Petwell Pet Massage Products

Posted in Design
Petwell Pet Massage Products

Whoo hoo! New products are out designed by Design Sharpener! So excited to introduce these designs made with Gaiam and Petwell. We are even listed on the inventor list on the patents! You never know what new ideas can come about from concept work. Like in this case, each design wound up having more features, functionality and more design aesthetic than thought possible. Pet Massage Therapy and never before seen tools to take care of you pet. Anything is possible.

Each of these designs began with a basic concept render page as shown in the slides above. With the help of 3d printed prototypes each design was thoroughly tested with a Veterinarian specializing in pet recovery therapy so that any adjustments could be made to the prototypes for testing prior to production. 3d CAD Models were created using Solidworks. They models were used for 3d printing and then were updated in coordination with the manufacturer prior to production. Each product is part injection molded and some feature TPE molding or over molding which allows another layer of softer material to be molded onto the parts for grip accents on handles.

The Wave Tool for Massage Therapy is Here!!! Click and Drag to Spin Model!!!

Posted in Design

Click and Drag to rotate the product in real time using Keyshot VR!!! This can be a great marketing tool to show off every angle of your design. You can pick from various rotations that show top, bottom and rotational views simply by dragging with your mouse. Adding this to your website is easy. Simply upload the html files to your website.

The Wave tool is here!!! This 3d modeling project used Solidworks complex surface modeling to facilitate beautiful lines and smooth tangent surfaces to create a well balanced looking massage tool. The initial design was modeled off a hand made plaster shape, making it difficult to remaster the part. No 3d scanning was used. In order to show off the curvatures of this product above is a Keyshot VR or virtual reality. Simply click and drag with your mouse and be amazed at seeing the entire product in every angle! Great for items like this that are hard to show off just how complex they are, subtle in simplicity. You can purchase a Wave tool for all sorts of muscle therapy groups here.

Ecolution Pizza Pan Design

Posted in Design
Ecolution Pizza Pan Design

For this project I worked on the hole pattern which was punched into the pan. I gave the manufacturing factory a DXF file, or CAD file which they were able to open up and create a die to punch the pattern. The pattern is based on the slice pattern of a pizza. Each air hole helps brown the crust to perfection and also leave a nice circular pattern on the bottom as well. You can purchase this pizza pan at Ecolution and on other major retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Target and more.

While this project was rather simple it is interesting to know just how much time goes into development. The pattern went through several stages and tests to determine the appropriate diameter of the circles based on how well they heated the pizza. The pattern it self was easy enough to come up with but making that work on a pan with grooves and other limitations took some real design effort from an entire team! Who would have thought right? With Solidworks I was able to 3d model the pan and then create a pattern layout that even a factory overseas could open up and understand. Solidworks has many file types it can export and that is huge when it comes to manufacturing. Time and time again clients come to me after working with someone else and have found out their design is unusable because no one can open them! Solidworks can export in MANY files types including STL (usually for 3d printing), IGES, STEP, DXF/DWG (typically flat CAD files) just to name a few. This makes working collaboratively with a factory great as both them and the designer can views changes, edits and design revisions in a snap.

Eco Vessel Pint Glass Sleeve in Action!

Posted in Design, News
Eco Vessel Pint Glass Sleeve in Action!

Eco Vessel not only makes great water bottles, they make great pint glass sleeves! I designed this sleeve for Eco Vessel a few years ago and I’m glad to see it popularity grow. The simplicity of the design along with its useful cushioning for glassware has made it quite popular! You can now find this product design at Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, JET, Amazon and many more!

Keyshot 6 Virtual Reality (VR) Rendering for Concept + Final Presentation (Click + Spin product movement)

Posted in Design

KeyShotVR is Luxion’s patent-pending technology that delivers interactive, touch-enabled viewing across desktop, laptop or mobile devices and enables you to provide a richer experience for product portfolios, presentations and design reviews.

Through this integrated KeyShot add-on, high-quality, interactive product visuals can be created directly inside KeyShot, with all the assets provided to have your visuals on the web in minutes.

All content can be viewed using your mouse or finger on touch-enabled devices and does not require a browser plugin to work. With no dependence on WebGL you can deliver the highest-quality product experience possible across the widest range of devices. See what makes KeyShotVR different.

