Friday, July 29, 2005

Interesting Product Design Forums

I found these recently - good resources for those in product design - and those just interested in the process.

Product Design Forums
Design Addict Forums
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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Calder Guitar Case Story Ch 14 Gig Bag 2nd Prototype

March 05

The next Calder gig bag prototype gave us some idea of how the chassis components would look before going to the cost of making thermoformed components. This version was still not right - the handle is all wrong but it moved us forward another step.

Gig Bag proto 2 pic

Gig Bag proto 2 pic back

category: early development

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Calder Guitar Case Story Ch 13 Gig Bag First Prototypes

Feb 05

By Feb it seemed we'd cracked the major design issues of the Calder Hard Case - the big wow response at NAMM LA gave us confidence we were on our way to a business.

Now the gig bag. We wanted the Calder g-bag to give serious protection - materials and construction were the big focus. Having scoured the hallways of NAMM we knew most gig bags use open cell foam - soft and squishy - no matter how thick it doesn't really protect against heavy knocks. We opted for closed cell foam - 10mm of this protects way more than 30mm of open cell.

Here's the first prototype we had made by a helpful company in North Devon.

Gig bag 1 3:4 profile

Gig Bag 1 3 shots vertical

Gig Bag 1 in action

Pleased that the Calder shape looked good in soft material Michael Mailling knocked out some elegant sketches of how the gig bag might look in detail. He added in pockets and a thermoformed rigid chassis that would offer major protection for the neck and base of the guitar.

Gig Bag 2.1 Coloured Drawing

Gig Bag 2.2 Coloured Drawing

Here's a tech sketch showing how the rigid chassis would fit onto the Calder gig bag

Gbag line dr w therm sections

category: early development

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Calder website homepage
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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Places where they speak of guitars

Always hungry for places where guitars are the center of attention I was happy to find website/bulletin boards The Gear Page
and Guitar Gear Heads .

And guitarguitarguitar wrote they would like to link to me from their elegantly geeky blog and when I checked them out they led me to guitarz which is another well informed (or well obsessed) guitar blog.
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Calder Guitar Case Story Ch 12 Hard Case Prototype in LA

Jan 05

After the panic of getting the prototype to Heathrow on time I took the next 9 hours to unwind...drinking red wine and listening to consultant Brendan Murray talking passionately about Led Zep.

Arrived LA midnight UK time. Zonked but wanting to press on we took the vast box containing the prototype to the motel where we were going to have our meetings. I opened the box to show Brendan what we had...bad move we were tired and the protoype looked to me...well crappy...didn't close properly...bits falling off. Went into deep depression.
[LEARNING POINT - IF POSSIBLE TAKE A BREAK AFTER THE FLIGHT - YOUR MIND IS SHOT].

Woke up still depressed and feeling unable to talk with enthusiasm about this lump of plastic I'd spend god knows how much money on...

First meeting...hey they liked it...they loved it...they said it was cool...really showed what we could do. And that was the way it went on. Everyone else 'cept me knew that prototypes always look rough - what's important is they demonstrate that the thing you're making actually works.
[LEARNING POINT - UNDERSTAND WHAT A PROTOTYPE IS GOING TO LOOK LIKE]

Here's a big John from one of the guitar making companies playing with the case. Like everyone else he picked it up and looked round for the mirror to see how he and it looked together...like the man said '...guitarist buy with their eyes...'

IMG_1718

Each meeting ended with me asking that people get back to me with some sales numbers - I'd invested over $150,000 and I was wanting to see some sign of money coming in. "Oh sure Nick" they all said "...we'll get back to you in a couple of weeks..."

Brendan and headed back to the UK feeling we'd done a pretty good job....we were truly rolling.

category: early development

Calder blog homepage
Calder website homepage
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