designing anything means different things to different people but at its core, its not “one” thing. it’s not about the technology, it’s not about the look, or the material, or the functionality. its about how all these flavors are added into a mixing bowl of “design” in order to produce a magical unique product. This doesn’t come about simply from one point of view but by many conversations, and leveraging literally decades of experience.

You know something special is happening when at the end of an hour long calls with your business partner and designer, we both walk away with huge respect for each others points of view. Gareth immersed himself in design, but again, “design” is a very small word for what he is able to convey. His ability to not only drive one of the most complex CAD modelling products available and throwing CAD parts around, like a high tech impresario, as one would approach a new performance of a piano sonata, Gareth understands the medium. Plastic, in its many different forms, the way it might be trained to do something we need it to do. Knowledge of its characteristics, how and where it can be used then what happens in the injection mold – the artifacts it leaves behind, the cost of designing and re-designing a flow or adding a different component (i was educated only yesterday about asking for a part in a different orientation, in order to solve a challenge that had presented itself. I was told that it would cost many 10’s of 1000’s of dollars to the overall design had we gone down that route, not to mention additional material and cost. these are immeasurably valuable insights that are not learned from simply reading a book. These insights come about over years of experiencing successes and failures

I look at things from a slightly different holistic approach: would i wear this, or would i have one of these gizmos at home? why? how would i use it and treat it (do we need an on/off button?), what would i expect from it, what are the minimum things i would need to even use this “widget”? between the two of us, we muddle through, and the conclusion always feels right not labored or painful but thoughtful, no one is trying to fight for their corner or victory over the other, we left that way back in corporate America some time ago. Gareth and I are getting things done at warp speed its exciting and exhilarating. We are just doing what we need to do. I test or print or build test rigs to prove that something will work, and if i am not around or available Gareth goes off tries things too. Only yesterday, he was telling me that he needed to simulate a small opening to a vent to see if it would provide enough airflow for someone like him to continue to breath. He walked around the room with a straw stuck in his mouth. I told him i would have given money to watch that, but his little test influenced his design of the valves we are including.

I am test printing a 3d print of the valves to make sure they will provide the best airflow possible. i will have the results tomorrow, when i have spent an hour cleaning out the melted plastic that clogged up the head of my makerbot 3D printer last time i printing a test part.

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