Solidworks for 3d printing functional prototypes for Industrial Design

Posted in Art, Design
Solidworks for 3d printing functional prototypes for Industrial Design

Kyle Cunniff uses Solidworks for 3d printing functional prototypes for Industrial Design. 3d printing has quickly become the norm for prototyping quick parts and prices have fallen dramatically to 3d print parts. Even software such as solidworks, 3ds max, sketchup, rhino and more are now available to anyone because the software has become so intuitive that anyone can learn it without having to be an engineer, industrial designer, architect or in a similar field. Remember when making a photo realistic change in photoshop was magic? Now everyone knows a little something about it, has the software or a similar kind and can tweak their photos without thinking about it. Will 3d printing become that way for us? My personal opinion is no. Below are some thoughts I have about 3d printing, solidworks software, keyshot rendering and the projection I see Industrial Design taking in the years to come.

First lets talk about usability or practicality of 3d printing. Here at design sharpener we can take our designs from a very early stage and 3d print them for a client to test out for instance, the grip on a pan handle. Now in the “old” days as a designer right out of school from Pratt Institute I would literally carve foam with all sorts of tools (hot wire, knives, rasps, sandpaper) and use paper guides to get the foam model as close as possible to the design drawings. Now, all we have to do is click print. The difference though is that a foam handle is relatively easy to sculpt where as a print can take a week or more to have in hand. If a client wants to get the ball rolling fast, that could be a problem right?

Okay so a lot of clients ask before we a design sharpener get going on a project what they can expect to pay for a prototype or 3d print. The honest answer is that until I get going on the design and see what it looks like I won’t be able to tell. 3d printing costs are calculated by size, complexity (all those handsome little textures all over your design take time to print) and material, which I will cover below a bit. 3d printing costs are generally much lower than they have been but they can still be high, also because of print resolution and how you need to use your print. Does the 3d print need to feel like the real thing? Does the prototype need to act like the real thing? Does the prototype need to look like the real thing? These are all additional considerations for your prototype, costs and what you should expect to think about when considering a 3d print for your project.

There are so many options for 3d printing let alone pricing changes that its hard to predict. And without a solidworks 3d model to upload, your out of luck predicting. The thing to remember though, is that no matter how expensive a 3d print can be it pails in comparison to paying for a mold to manufacture your product for real. So its far wiser to test and possibly re-test your idea so you know its viable before going all out and paying for injection molding for instance.

3d print material can now be made of aluminum, steel, gold, all kinds of plastic that can flex, plastic that is translucent, plastic that is colored in different areas. Just about anything you can think of its there. The one material that continues to evade 3d printing, at least for now is silicone. This is a difficult material to print and while their are somewhat flexible choices out their nothing compares really to the real thing. So for now if your product is silicone (like a dog toy for instance) your stuck casting your idea the “old” way by hand to get a functional and feel right prototype.

3d Print complexity is also a major factor in predicting cost and if its the right way to have your prototype made. For instance, if their are a number of parts and they are heavily dependent on each other fitting right it important to remember 3d printing has larger tolerance requirements (depends on the material too) than a final injection molded plastic would be. 3d printing is not as precise and that is a limitation to might mean you should have a machine shop make your parts or maybe you don’t require such precision? It all comes down to your needs. Its important to understand 3d printing and its limitations before having your part made by a industrial designer.

Software is available for free like sketchup to model your idea. If you aren’t willing to learn a program and spend the untold hours learning how to use it finding an industrial designer will take care of that in a snap. Industrial designers are trained to take your napkin sketch idea and turn it into something that can be made while all along managing your expectations and guiding your design in the direction of a successful product that is economical to produce and that looks unique. Sometimes a clients attachment to that extra doodad on a idea of theirs needs to be changed to be made. Its a hard job but someone has to do it.

All in all I don’t see 3d printers being in every house-hold like a star trek episode. Between the cost, the practicality, accessibility, material, print quality, the print finish and appearance, I’d say its got a long way to go. But for now, it proves a valuable tool in a industrial designers tool box that can help a client see what their idea looks like in 3d, test out functionality and understand its viability before shelling out the big bucks for the final product. Its got pro’s and its got con’s. I can’t wait to see what the future will bring.

Injection Molded Pint Glass Sleeve Design for Eco Vessel in Boulder, Colorado

Posted in Design
Injection Molded Pint Glass Sleeve Design for Eco Vessel in Boulder, Colorado

This Pint Glass Sleeve was 3d Modeled in Solidworks. Multiple concepts were presented to the creative team over at Eco Vessel in Boulder, Colorado. I have been lucky enough to design a few products for Eco Vessel in the past including their Water Bottle, Top and Silicone Sleeve available in a variety of colors, insulated and for kids.

Throughout the design process I was able to show new iterations using Keyshot 5 to render photo-realistic product renderings and even animations so the team could better understand what the final product would look like. Ultimately the team chose the concept pictured above. The files were handed off to a factory overseas and then the silicone sleeve was injection molded. The process was seamless and because I used Solidworks to model the product, many acceptable file types were available to share with the factory in which they could open, edit and view the files needed to produce my design.

