a whole system of new product development from the Xpad to the Quantum, as well as a number of other programs to be released shortly.

Seen at the latest SMOPYC show in Zaragoza Spain:


Rugged Tablet


Styled Air Press

The Xpad Tablet and Quantum Press work together to Vulcanize Conveyor Belts.

The Almex Tablet Xpad was awarded special mention, as it brings  “modular functionality that enables a wide range of possible uses within the building activity, including the integrated management of the application by means of communications and information technologies and GPS connections, Internet, etc. Such technologies are being incorporated in the building sector and will, without doubt, have a great impact on this sector in the future, allowing increased efficiency… in the Category of “Services applicable to the Building Activity”. Special mention by the Jury for the ALMEXPAD system for the control of conveyor belt vulcanization presses, presented by I.C. CONVEYOR, S.L.”

SMOPYC:  International show of public works, construction and mining machinery.


LED Lighting Design

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

This is the latest CRS ICE LED Par Series Product Design that we worked on in a series from Par 20 , Par 30 up to a Par 38.

Par20 ICE LED Light

Par20 ICE LED Light

There was a handful of technical designers to make these lights final, we had a hand in the sculpted shape of the profile.

However we also assisted the whole project to serve as project management to make sure suppliers, engineers and files got sent out in time for Light Fair in Las Vegas this May.

Have a look at the youtube video, we assisted getting the proper files exported for CGI and also collaborated on the storyboard layout and music creation for final production.

ICE PAR20 LED YouTube video

ICE PAR20 LED YouTube video

See YouTube Link Here:

iPad vs. HP tm2 Tablet

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

So I’ve been debating the purchase of some new technology for the industrial design work that we engage in each day at our office: 1. an iPad or 2. a tablet laptop?

Here at IDWS we create ideas for new products with sketches, mock up prototypes, freeform 3D CAD modeling with Rhino3D and realistic renderings with HyperShot HD (now upgradeable to KeyShot). Therefore I wondered if the iPad would be a useful option or would a tablet laptop work for us to communicate our ideas to our clients.

So I choose to look into the Hewlett Packard HP TouchSmart tm2 Notebook PC and Apple iPad to compare both.

Now all of this started because I have an app on my Apple iPhone called SketchBook Mobile from Autodesk, and this little tool fits nicely into some of our work in getting ideas out on the fly. So that was the guide to looking into the new Apple iPad, because the larger screen size would be beneficial to drawing more objects using the SketchBook app for some of our product designs.

The touch screen Hewlett Packard HP TouchSmart tm2 Notebook PC.

HP tm2 Tablet

HP tm2 Tablet

But when a friend of mine was showing off his new tablet computer, it suddenly clicked that the SketchBook software could also work on the 12 in. laptop tablet screen too. So now the conundrum: which hardware should we get in order to sketch on the screen, and create ideas just as freely as we do with markers, pencils and paper?

Furthermore, just as I’m looking into all this, I see this full page ad campaign in the Globe & Mail about how Adobe wants to reach across the aisle to Apple (if you have not seen it yet Google: “Adobe loves Apple”). This full page ad is in defense of Adobe’s software, to which Apple is not willing to adjust its hardware, i.e. adding more horsepower to run things like Flash web content.

If I went with an iPad, I would prefer if it offered some new options instead of being an oversized iTouch device – that still does not play Flash, load 3rd party software or have peripheral device slots like USB.

On the other hand if we purchase a TouchSmart tm2 it could do multiple tasks; as it is both a computer and a tablet. Moreover using the HP tablet means I wouldn’t have to wonder if there was ever going to be a 3D app available, as it is helpful to be able to review some of the CAD files we’re building with clients.

As a result, I think Adobe has the right point of view here, and that is if you’re going to spend money on a computer-type device you should be able to use it the way you need to use it, and not be forced into the limitations of what the hardware of the device is capable of delivering.

Taking this line of thought and putting it into action, I finally walked into Future Shop to look at the TouchSmart tm2 tablet, and was surprised with the ease-of-use because not only was it a computer but also a touch screen device! So why hadn’t I jumped on the tablet bandwagon when they first came out? Well I can’t answer that, but I’m now realizing the potential of the touch screen computer, and these tablets I’m sure will soon replace the traditional laptops I’m used to.

Just like on the iPhone or iPad, the HP tm2 can do things like writing notes “writing” not typing – as it comes with a stylus pen (or one can use their finger, however the stylus has much finer ease of use). Subsequently using any of these new features, brings a unique way to how we can or will do daily computing.

I can truly “write” an email (in my own hand writing) and then this little HP has the software to convert it into text if I want – or I can send it out with my personal touch.

