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A product design blog containing unique observations, advice and ideas to improve objects from the mind of Product Tank.

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Entries in solution (3)


Bike Lock

A while ago I had a request to design a bike lock, which I have been musing about for a while and now I've reached a point where I'm willing to admit defeat.  It's not that I can't design a good bike lock, but what I can't really do is improve upon existing designs.  So, I started thinking about making the bike become the lock, something that I also think has been done, by turning the frame into a carribena.  But again, maybe I'm asking the wrong question.  All too often people approach designers and ask them to design them an object, not a solution to a problem.  It should not be about designing another bike lock or anything else that already exists, but addressing a problem, which in this instance is stopping a bike from being stolen. Maybe the idea would be to design a bike so light and foldable or compact, that you wouldn't need to lock it up.  You could just carry it into the office and store in under the desk, or put it in your bag and carry it in to the classroom.  Can it currently be done in a staisfactory way? Who knows, but asking different questions and addressing problems, not redesigning current solutions, is the best way to innovate and come up with something (hopefully) better - time to start musing again. 


design ideas - Flooding #2

Alas, the rain continues.... and combined with the wind direction, rain is being blown onto the back door of the house.  This has meant that every time I open the door to go out to my shed to make a model or two, water runs off the door and drips off it's end scribing a perfect arc onto the floor inside.  It's becoming annoying.  I can't believe that door manufacturers haven't come up with a nice cosmetic way to gutter the water off the door to prevent this, which would be an additional USP and could easily be provided as an additional option. 

5 minutes with photoshop provided me with a design solution, a gutter that runs along and extends beyond the edge of the door when open.  I'll admit my modification is not that beautiful (if I spent more time on it I could make it amazing), but even like this, it's better than having to continually lay and change newspaper every time it rains.


design idea - Flooding

This week, the rain in blighty has reached near biblical proportions.  It's autumn and many roads have become flooded as fallen leaves have blocked drains causing several problems.  As a driver, you don't know where the edge of the road is and you also don't know where the drain is if you want to try an unblock it. I was wondering if I could come up with a design solution to solve these issues, so generated two ideas that are cheap to manufacture from plastic and polystyrene and are retrofittable to a current drain.

1. is a float that sits in the drain and as it starts to fill raises to indicate where the drain is. 

2. is an idea to stop the drain blocking by having a floating cage lift up to prevent leaves from clogging the top of the drain.   Both have issues, but are ideas in progress.