Artist Booth Rendering using Solidworks and KeyShot 5 for a vendor application at an Art Fair for the Cherry Creek art fest 2016 in Denver, Colorado

Posted in Art, News, Uncategorized
Artist Booth Rendering using Solidworks and KeyShot 5 for a vendor application at an Art Fair for the Cherry Creek art fest 2016 in Denver, Colorado

This render was made for an Artist Booth Rendering using Solidworks and KeyShot 5 for a vendor application at an Art Fair. Using the dimensions and images provided by the artist I was able to design a booth to scale and apply images. The booth and frames were modeled out in 3d using solidworks. I was then able to apply wood texture mapping to the frames of each artwork to match the “real” version. After that I applied the artworks photos as decals to each frame. The rendering was accomplished using Keyshot 5 an after affects rendering program that can utilize solidworks 3d models.

My new product design emerges for Ecolution designed by Kyle Cunniff in the microwave popcorn maker field – What a nice promo video!!!

Posted in Design, News

Ecolution a brand by Epoca got in touch last year with a product they would like to design. They already had a very successful glass version, in big box retailer store but the problem was the glass version got too hot to handle. They wanted to add a silicone cage with a handle. We went through various concepts before getting to this design, based on the scalloped round overs on vintage pop corn boxes (seen in the video). We also went through a few rapid prototypes to test the fit and functionality before handing off the design files to the factory. I will post more of this process once the product is fully launched.

USPTO “How to conduct a preliminary US patent search”

Posted in Uncategorized

This patent resource allows you to conduct a preliminary US patent search, a great starting point if your interested in potentially putting together a patent for a product idea you have.
Click the link:
USPTO “How to conduct a preliminary US patent search”

AIPLA “How to Protect and Benefit From Your Ideas”

Posted in Uncategorized

This link is posted here as a resource to you to find out more about patent information, how to get a patent, why you should get a patent and hopefully answers some of the questions that come up during the patent process.
Click the link:
AIPLA “How to Protect and Benefit From Your Ideas”

Bring your concept to life. You have a product idea in your head but who can make it a reality?

Posted in Design

Kyle Cunniff Packaging Design and Rendering 1Its the American Dream. You have an idea, you want to make it, sell it and become rich!

Where do you start? With me! I can take you napkin sketch, your bare bones idea or your rough prototype and build it in 3d using Solidworks.

Want to market your product on a crowd funding site like kickstarter or indie-go-go? I can render your idea so you can use it for your promotion.

Want a prototype first? From the files I generate from modeling in Solidworks I can get you started 3d printing or put you in touch with a prototype shop to get you some working.

Ready to find out about pricing? With the files I give you, you’ll be able to approach a manufacturer and find out what its going to cost to make your product. Email me today with your product idea. I typically charge by the project.


What is Industrial Design? Answered by Industrial Designers Society of America

Posted in Design, News

Kyle Cunniff 3d printing Prototype BoulderIn a recent article by IDSA (Industrial Designers Society of America) tried to answer that supremely detailed question all of us industrial designers struggle with, what is industrial design? Personally, ID is so broad its hard to put that answer into just one category but as you will read IDSA did break it down on their site into 32 very intricate step. While I’ll only list out a brief summary here I encourage you to goto their website direct for photos and a more detailed analysis.

Their main answer to the question: What is Industrial Design is here:

Industrial Design (ID) is the professional service of creating products and systems that optimize function, value and apperance for the mutual benefit of both user and manufacturer.

Industrial designers develop products and systems through collection analysis and synthesis of data guided by the special requirements of their client and manufacturer. They prepare clear and concise recommendations through drawings, models, and descriptions. Industrial designers improve as well as create, and they often work within multi-disciplinary groups that include management, marketing, engineering and manufacturing specialists.

The process, broken down into 32 steps detailed on their site is here:

1) Idea Sketch
2) Study Sketch
3) Referential Sketch
4) Memory Sketch
5) Coded Sketch
6) Information Sketch
7) Sketch rendering
8) Prescriptive Sketch
9) Scenario & Storyboard
10) Scenario & Storyboard 2
11) Layout rendering
12) Presentation rendering
13) Perspective drawing
14) Gen. Arrangement Drawing
15) Detail Drawing
16) Technical Illustration
17) Sketch Model
18) Design Development Model
19) Functional Model
20) Operational Model
21) Appearance Model
22) Assembly Model
23) Production Model
24) Service Model
25) Experimental Prototype
26) Alpha Prototype
27) Beta Prototype
28) Systems Prototype
29) Final Hardware Prototype
30) Off-Tool Component
31) Appearance Prototype
32) Pre-Production Prototype

Eco Vessel Water Bottle with Sporty Silicone Sleeve and New Designer Top!

