Prototyping and projectiles — as chosen by the engineers of IDEO.
When we have to build a prototype in a day and need that certain
door latch, self-tapping screw, or compression fitting, we go directly
to McMaster-Carr. You can get just about any industrial supply item,
from micrometers, to furnaces, to O-rings, to 500-gallon storage
tanks. And they offer overnight shipping on most things! This site is
definitely in the category of “trusted resource.”
Finger Blasters recfx.com
Need to blow off some steam? Ambush a colleague? Shock a client?
We’ve found that Finger Blasters do the trick. Harmless foam projectiles (but be careful at close range), these finger-launched rockets
are great for infusing the workday with a sense of play.
FDM Rapid Prototyper stratasys.com
After staring at a computer terminal for days designing a part that’s
one-tenth of the size of what appears onscreen, there’s nothing like
actually holding the part in your hand to bring you back to reality.
Our FDM (fused deposition modeling) machine gets nonstop use for
that very reason. It is effectively a three-dimensional printer, taking
the CAD-generated geometry created on the computer and building
the part out of layers of ABS or other plastic in a matter of hours.
Arduino Electronics Board store.makezine.com
Oftentimes we need to add electronics to our prototypes, but designing and building a custom-printed circuit board takes too much
time and money. This low-cost board takes input from a variety of
sensors, and can control LEDs, buzzers, motors, or anything else you
care to connect to it. Best of all, you can order them directly from the
One of IDEO’s secret weapons is its team of master prototypers. If
they can’t build it, it can’t be built. Admittedly, this option is a little
too costly for your average DIYer, but these folks are definitely one of
our favorite things. In lieu of your own private team of professionals,
find a nearby shop with a variety of equipment and skilled machinists
to help you out with that rare fabrication problem.
This is the lifeblood of IDEO, along with Post-its. This sandwich of
paper and foam is great not only for organizing our ubiquitous Post-its,
but for creating quick, rough prototypes of everything from small,
complex mechanisms to room-sized furniture installations. With
foamcore, an X-Acto knife, and a hot melt glue gun, it’s possible to
build just about anything.
IDEO is an innovation and design firm that has been independently ranked as one of the most innovative companies in the
world. Known for the design of Apple’s first mouse, the first laptop computer, and the Palm V, IDEO more recently created
the cockpit configuration for the Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet, Bank of America’s Keep the Change banking service, and the
Shimano Coasting bike strategy. ideo.com
172 Make: Volume 12