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For the competition posts, we're not just showing the results, we going to show the process of how we made the vision into reality via the medium of a large laser cutter. It's all about the edumacation!
First up is the winner, Paul Clark's 'Vertical'.
So, we have nice curves here and a nice basic concept.
From here, we need to think about how people will use it physically and adjust the design accordingly while keeping the essence intact. This is what a lot of product design entails.
Prototyping is essential to doing this properly. There are a small number of people in this world who can do the process in their heads, but this is a rare skill. Since we have laser cutters, we can create a rough design, try it out, then refine it based on what we learn. From there, iterate until working well and looking fine, then release.
When we don't do this enough, or don't think of trying something, we end up with a less awesome design. For instance, we didn't test the early Pibow with enough Micro-USB cables, which meant that a lot of common cables, such as the Kindle charger cable, didn't work.
For Paul Clark's vertical Pibow stand, we'll be making a couple of key changes to make it more viable. Firstly, there needs to be more clearance for USB cables at the back. We'll also be flipping the design 180 degrees, so that the more common HDMI cable is routed out the bottom and the headphone cable is accessible at the top and the SD Card is easily accessed. This will make for a cleaner setup.
Ideally the stand should be reversible so those who *really* want to have cables sprouting out of the top/front can do so. We have our preferences and what we think is more useful, but if a design can be easily tweaked to accomodate hacking and personal taste, then that is a better design.
This is the result. Paul has kindly agreed to open source his original design, and we're happy to do the same for our modifications, so once we're happy it's all working and gotcha free and some time has passed, we'll get the files on thingiverse. Thanks Paul!
Your swag is on it's way with your new design!