Posted in Design, News

Kyle Cunniff Design Water Bottle Eco VesselEco Vessel Glass water bottles are in with a fresh new design, from right here in Boulder, CO. They are easy to clean, dishwasher safe and recyclable (also made from recycled glass). A sporty silicone sleeve has been added to this design to curb the disaster of breakage from a drop. The new designer top features the straw centered in the bottle. A design element I have not seen my self in a any other bottle. This feature also allow a floating eco vessel filter to be centered in your bottle without clanking up against the side. You can purchase one of these bottles direct from the eco vessel website here. The cap is also used on insulated bottles that keep your beverage at the temp you want for many an hour. Kids versions with cool designs are also available. Eco Vessel is a small but growing company out of Boulder, CO that I have been freelance industrial designing for, for a few years now. They donate 1% of all sales to water for people, a non-profit that gets clean drinking water to poor areas all over the world.

The New Improved Website is here!

Posted in News

I can help you with Product Design, Industrial Design, 3d Modeling in Solidworks, Product Rendering and Animation and development for your new big idea! Welcome to my new improved website layout! Living and working in Boulder, Colorado has been great. The Industrial Design Freelance work I’ve been able to pick up has been exciting and so has the growing list of clients. I think if you keep up with my page you’ll see my little business grow with new and exciting product designs. This new website design was intended to enhance your experience here and hopefully get a better glimpse into the kind of Industrial Design I work on. So stay tuned in 2014 for more exiting product design!

3D Modeling for SKIP*HOP SPORK! – Injection Molding – Industrial Design

Posted in Design
3D Modeling for SKIP*HOP SPORK! – Injection Molding – Industrial Design

Back in January of 2014 in my cozy snow dusted studio in the Foothills of Boulder I sat working on this Spork Product Design project. Skip*Hop needed to their idea Surface Modeled in 3D quick! A project like this can be quite difficult to surface model in 3d. As you tweak one angle it can affect another and so on and so on so that by the end you can easily wind up pulling your hair out. But through perseverance we were able to work out all the kinks and get the file prepped for 3D Printing. After the print was approved the file was sent off to the manufacturer for mold prep and finally production injection molding! Then a few months later your project was alive! Not only that it is very successful as are most projects that come out of the offices at Skip*Hop.

If you live in the Boulder or Denver area and have a project brewing I hope you’ll get in touch! I have plenty of clients that have towed their idea around for years and finally decided to take the plunge and take it to the next step. Whether your idea is still safe and secret in your head or on a paper napkin does matter. I have the expertise to develop the product design for you. I can create the documents you need to approach a factory, get pricing and interact with them on your behalf so that you are happy with the outcome. In my experience, the most important part before going to a factory is to know what you want and be able to show that to them. Otherwise it is incredible what can be lost in translation and that can make the experience more frustrating than fun. I can help you illustrate your product design idea. If you live in the Boulder, Denver area we can meet for a cup of coffee and talk it out. If you live else where no problem! I have many a client that I work with as a satellite freelance designer. Simply get in touch!

Moving Parts in a Solidworks Animation with Photoview 360

Posted in Design

This video shows off a product design that I created in Solidworks. Using Photoview 360 I was able to create a rendered animation that is very photo realistic. If you have a product that you would love to show off with an animation or rendering just get in touch! I am available for freelance/contract design work in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. I can also work as a satellite freelancer nation wide.

Full Spectrum Laser Cutter 5th Gen – How to Video – Kyle Cunniff

Posted in Design, News

I decided to share some of my experiences using the Full Spectrum 5th Generation laser. This is the first video I’ve filmed and put out just as a start to how I go about using the machine and what I learn along the way. I hope some folks find it useful as I did not find much on youtube for help. I continue to provide industrial design experience to the Boulder / Denver area as well as outside the metro area. If you have an idea to start a project simply get in touch! I can provide design expertise ranging from product design, packaging design, laser cutting, rendering, animation, solidworks and more. And thanks for visiting !

Kyle Cunniff Industrial Design Bottle Top Animation

Posted in Design

Above is an example of just how powerful a tool Solidworks can be. Using the multi body part I created I was able to demonstrate how the spout and dust cap open, as well as a realistic finish. This project is currently in production and was a design I created for Eco Vessel, a Boulder based water bottle company. If you visit my homepage you can see more of my process as well as the silicone sleeve also in production for Eco Vessel’s glass sport bottle.

