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24 Jul
Starting with designing the new product
Google

Right after I came up with the idea, the next thing was to jump into Google and dive in to searching if anything like this already exists. After all, you do not want to make just one more similar product, and certainly you do not want to infringe on existing patents.

The search started with images first. It is much faster and easier for me to run through pictures and have a first scan. Afterwards, I used a terms search, which was much more time consuming and reading intensive. Lastly, I searched in Google Patent with all the key word combinations to see what was patented and if there was a possibility of a conflict. I must say that the search phase is very stressful, each time you click to move on to the next page, you fear what you are going to find...

Now that the search was done, and there were no conflicts that I needed to worry about, I moved on to the next step of designing the product.

What I enjoy most as an industrial designer is the design process. In this initial process there are no bad ideas, anything goes and the paper can absorb anything. From crazy shapes and impossible to manufacture geometry, to more subtle design configurations. In this phase, the question "Who said it can not be this way" is asked again and again. Asking yourself this question makes you come up with the wildest ideas initially and eventually zero in to the shapes that make the most sense and are often a good combination of a wild idea and a more solid proven concept.

The key to choosing the final design is:

The appearance of the product – There is only one chance for first impressions.
Functionality – If it looks good but is not working so well, you are missing the point.
Simplification - Smart people before me have said Less is More.
Ease of fabrication – Minimal and ease of assembly.
Low cost – enough said.
Now that I have the overall design and proportions in place, it is time to move to the next step of actual 3D design and detailed engineering. In some projects we use the actual sketches as underlay in the 3D conversion process. In this case, since the design and the product itself is not so complex and relatively easy to model in CAD, we jumped straight to 3D modeling.