your go to resource for designing with plastics

hosted by Eric R. Larson

I don't often showcase a gadget, but when I do, it's solving a real issue.

Grappling with color-matching, some manufacturers charge an arm and a leg for a color. Some give you all kinds of color variations, some of which might even match… sorta. Some follow Henry Ford in offering “…any color you want, as long as it is black.”

A panel discussion highlights one of innovation's "catch-22s"

Change - especially for designers - is a challenge. Everybody wants it but nobody wants it. Even among those of us with a day-to-day job of innovating and improving products, there’s often an underlying attitude of “I love innovation, but please don’t change anything about the way I do things.”

some thoughts on selecting plastic materials for the lowest possible manufacturing cost

plastic bottle bottom
some thoughts on selecting plastic materials for the lowest possible manufacturing cost

An engineer's first hand experience with motherhood, apple pie, and diabetes

With friends, family, and dinner parties, the question is inevitable: Of all the things you’ve designed, what is your favorite? For me, it is an unremarkable-looking insulin pen.

The story behind making a child resistant lighter

BIC Lighter design
Designing a product so that it can’t cause harm - even if it is mis-used – is hard to do. But even the best design can cause problems when a kid grabs it - then licks it, immerses it in the sink, turns it upside down, throws it, hammers it, and sticks it in any suitable slot, crevice, or electrical outlet. When kids are in the mix, the matrix of possible mis-uses is overwhelming.

a simple tool to develop an idea into a commercial product

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, what is a prototype worth?

“seeing” things from a different perspective

The next time you’re engaged in a design problem, grab or borrow a different pair of glasses. Put on a pair of reading glasses, sport goggles, smudged or scratched glasses, thick glasses, sunglasses - and then see what happens. It will not only change how you use the phrase “I see” – it will make you a better designer.

a lesson in design based on the teachings of Archimedes

What weighs more, a pound of feathers, or a pound of rocks?

some musings on the delivery of fresh drinking water to people around world

sometimes, a great design solution comes from re-thinking the problem

A community's cry for help challenges perspective on design and technology

15th street, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, taken May 3, 2011
“Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”

I just spent the last few days in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, helping my step-sister and her family recover from the effects of an F5 tornado. It was an unbelievable experience.