Media Kiosk Design Rendering using Solidworks

Posted in Design

Kyle Cunniff Kiosk Concept Design









This rendering was created using Solidworks and is currently being manufactured for the company Triminator. Below you can see more of my industrial design concept process and the other animation I created for Triminator to demonstrate their state of the art trimming machine.

Media Kiosk Product Design Concepts

Posted in Design

Kyle-Cunniff-Industrial Design Boulder

This is a follow up from the last post I did about some design and animation work I did here in Boulder for the company Triminator. They asked me to design a Media Kiosk to highlight their product. The goal of this project was to design a simple, yet eye catching and cost effective Media Kiosk that features a monitor, brochures and a large poster. The theme is based on design elements from the Triminator, an innovative, mechanical, trimming machine. This Kiosk is currently being manufactured. You can check out my finished rendering here.

Solidworks Design Animation for Marketing the Triminator

Posted in Design

Triminator is an innovative, mechanical, trimming machine. This Animation was designed in Solidworks to demonstrate the capabilities of the Triminator and what separates it from the rest of the competition. I was also asked to design a Kiosk Media Display to further promote this product. You can see what I designed on the portfolio page of this website. I’ll also be posting pics from my design process of the Kiosk on this blog over the next few weeks.

Crescent Moon Snowshoe Binding

Posted in Design

Kyle Cunniff Snowshoe Binding using SolidworksOver the summer (a very warm time to be working on a winter sports product) I was contacted by Crescent Moon Snowshoes, a local company in Boulder, Colorado that produces some of the highest quality snowshoes you can find on the market today. So you can imagine how thrilled I was when they asked me to help design a binding system for their running snowshoe Gold Series. Over the course of our design period we worked out the binding fit, feel and functions; testing out prototype models (luckily there was still some snow around in the mountains). Ultimately the design was changed so that it can fit both feet. I also worked on ribs and nubs that protect the feet from “hot spots” caused by rivets or other connective hardware that can rub on the feet causing discomfort. The end result is a very lightweight, comfortable running snowshoe binding perfect for winter treks through the snow. Below is more about Crescent Moon Snowshoes.

Made in Boulder, Colorado

Anatomically shaped binding system provides stable and secure fit for all conditions.

More info:
If you visit the website Crescent Moon says the binding is the most important part of a snowshoe. This snowshoe binding was designed to be light weight, comfortable, and fit right or left feet for a running snowshoe. While Crescent Moon is a small business they have resisted the urge to produce snowshoes overseas. Instead, they manufacture high-end product out of Colorado. Materials are environmentally friendly. There are no PVCs or VOCs in their plastic resins and the aluminum is made from 85% recycled material. They are also 100% wind powered.

Eco Vessel Packaging Design

Posted in Design

750 ml Bottle









Recently I have started freelancing for Eco Vessel, a socially minded, cutting edge company in Boulder, Colorado. Eco Vessel donates a portion of each sale to Water for People, a global non-profit that ensures clean drinking water for those less fortunate around the world.  Water bottles by Eco Vessel are %100 percent recyclable. They started a beautiful line of glass water bottles and have recyclable water filters made in the USA as well. Upcoming projects with them include more packaging concepts, baby sipping spout, and a silicone wrap for their glass water bottle. Stay tuned!

New Medusa Print “Back-up Before its too Late”

Posted in Art, Design

Young woman listening to headphones, smiling, close-upThis Graphic was inspired by what I hope is something obvious to most of us which is backing up your stuff! I can’t tell you how many times I hear it from people. So this is a hip, playful, and alarming graphic to remind everyone. Hopefully by the end of this week this print will be available for purchase on Hand Printed Silk Screened T-shirts and Hand Printed Posters. You can view my shop here If you don’t see what your looking for feel free to email me for availability or with any questions.

Kyle Cunniff Designs Facebook Page has been created!

Posted in Design

facebook logo II







I’ve been meaning to create a facebook page for myself for a while now. Since in the last few months I have been stepping up my t-shirt game, I thought it would bring some attention to them if I start off with the social media sooner rather than later. If you wish to follow my page on facebook you can click here and “like” Kyles Cunniff Designs.

Solidworks Animation to Help with Industrial Design Development

Posted in Design

This video is a small example of what you can accomplish using Solidworks Animation for demonstration purposes, proposals and much more outside of the other incredible industrial design tools that it offers. This project is in the beginning stage of design for an automated wheel sand blasting unit and was made to help visualize how the sand blasting nozzle might move in a pattern as the wheel turns. I am excited to be getting more and more people looking for help showcasing a product before production or using Solidworks to help generate line drawings and renderings for advertisement, proposals or presentations. Animations can also be rendered to show material choices, decals and much more. There is a Rendered iphone case Solidworks Animation I made that you can see here.

