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Product Design Fundamentals with Steven Bellofatto
December 1, 2008, 12:37 am
Filed under: Concepts, Industrial, Products

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This week I finished a course from NYU SCPS’ Professional Certificate in Product Design given by Steven Bellofatto, Principal Design Director at ION, a product design and developement firm based in New Jersey.

Having taken all available courses in this certificate, I can safely say that this was the most valuable and essential course in the program as it presented a complete view of product design as it is carried out today  … and an excellent condensation of product development and the design process.

The image you see above is part of the final assigment in this course, a project on the development of new products for the oral hygiene market. Read on for an explanation on what each of these concepts was about.

The first sketch at the top of this post is a regular toothbrush with an integrated floss dispensing system. Taking a quick look at the market we realized there were no toothbrushes that took the flossing process into consideration, and since this was a primary concern for one of our target users we came up with the configuration depicted above.

The toothbrush would have an unscrewable end cap that would allow for the loading of special floss cartridges. A sliding mechanism would then pull new floss from the cartridge and push used floss out of the toothbrush, where it can be cut off and dispensed. The end cap itself is shaped so as to serve as a tool for applying the floss to the far reaches of your mouth.

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The second unit is a mouthpiece full of bristles already positioned so as to reach each tooth optimally. The unit houses internal motors and battery to make the bristles vibrate or rotate. The purpose of this unit is to eliminate the guesswork out of brushing teeth, thus the only input it requires is to be turned on. The unit will know for how long to brush and beep when it is done. The bristles would already be in the required location and would allow for the correct cleaning motions. If used together with special non-foaming toothpaste, the device would allow for teethbrushing while partaking in other activities.

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The third and final device targets the issue of hygiene in regards to storing the toothbrush in the bathroom. As a solution we designed a base to solve three different problems: Keeping the toothbrush clean and safe while not in use, dispensing toothpaste and dispensing floss. The device is configured as a single unit which can be either set on a table or wall mounted. Two compartments allow for the recharging of both floss and toothpaste via proprietary cartridges. A hole in the center allows the toothbrush to be stored when not in use. Pushing the toothbrush further in while stored dispenses toothpaste, so the toothbrush comes out loaded from the device. This eliminates the unsightly old toothpaste tubes found on most bathrooms.

These concepts were developed together with Jeff Kirsh and Lynn Phillips.

All sketches were made by me on a Tablet PC with Alias Sketchbook Pro.

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