Archive for the ‘STYLING’ 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.

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.


How 3D vision can help Product Design

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Walk into any television and stereo entertainment store this fall and you will be witnessing some of the latest 3-D television sets.  Displaying 3D Blu-ray movies and soon to come 3D television shows, 3D documentaries, and even live 3D sports broadcasts.  Imagine NFL football games on Sunday afternoons, let alone how this will improve seeing the undulating fairways and greens while watching Golf and the PGA at Augusta National for the Masters this spring!

Stereo imaging has been around for many years, but this latest advancement in Home Theatres has given us cost effective stereoscopic 3D flat screens and glasses allowing the viewer to travel through space, showing heights, depths and textures like we have never seen before - all right in our own living rooms!  So, when will we adopt this this technology into our everyday Office Space?

Virtual Reality in CAD ( Computer Aided Design) has been around for a decade or more, used often in architecture to show fly through landscapes and streetscapes for construction projects, as well as  with a handful of high-end vehicle designs on Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin cars.  But this technology is now on the verge of being offered in Tablets and Laptops in a cost effective way getting this into the hands of every designer and engineer at their own desk!   And so what we as a group of professionals really haven’t done before is engage this technology at very basic level of product design involving our engineering and industrial design in the day to day developments of a project. 

Currently the best way to “see” a product for form and fit is to use Rapid Prototyping repeatedly, until we are comfortable with the end result.  This is used currently because so much information and comfort level is lost on the CAD system when only being able to see the parts on a 2D monitor.  

However a handful of companies have developed software and hardware for design professionals to start utilizing this advanced technology allowing for 3-D visual experience.  Nvidia has been developing packages that give new tools to designers to create that next generation of products, 3D Vision gives “graphics solutions for real time collaborating design reviews complex data exploration, immersive realistic 3-D environments and faster time to insight”


In the past 3-D vision technology has been out of reach for most of our desks and was at best used mostly as a board level type design tool.  Imagine now, that the design work environment can be done with 3D visual support on a single desktop monitor, no longer restricted to large projected images or using a CAVE, the rooms specifically designed for virtual reality simulations.

Operating with this kind of 3D vision is really very simple, all you need is a compatible 3D GPU ( graphics processor unit) a 3D vision ready flat screen display or projector and a set of the 3D glasses for viewing.  With many 3D CAD software packages getting into the support of such technologies, companies like Rhino3D, Autodesk, Catia & Siemens are among the handful of CAD developers catering to this new technology.

So the big question is this, How will this new 3D vision change or improve the product development process and lower the costs to create and prototype new ideas and product ventures?   Soon we will know, but it’s probably just a matter of time before the 3D stereoscopic display monitors start to take over, and the replacement of the 2D flat screen monitors in the Engineering and Industrial Design Offices become the norm, offering this new technology to the research and development process.

Finding Design Gems this Summer

Thursday, August 19th, 2010
Recently after returning home from a camping trip with the family, I stumbled across some camping gear that takes a unique look into the camping experience.  Where form meets function and where Dad would rather spend 5 minutes of set up instead of the 30 to 40 min. traditionally encountered in putting up the tent.  And while this seems like an odd topic for a design review here are a few gems that have brought some thoughts to tap into new ideas in product development. I guess that while it is still August this might be as good as any to transition from vacation back to innovation to help get you thinking about what might be coming down the pipeline for 2011. 
Industrial Design Style Example 1
 Industrial Design Style Example 1
The first product is a tent trailer that is styled after the Sydney Opera House, but with European styling and luxury that no tent trailer has encountered before.  To be released this year the Opera Tent Trailer is made in the Netherlands by YSIN . The concept draws upon architectural roots but the deliverance of this form is where the creativity gives this product uniqueness. Add to the overall form is the treatment of high end materials of Teak and Oak offset with Stainless Steel Accents and LED lighting and you quickly find this experience like one might on a yacht, adding a new market share in the camping experience. 




Industrial Design Style Example 2

 Industrial Design Style Example 2The second is a trailer design that is much more utilitarian or functional, however I still found this to resonate well from both its form and style.  The Sylvan Sport Go tent takes its aim at a crowd with bikes, kayaks and other gear on the weekend getaways.  It’s a brilliant approach of putting the tent overhead in a box frame and dropping down for the quick 5 min. setup.  In age old category of the tent trailers, this sport feel is designed to get you out of the city quick and into the outdoors but still with some creature comforts above the tenting experience.




Industrial Design Style Example 3
Industrial Design Style Example 3

The third is a bit more hard core, this trailer concept from down under gives the true outback experience with mobility of the off road vehicle ruggedness.  The TVAN Track trailer built and sold in Australia is designed for performance and durability, but there is something tough and aggressive about the design and styling of this product line.  

While this review is not extensive, the ideas from seeing unique products from other corners of our globe can help to drive new ideas into the projects we’ve got going on.  From European styling to the North American Sport weekend warrior to the outback adventure tour I’m reminded of how well design of an idea can play a role in creating unique products that people are interested to buy.  So keep your eyes open while the last remaining days of summer draw near, you never know where a burst of inspiration might come from.
As an Industrial Design Firm serving companies looking to bring new ideas to their product development process we continue to blog about new products in the market.  We contribute to the monthly blog for Design Product News Canada.  For more information on Industrial Design services contact us

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:

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.

Chief Design Officer - Board Room Level

Friday, March 19th, 2010

In light of my recent blog in Design Product News, I mentioned how Ford Motor Company is getting things done right from a design, engineering and technology point of view - in that some of their latest vehicles are fun to drive, look great and have built in technology gadgets for the latest hand held devices.

But I also mentioned the efforts of some companies board rooms and how they are starting to add a Chief Design Officer along side the CFO and CEO positions.

Design importance of a product line plays a critical role in competitive balance sheets and if companies want a greater return on investment for the share holders - cost efficiencies have to go toe to toe with nice looking products too.

And that is where I think the Ford Motor Company has recently seen some success in the market share in this latest recession. Ford started early to change its approach to what it was going to offer consumers and that has started to win back buyers.

So as mentioned in the DPN Blog, the success of products designed here at have always been the results of a CEO or President who has a passion to make their product look better and work better in order to outperform the competition.

So if new design styling is what you think your product line needs, bring that realization to the next meeting and start being innovative, creative and effective on getting Qualitative Design into production - and if you need a little help give us a call.

Go to the Industrial Design Blog at DPN

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

Smart Phone - Smart Design ??

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Smart Phone Isometric  Smart Phone B Blackberry Update

Are smart phones in need of something more?

Stripped down to a basic geometric shape - the iphone is pushing the market into an early 1960 Braun or Bauhaus look - simplified styling!

But do all smart phones need to follow suit?

Apple is in this groove but how long will it last, what is next down the pipeline for the electronic housing design in 2012 or 2015?

Espresso Machine Industrial Design

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

bosch_sm  saecoodea_sm

Design is becoming more challenging in Espresso makers, just compare the Saeco Odea and the Bosch Machine.
Both have similar colour schemes Black ABS type finish with Silver / Stainless over mold features.
While one machine might appeal more to some, it all comes down to you.  Which one would you like to put onto the counter?
Design plays a unique roll here on our visual senses, as both machines are engineered to make the same drink…
The Industrial Design behind the styling becomes a sole reason on why some might buy one over the other.
So encourage creative design in your business, you’ll never know what might happen when you put an artist along side product engineering!