Brooklyn Themed Hand Printed Silk Screened T-Shirts Now Available!

Posted in Art, Design, News, Uncategorized








Just finished up my first set of T-shirts in a variety of colors for my Brooklyn Navy Yard Print. You can visit my etsy store “The Grasshopper” here if you are interested in ordering a shirt. Sizing is currently limited. And there is more to come so stay tuned! I plan on having some more designs out in the next few months. If you interested in seeing some more pics of the process you can here.

Sneak Peak! Underwater/Adventurer iPhone Case

Posted in Design









I’ve just begun a new series of iPhone cases that range from flashy, bold to utilitarian. I know, I know you can’t see much here. This is just the beginning of what may be a long series of ideas and concepts. But, what is seen here could very well become a revolutionary protective case for outdoorsy people all over the world. So please stay tuned…

New Coffee Table Finish Available

Posted in Design, News, Uncategorized

This new coffee table is available through Factory Made in Boulder, Colorado. It has the all great features of its red counterpart seen here.

Here is the description:

This Designer Coffee Table is made from Oriented Strand Board, a common construction grade material. Elements of the original purpose of this material are still evident with markings on the wood about codes, sizing and load weight. This table is available in all sorts of custom finishes. Each finish is sanded down so the surfaces of the table look somewhat rustic and lets some of the wood fiber show through. A pine trim is used to give the piece a contemporary feel and soften the overall appearance of the strand board. The white table features a rough, cherry stained trim. This coffee table is also on small castors so you can push it where ever you need to in the room. The asymmetrical shelves are open on both sides for easy access and are also great storage for all sorts of stuff. The white table is a smaller version 4′ Long x 18″ Deep x 16″ Tall.

Silk Screen Printing Begins with a Ryonet

Posted in Art, Design, Uncategorized

I just started my first screen print using a Ryonet Silk Screen Press. Its super fun and I am excited to do more! These are the test prints I made. Shirts for sale coming soon. This print was designed using photos I took while working in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I originally wanted to make a painting out of all the cranes in the area but I never got around to it and the photos have been sitting around for a few years un-used. As I was scouting around for ideas I re-found these and I am glad I was able to put them to some good use. You can now purchase T-Shirts here!

Camera Lens Toy for Noted*

Posted in Design, Uncategorized







I recently got the chance to work on a cool project for Noted* out of NYC. They sell a lot of quirky designer products. The product I helped create contains 4 lenses that offer different image multiplication. You simply hold the lens up to your own camera lens and take a picture of the results. Purty cool! Another lens will be coming out soon that offers colors.

Everyone Loves a Spiral Staircase

Posted in Design, Uncategorized








I have a friend that worked in an architectural metal fabrication shop years ago and he wanted me to work there too. He used to say to me, “If you know how make a spiral staircase in Solidworks they’ll love you!” I never wound up needing that spiral staircase until recently here in Boulder for a completely different job working on architectural designs, but it still seems to be true. People just love spiral staircases.


Rendered Solidworks Animations for Product Design Proposals

Posted in Design, News, Uncategorized


This short animation shows what you can do using Solidworks to promote yourself and your designs to interested clients. No matter what product or idea you are trying to showcase, having a 360 degree view of it rendered, in near photo realistic fashion will help your audience grasp what it is your trying to say.

Making your own Hot Wire Foam Cutter!

Posted in Design, Uncategorized







My need for a hot wire developed  from making the Matryoshka Doll (see past post) made out of pink foam from Home Depot which was carved entirely by hand! It took so many more man hours than I anticipated and the whole time I kept saying, “If I only had a hotwire!” Sooooo I started looking into it and it is both easy and not as easy as I thought. The main reason is because there are so many posts about it and most don’t have enough info or worse they have way too much. For most makers out there you need the basics, trouble shooting FAQ’s and that’s about it.

Well, I sorted through it and from what I found the power supply was my biggest obstacle. There are many posts on the actual hot wire mechanism which you can sort out by watching various videos and deciding how accurate a cutter you will need. My main objective was being safe so here are a few links to show you how to wire up a proper power supply.

Crash’s Power supply Video 1 of 2 and 2 of 2 here (where I got most of my info from. Reads the comments for further info!)

For a basic wiring diagram that you can actually see (without fuse or lamps) here. For a wiring diagram with fuse, lamp, transformer and dimmer click here.

Red Coffee Table Design

Posted in Design

This week I started a new project designing a coffee table to suite my specific needs. Click an image to see it larger.

