Industrial Design and Innovation

In the News at Blender

Here is the newsletter from one of our department supporters, blender design. Keep your eyes open for pasts students as you read…

‘Happy Chinese New Year and welcome to the Year of the Horse and a big year for Kiwi innovation!

In thinking about horses and innovation, I came across this old quote by Henry Ford in relation to the Model T. “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Many people argue that it’s a fake quote and those words never escaped his lips, but I think it has a rather profound message wrapped up in it that is tied to innovation, and that is: Don’t expect your customers to help you envision the future.

That said, we believe that if you understand your customers’ real problems, and focus on delivering the best solutions possible, then you will create the future. This is true innovation.

It’s important to keep speeding through the innovation loop in your business: build-measure-learn, build-measure-learn, innovating continuously to stay ahead of your competitors whilst staying close to your customers.

Problem solving and innovation are in our DNA, if you want to talk to us about it, don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’re a friendly bunch. In the meantime check out the latest news below and have a great year of the horse!

Ollie McDermott & the Blender Team
Product Design & Innovation Specialists

meMINI – New Zealand’s first wearable camera has raised almost $100,000 in just 30 days using crowd funding.

The Blender team were recently involved in the design of meMini, a personal camera that captures the gift of hindsight, meaning its wearers never miss capturing a great moment.

Working with Teknique and entreprenuerial founder of meMINI, Sam Lee, Blender were involved in the “building bits” to bring the initial meMINI prototype to life. Following the surveys that validated a market need, we explored different concepts and 3d prototypes in developing this innovative product.

meMINI was launched at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, kicking off its 30 day campaign on January 7th, 2014. Running until Waitangi Day, it seemed the market did agree that there was a legitimate need for meMINI, with funding running up to nearly $100,000 (double their target) over the course of the campaign.

The Blender team are thrilled with the success of this product and look forward to working further with Sam and the team on developing the product for market. Well done guys!

To find out more about meMINI, click here to see coverage from TVNZ’s Breakfast show, or here for a look at the successful meMINI kickstarter campaign.

The mini Sealegs production line:

Late last year we tasked with creating 50 scale model displays for our long-time clients, Sealegs. Using our 3D CAD (Computer-aided design) software and rapid prototyping technology we were able to cost-effectively create a short run of 50 bespoke display models in a short timeframe.

The moving parts of the legs and wheels are an exact scale replica of the real things. They were vacuum cast in ABS and urethane rubber to give an accurate and detailed finish before being attached to stylised acrylic hulls and mounted in a display case.

This is another great example of what we can do with the latest prototyping technology, removing the cost and resource barriers usually incurred in small run projects.

Check out a timelapse video of the assembly here


Opening industry doors to AUT students

sit stand desk

Following a brief from our client, Integ international, our AUT student intern, Joel Ross has explored the important area of Sit/Stand furniture for his final year project, spending much of the year conducting research into how to create a piece of office furniture that promotes standing while working.

Our mentoring programme has proven to be a winner too, with all involved gaining huge benefits – Integ has received valuable insights and research, AUT received free mentoring and tutoring for students, and Joel gained a huge amount of knowledge and experience within the industry, even discovering which aspect of the industry he now wants to work in.

See the article in the Papakura Courier and read more here.

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