The Apple iPad  strength is content consumption, not creation.

iPad tablet

iPad tablet

A further advantage the tm2 also has voice recognition to operate the computer… just like the iPhone; this computer will actually listen to me! It can open files on command, as I speak it types, and can send emails all with the onboard microphone. To add to all of this, the tm2 comes with a fingerprint scanner for added login security, a web cam, stereo speakers, USB slots and a HDMI out and a few more benefits.

Keeping in mind my needs are slightly different than the original intent of the iPad I’m sure. Add to that the tm2 lacks the many thousand apple apps I use on my iPhone; however I’m sure that just around the corner Microsoft will adopt desktop apps to compete effectively.

Nevertheless in my comparison, I was blown away by this little tablet computer. So I bought one, and when I got it unpacked I purchased Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and started to utilize the freeform drawing capabilities that were offered just as we would use in the iPhone app.

Despite the fact that you will have to pay a little bit more money than one would pay for an iPad, it definitely gets you many more wow factor tools for computing, whether in the creative side, or the technical side of business.

Just as Adobe says, we all might love Apple products, but we also like choice and openness in all platforms regardless of the hardware or software limitations at hand to get our work done.

This is the third contribution of my monthly blog for Design Product News.

Thermoformed Plastic Boss Design

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Many electronic products are held together by machine screws (into bosses) and snap fits. Such features are designed into the latest release by model train specialist Bachrus Inc., designed by (featured on the cover the May 2010 DPN edition )  as this fastener technology is used for final assembly.



The model train controller product has some nice architecture features built into the electronic housing to help the form fit with the function – the outside that is seen in the creative exploration of shape and style. As the goal here was to wow the end user and add value to the product line, but with that said the inside was meticulously engineered to give that outer appearance a good first impression.

Here I’m focusing in on the architectural structure of the product’s boss designs. Because to get those right means that there is added strength without added wall thickness – as surface blemishes due to sink marks in the plastic show up more with an increase in plastic. As well, wall thickness uniformity is important to cycle times and generally the ribs and bosses are based on a 60/40 percentage ratio. So there are some minor tweaks that can make a design even better if you find the right source.

As you’re probably aware, Googling this topic will drop a great amount of resources onto your screen and a handful of fastener manufacturers’ documentation is there to sift through. However, I thought I would compile a little bit of information on the topic here in a handy, easy-to-access blog report.

The preferred thermoforming machine screw, which is engineered for plastic, is a thread forming screw like the EJOT PT cross recessed raised cheese head style screw – sourced in many places such as the Fabory Catalog. The key advantages of this thread forming fastener are many:

1. Is that it works in all types of thermal plastics.

2. It gives a maximum resistance to pull out with its 30° thread profile and narrow thread pitch.

3. Finally its recessed thread root design gives optimal material flow into the cavity recess between the threads on the screw as it cuts into the boss. This is highly desirable feature on very small screws like a KB 22×6 Pozidriv EJOT PT machine screw (Ø2.2 mm x 6.0 mm).

So once you’ve found the perfect Machine Screw, the structural design of the Boss to receive the PT EJOT thread forming faster is a bit more than a tube profile with draft. Companies like Acument, of Sterling Heights, MI, give some general guidelines online to create the qualifiable boss design you will need (see the chart below or look at: ).

ffp final 44

Machine Screw

Acument recommends to keep-in-mind that specific applications need to allow for various molding conditions, tool design, weld lines, and proximity to any injector gates, etc. will affect the boss.

With all that said though, the laboratory testing and in the field applications have produced great results for product designers to rely on, instead of the educated guess approach or the simple tube with draft.

Also a designer needs to notice the different recommendations for the inner diameter (i.d.) hole size for the screw – as it is dependant on the specific thermoplastics being used in the product design. As each plastic has its own molecular composition, some polymers are prone to cracking under expansion stress, while others are more capable of resisting those pressures when the screw is driven into place. Knowing your product material early on in the design process helps you create the optimal boss dimensions.

The surface finish on the final part might be high-gloss and capable to reflect subtle changes in the surface. So in a micro level, this is where form meets function in the design process because it’s truly here that the devil is in the details - and it will show. So go ahead and get the right boss design built into your parts and you will be on your way to making great designs.

Design Product News Magazine Online Blog

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

designproductnewsI am excited to announce my occasional blog about Industrial Design in Design Product News Magazine also known as DPN Canada.

This month I have written on the importance of ” Styling a product for Marketability “ and the role Industrial Design has in helping merge the ideas of Engineering Functions with the Marketing Team’s dreams… to create a visual & tangible result to work from. Where we work from Sketches to Clay Models, then move into Rhinoceros 3D to sculpt the finished look for Rapid Prototyping & manufacturing.

See the full article online at:  Design Product News