1) Economical – Only (1) sheet of Oriented Strand Board and (4) 1 x 2 x 8 pieces of pine were used

2) Thoughtful and Practical – Somewhat large surface area with built-in shelving and an open area to sit and draw/write or read at the table

3) Use of Interesting Materials and Finish – This project was all about having fun using an unconventional material, while incorporating soft contemporary elements to give it some pizazz.

Below is a summary for what I came up with:
This Designer Coffee table was made locally here in Boulder, CO. It is made from Oriented Strand Board, a common construction grade material. Elements of the original purpose of this material are still evident with markings on the wood about codes, sizing and load weight. It was fun deciding where to use these design elements in a subtle way on the table. Another design aspect I had to consider was creating a custom finish. Some of my attempts using paints as stain can be seen in the thumbnail pictured.  The finish I achieved makes the table surfaces warm and bright. I also sanded down the top of the table so that it looks somewhat rustic and lets some of the wood fiber show through to help match such a bright color to the trim. I used a pine trim to give the piece a contemporary feel and soften the overall appearance and bright color. This coffee table is also on small castors so you can push it where ever you need to in the room. One of the big ideas guiding this design was being able to sit in the middle of the coffee table and do some work like writing, reading or drawing. The asymmetrical shelves are open on both sides for easy access and are also great storage for all sorts of stuff. Dimensions are 5′ Long x 20″ Deep x 18″ Tall

Finishing up the Matryoska Form

Posted in Art

This series of process shots show how I fiber glassed the form using some specialty glass that allows coverage over complex curves without wrinkles or pockets. Pretty cool stuff! You can click an image to see it larger. Then I used epoxy to strengthen the piece (epoxy will not melt pink foam but it is way more expensive than other chemicals used for this type of coverage) Afterwards, I used Bondo to smooth out imperfections on the form and applied a second coat of epoxy. Next, glass mosaic artist Kasia Polkowska will begin to apply stained glass to the form using Weld Bond adhesive. The next series of photos will detail that process.

Solidworks Utensils for Skip Hop NYC

Posted in Design

If you are a new mother interested in designer diaper bags, developmental toys, creative bath solutions, nursery décor and crib bedding than look no further than Skip*Hop.

I have been privileged to be of service to their design department since 2010 developing 2D concepts into 3D design for production using Solidworks. Skip*Hop’s  “Hug and Hide Activity Toys” have won industry toy awards and are featured at Barnes and Noble as well as online.

Recently, I had the chance to model some utensils for Skip*Hop featured here. The actual utensils will feature colorful, playful patterns on the handle. These utensils have a non slip rubber banding around the handle for a better grip. While this rendering looks very grown up the actual size is quite small and cute.  Look for them online soon!

Industrial Ice Cream Machine Upgrade

Posted in Design

Every once in a while I get a very quick, fun little project like this one. My assignment: to create a 3D Model using  Solidworks and with that model create a rendering so the manufacturers could better understand the changes. Firstly, I added trim along the sides to “frame” the machine so that when customers box this machine in to say, a wall, it looks clean but also to have it look nice if they choose not to. Secondly, I adjusted the style of the machine so that it has a faceted front. Again, I just wanted to give it a little style with out going over board. This new design also allows for more signage, which is now convenient to put almost anywhere. Plus, because of the new stream lined look the ice cream machine is very easy to clean, a key element in any serving environment. The trick with this assignment was working with very basic information as provided by the client. I only had the image you see on the left, a few guidelines to follow, very basic dimensions L x W x H and less than 24 hours to do it. This is freelance! I hope you enjoy.

Ceramic Pizza Stone Concept

Posted in Design

Today I needed to work out a concept for a pizza stone strategy. Here goes!

1) This stone is actually ceramic so its not only lighter and easier to produce, it also gets a cozy, warm, heat resistant coating that makes it more appealing to the eye.

2) Most pizza stones are a pain in the butt to take out of the oven because its so hard to get a hold on them without getting your gloved hand in the pizza. This ceramic stone has a simple lip around it giving the gloved hand just enough clearance to scoop it up and out of a scalding hot oven without burning yourself.

3) Finally, having made several homemade pizzas myself and working in a small economy sized kitchen I know how hard it can be to present your masterful pizza after all the cooking is done. There are pots and pans all over your stove, dirty cutting boards and messy dishes. This ceramic pizza stone comes with a special brushed aluminum stand that lets you carry your pizza to the table with out having to do any extra dishes and place it safely down on the table, hot, with out burning anyone or anything.

These pizza dishes would come in different sizes. Even just using the ceramic plate to heat something up in the oven and being able to serve it right away has so many benefits. Enjoy!



Welcome to Boulder, Colorado!

