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“Living the American Dream” A New Consumer Product is Born

By Stephen M. Samuel, PE 2012 PLM World Users Conference

Design Visionaries Overview

  • Design Engineering (80%)
  • Custom NX and Teamcenter Implementation and Training
  • NX Books (NX2 Advanced, NX3, NX4, NX5, NX6, NX7.5, & Nastran)
  • Teamcenter & Solid Edge
  • Sharpener Tool
  • Vots

This speech is dedicated to those who go out on a limb. For without your courage there would be no progress.

Stephen Samuel PE
  • Let this speech be a free for all
  • Ask your questions immediately
  • Make comments
  • Share your experiences
  • Risk sounding like a fool

Catch me after the speech

  • I’ll make myself available for questions after the speech.
  • Throw me a business card and I’ll get you a copy of the speech and part files.
  • The speech is available at in the Articles Section

The process of invention comes in many forms. Those Eureka moments come at the strangest of times.

Although this is a seminar about the use of CAD for innovation and product design, lets put it into perspective, getting the spark of a new idea is the driver of all things. The original idea was to have a better way to charge cell phones, iPads, game controllers and the like. No wall warts. All USB.

Napkin Sketch

Patents search on Google Patents

Google Patent Search

At the time most patents were like this one

Protect the Idea

  • File a provisional patent to save money.
  • Poor mans patent.
  • Is it a utility patent or a design patent?
  • How much will it cost in the end?

An electrical design was needed

  • Surveyed the latest technology
  • Created an electrical PRD
  • Borrow experience data from previous projects

What’s out there?

  • There were some underpowered outies
  • There was another innie
  • There were some European versions

Found some partners with experience

Formed a partnership

Innovation can mean eating your own young

  • We started with the idea that we would re-make the entire outlet
  • We scrapped that idea when we realized that vendors wanted 15 amp, 20 amp, decorator, tamper resistant, various colors, etc.

NX8 CAD models were made of the outlets and other geometry

Reverse engineering can be very difficult yet is critical

  • Certain surfaces of the retro fit box were very difficult to gauge.
  • 3-D scans would have helped.
  • Where possible we used the models provided by venders yet verified them.
  • Spec sheets were often incomplete

Choosing the right components was critical

  • Leviton, Pass & Seymore, GE
  • Out of the many boxes and outlets that are available choosing the right ones was critical
    • Availability
    • Price
    • Variety
    • Quality

Modeling the electrical components proved challenging

One of the biggest challenges

Modeling the interaction between the switch, the door, and the spring.

  • The detent was designed to be tool safe
  • The spring was designed to give us a choice
  • We worked very closely with the mold folks to tweak the geometry

Make a prototype from an stl file


Rapid Prototyping Machine

Industrial design with NX8

  • Surfaces (Shape Studio / Studio surface)
  • Master modeling and assemblies
  • Advanced Visualization (True Studio Task)

The Essence of Beauty in Industrial Design

Product Data Definition Package

Prototype Assembly A Daughter is Learning Professionalism

The packaging design is extremely important – NX Sheet metal and drafting comes in handy

Gather what’s to be packaged

Create a solid shape around the goodies

Set the preferences

FCC testing

  • Done with a chamber and a wand
  • Sensitive to manufactured part as opposed to prototyped part

UL Testing

  • OSHA Regulations
  • Under Writters Lab
  • Met Lab
  • The plastics the label the materials

The Quattro Begins to Sell

Exhibiting your product at the big shows:

  • Make sure the show is right for you.
  • Try to get contacts to talk to before you go.
  • Enter the contests before you go and find out when all the deadlines are.
  • Exhibits must be big bold simple and well lit.
  • The press release must be accompanied by flyers with the booth number.
  • Don’t have an exhibit that needs to be worked.

Various Show Props Are Created for the Show

The New Products are Selling

  • Fry’s Electronics
  • Many electronics distributers
  • Costco
  • Other large deals pending


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