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Showing posts from January, 2011

Pat Brackley

The 4th/5th grade Seminar classes in Sheridan, Wyoming used the retractable pole discussed in your TED presentation as inspiration for our own innovations.

Currently about 45 students are identified for the program, which meets for ½ day a week and serves high-ability children in our beautiful community. In Seminar we work on a yearlong interdisciplinary unit. Our goal is to introduce new content and provide more depth and complexity within that content. This year’s theme is change, and a big focus is on innovation. Besides learning about innovators and innovations of the past, we’re innovating, too – coming up with hundreds of new inventions and ideas. Last week we SCAMPERed the retractable pole. As you probably know, SCAMPER is an acronym. So far we have used the first 4 letters (substitute, combine, adapt and minimize/maximize) to come up with new ideas. During our creative thinking sessions, all ideas are accepted. Here are our retractable pole innovations.

I substituted what the po…

$250 Gift certificate to access new materials on Inventables

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Inventables is working on democratizing access to new materials for what we affectionately refer to as "Little R&D".  Little R&D in our view includes all the small teams or individuals that work on R&D projects from places like Universities, startups, and small companies.  Typically they have a little bit of funding but getting high volume suppliers and manufacturers to give them technical support or sometimes sell them materials and components can be challenging.  In our experience these teams have lots of passion, energy, and great ideas.  We launched Inventables new innovator's hardware store for Little R&D folks like Tom Rooney and his team who built an autonomous underwater robot.

When we think about improving our store we think what can we do to democratize access.  This meaning what can we do to make it easier for these innovators to get their hands on new materials and components.  Sometimes that means literally making something available for sale …

We're hiring a Product Curator and Sourcer

We’re hiring a Product Curator and Sourcer to curate the selection of products we sell in our innovators hardware store. This person will be responsible for researching and vetting manufacturers, selecting products, setting up our supply chain, and writing product descriptions. We’re looking for someone with an engineering background (probably mechanical) that is also an excellent writer. You’ve probably built things your whole life and you love engineering. This position requires someone that will transform highly technical product specifications into accessible, fun, yet accurate product pages that inspire our customers to buy them and use them in their projects.  
This person will be responsible for helping our customers solve their R&D problems by optimizing our product selection and by setting the vision for how each product is portrayed on our site. To succeed you will need to: Manage the product mix by proactively curating products into groups that solve the same or similar pr…

2 Artists you should know about

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At Inventables we believe that the process of invention and new product development is social and collaborative. Products are rarely if ever created in the back room by a lone inventor. We're working to build tools to make conversations and collaborations easier for "Little R&D". We think about conversations around product development quite a bit and they tend to break down into questions and answers, show and tell, and free form brainstorming. In this post two Inventables customers will be doing some show and tell. If you've bought something and care to share what you've built email us at help @ inventables dot com.


Justin Kovac is a self styled Eco Artist. Justin Kovac's works are developed from abstractcompositions he often renders with the use of computer aided software which includes vectorizing drawings that will then be utilized in conjunction with a CNC machine.The results include stand out pieces such as Sunflower Red #1 2010 made with Sunflo…

The Product Design Show

I've always wondered why there haven't been more TV shows giving a backstage look at product design. The IDEO Nightline video was influencial in my life and if I remember correctly the most ordered video from Nightline ever. On Jan 7th A web-based program looking at the design of consumer and industrial products launched called The Product Design Show:

Check out episode #1 "Designing a Better Bicycle," Vince and Allison look at bicycle designs past, present and future.



We can't wait to see the one on new materials!

New Materials

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Materials and Products oftheweek Miniature Web Server
A complete networking solution in a tiny package that enables a product to do things such as deliver personalized content, be remotely diagnosed or upgraded, and regulate speed, power or other states based on information being sent to it. You can order these small, self-contained, Ethernet modules through Inventables.
Other Products you can order through Inventables: Circular Polarized Films
These films cancel out bright ambient light that is reflected off the surfaceof a display.

Where do you find new materials?

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If you're an industrial designer or mechanical engineer you might be wondering where do you find new materials? Inventables has recently launched an online hardware store for product developers we call the "Innovators Hardware Store".  In the store we sell all sorts of new materials and technologies that can be used for product development.  Typically most of these materials have only been available in high volume orders but we are working with manufacturers to make them available in small quantities for prototyping and short runs.  Here's a look at one of the homepages we're testing.
Our goal is to democratize access to materials.  This means we are trying to make them easier to understand with plain language descriptions and pictures that tell their story, sold in small enough quantities that a general audience can buy them, and available for purchase online with a credit card.  As we continue to develop the store we will continue to try and make it even easier…

Friends of MakerBot Operators Discount!

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Our friends over at MakerBot are lowering the barriers to 3D printing.  If you're not familiar with 3D printing it's similar to printing on paper but instead of printing flat 2D objects you print 3 dimensional objects.  Companies like 3D systems, Z-Corporation, and Stratasys have been manufacturing industrial grade machines like this for years.  Typically the least expensive ones cost between $15,000-30,000 while the most expensive cost as much as $250,000.  Here's a list of most of the ones one the market.  A finished part typically is made of plastic and looks like this:






MakerBot is a startup in New York that has launched an open source RepRap machine.  Their machine is sold unassembled and typically costs $899-$1225 in the MakerBot store.


For a limited time they are Sharing the love of 3D printing by extending a “friends of Makerbot operators” exclusive time-limited offer to the friends, family, coworkers, students, and fellow creation enthusiasts in your life. 

Forward th…