Posted in News

Welcome to Boulder, CO 2012. I just moved into the area and in a week’s time my girlfriend and I have embarked on 5 gorgeous, totally independent trails!

I am a newcomer to Boulder and right away I noticed it was different. One thing that caught my eye were the number of retail shops. After living on the East Coast for over 8 years I know how hard an independent shop has to struggle to stay in business. But in Boulder it seems every shop is making it work especially the coffee shops which are jammed! What kind of peeps are in this town? Well I’ve been inspired and I mean to find out. Join me on my journey through Boulder!

Saarinen Tulip Chair Base Restoration

Posted in Design

Here are some process shots of 12 Tulip Chair Bases I restored while working at Wheel-Tech. These bases were delivered looking horrible. The old paint was peeling off and yellowed but unfortunately the paint did not come off easily. It took several applications of stripper (see photo)  to gel up the old paint and many hours of sandblasting to smooth out the surface. The rest of the clean up was done by hand and with a lot of sanding. Finally, the bases were ready for powder coating. You can see one pic that is ready to prime at the top right. This is very old, cast, aluminum! That made it difficult to get a perfect coating but by sanding in between coats the final result came out great. I was able to fit 3 bases in the powder coating oven at one time. They were baked for 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

More Matryoshka

Posted in Art

Here are more process shots of carving the Matryosha Doll. As you can see it was quite a lot of carving done with out the aid of a hot wire. The next set of process shots with show how I epoxied the piece with fiber glass. You can also see more about this project on the homepage.

KIM JONG IL Potato Stamp Party

Posted in Art

After gorging on deep fried twinkies, last nights Potato Stamp Party went off with out a hitch and KIM JONG IL was front and center. In the last few months I started to think about doing a print making project and when I heard Kim Jong Il died it all came to me at once. I started looking up photos of Kim and of North Korea and what I came across was a lot of bizarre propaganda posters including one of a soldier smashing a meat pie. I wanted to make a quirky, funny portrait of this awful dictator using simple potato stamps with communicative symbols; a perfect contrast to those powerful frightening posters. This project was a big group effort and although it is not yet complete I think it is far enough along to post.


Matryoshka project begins!

Posted in Art

These pictures are long over due but I thought I would post some process shots about this project because everyone who sees the final object is mystified by what this is made of. I spent a long time thinking about the best materials and methods for developing this form. It began like everything with many doodles, concepts, scratch outs and finally a drawing that was comprehensible to enough to start work. At first, I wanted to make this a concrete sculpture thinking it would be great for an outdoor piece. What stopped me was thinking that if I covered to form with too thin a layer maybe the concrete would peel off eventually or if I put it on too think that the piece would weigh too much. After I made the decision to use a pink insulation foam for the figure the next question was how to strengthen the surface. Pink foam is way too soft to adhere anything structural. Just picking around at different coatings was a nightmare chemically. Certain coating will melt certain foams but not others and it took me a lot of research and experiments to figure out what was compatible with what. As it turns out Epoxy with not melt pink foam (polystyrene foam) Unfortunately, Epoxy resin is about twice as much a Polyurethane resin which will melt pink foam. After doing more research I found a great company called Fiber Glass Supply They are way less expensive than West Marine and much more helpful. They also told me about a fiber glass that could cover complex curves on the shape I wanted to make called a 3.7 oz plain weave e glass. This fiber glass is amazing stuff. You will see in the next pictures I post how smooth a shape I was able to get with out any wrinkles. The result was a super strong, light form that lends itself to adhering hundreds of tiny glass mosaic pieces.

This American Life #454 Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory

Posted in News

So much to say about this startling American Life episode that reminds us to consider where our “crap” comes from. You might say China, right? An excellent narrator/story teller leads us through his travels to the factory in Shenzhen which has over 400,000 workers making many of the leading brands of electronics we use everyday. As you will hear many of these products require nimble finders sometimes laying strands of electronics thinner than a human hair for hours upon hours. You can stream this episode here.

Dear Postal Service Ad

Posted in Design

A few years ago on a rainy day I walked around China Town in New York City taking photos with my 35mm camera. The results were fantastic. My main goal that day was to gets shots of all the crowds of umbrellas that spill out into Canal Street but I have plenty of others pics as well. I was looking back on this one and the idea for this ad just popped into my head.

Personally, I love sending stuff whether its letters, postcards or packages. Its so much more personal and fun to get something physical with a personal touch. With the economic cut backs going on I think its remarkable the post office isn’t getting much attention. I never hear about comments from postal workers and their reactions to cutting back on service and closing locations. This ad attempts to put a personal touch to such a large piece of our everyday life and something we may not think about too closely any more.