Category Archive for "Projects"

Product Design: What inspires you?

May 19, 2016
3D Innovations

While many of our blog posts offer product design and product development insight and information, we have decided to turn the tables a bit for this post and ask our readers for their input. We want to delve into the topic of inspiration. We all find different things inspiring—this is what helps motivate us to push the design boundaries and think outside of the proverbial box. When it comes to designing a consumer product, we always want to be on the cutting edge and engage customers with all aspects of the design—from the product design to the packaging.

lightbulb1Inspiration comes in many forms and from everywhere… So now we pose the question to you:

When you are looking for inspiration, before you begin your next design challenge, where do you turn?

Below are a few places where we find inspiration. They help excite us for our next design project and remind us to continually challenge ourselves while pushing the boundaries of design.

  • Nature. What is more inspiring than nature? Nature is the ultimate innovator. Interesting shapes, materials and forms—can be found in nature and continue to inspire engineers.
  • Product design websites. With a simple click of a button you can be inundated with all different types of design work and renderings. Objects that many people see as mundane and ordinary are reimagined (fruit bowl, lightbulbs, and keyboards) and you can browse thousands of these wonderful designs online.
  • Your portfolio (past projects). Looking back often inspires us for the future. Projects that we completed years ago still provide us with insight and inspiration.
  • Design and engineering books. Whether they are textbooks from college or design books you picked up at a local bookstore, they seem to always inspire. Books have a way of bridging the past with the future, and in themselves are quite inspirational.

We would love to know what inspires some of your best work! Please leave it as a comment below.

“To be inspired is great, to inspire is incredible.”


3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Startup Connector is a Manufacturing Accelerator helping companies commercialize—turning ideas into products.

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New Design Project: “Bugle2” – A DIY Phono Preamp

February 14, 2013

In our line of business we have the opportunity to meet fantastic entrepreneurs and business owners and often we become fully immersed in the projects we work on with them; The Bugle2 is one of these projects. “The Bugle2 is a second generation DIY kit phono preamplifier for vinyl playback.” This project is currently on Kickstarter and is working towards their funding goal. If you are a music lover, you have to check out the Bugle2!

What is it? The Bugle2 is a DIY kit for those of you who know how to solder and build electronic projects. It plugs in-between your turntable and audio system (linestage or integrated amplifier) providing the requisite gain and equalization for vinyl playback. It can be built with gains of either 40dB or 60dB, accommodating both moving magnet or moving coil cartridges. The second generation circuit design is an improvement to my popular Bugle phonograph preamplifier.

Who needs it? Anyone who plays vinyl LP records and wants better sound. I also highly recommend a decent turntable to pair with it (such as the U-Turn). You will be amazed at how good vinyl can sound.

Why Kickstarter? The cost of getting custom cases is high. I have calculated break-even costs to be 113 kits, without postage. After adding postage and about $10 margin per kit I came up with the $16,000 minimum pledge value to fund this project. You get a great product and I am safely launched into the marketplace.

Learn more on Kickstarter