ABOM SBIR PROJECT

SPOOK SPECS

ABOM  won a prestigious  government  contract to leverage their fog fighting technology across multiple military optic platforms.  Beyond the more protective war fighting goggle, the SBIR project included the undercover operator. This is the individual that may  appear to be a good looking Russian speaking petroleum engineer, but is actually a lethal CIA  operative.

The military was looking for  slicker design  that could go from the urban cafe to the battleground. Military operators call these “spectacles”.  This product, of course,  can be used in low temperatures, but also in high temperatures where the wearer may be sweating.  The wearer’s head is  radiating heat at a temperature higher than the ambient air. The result is condensation, fogging.  ABOM’s moisture sensing system will automatically turn on and eviscerate the fog. Because the system is only on when needed, less energy is required so the product is feasible even with the  required smaller batteries.  That said,  an external battery pack can  provide additional runtime.

 

SUPER HERO MASK

FACE – ON

FUSE was contacted by a team of seasoned  product marketing professionals at the onset of the pandemic. They wanted help designing a face mask for professionals working the front line in health care, teaching and  emergency services.The team had identified that  seeing the facial expression of these first responders and front liners would be valuable to  reinstate the calm and confidence  these pros always want to communicate to the people they’re helping. The team was also obsessed with  minimizing  the waste associated with disposable masks. While the filters are not washable, they are recyclable.

To achieve the crystal clarity, the mask would need to be silicone injection molded. This lower durometer material and process also allowed for the undercuts we needed for a clever face seal and the nesting of the replaceable filters cartridges.

Keen viewers will recognize the Iron Man inspiration in the chin area of the mask. Actually, what  we were doing was reinforcing the chin to keep it stiffer so we could achieve greater elasticity in the jaw for mouth opening and talking while still maintaining a good seal to the face.

NED (NOT BREAD)

EDIBLE PACKAGING

A few summers ago we were on a camping trip with another couple and one of the partners  had a gluten allergy. We had stopped  at drive-thru for a quick refuel on the way back. The gluten free friend (GFF) had ordered a vegan burger with a lettuce wrap to avoid the bun. What a mess! There were condiments all over her hands and  subsequently, my car!   Not only is the gluten a problem, it’s also the high carbs of that bun. A typical burger bun is some 40 grams of high glycemic index refined white flour. There had to be a better way.

When we got back to or studio, I grabbed ( hang on, not physically)  a colleague and  we brainstormed. I always loved the genius of the edible ice cream cone, especially the  one inaccurately named the “cake” cone.  I did a little research  and these wonders of industrialization, a literal injection  molding  of water and flour are only 6 grams of carbs and that’s with rice flour. And, it gets better…, if you use almond flour, you can bring the carb count down to zero! Not to mention how brilliant the whole  family of edible  packages are!  Taco shells! Sushi! And then.. wholly cow ,  and  start digging in more,  and  did you know  the average common restaurant – remember those , burrito  flour tortilla  can be 80 grams of  carbs!!!

The big idea was to make a small edible piece of luggage, kidding, not luggage but a bread or tortilla  replacement that could be gluten free if needed  and lower carb. This is good for celiacs, diabetics and everyone that wants to lower their ingestion of high glycemic  index carbohydrates.  By the way,  the term “Keto” was Google searched for more than Subaru in the Pacific NW.

In terms of design,  this concept  allows  almost infinite shape, color, texture and flavor. This concept can replace anything where bread is simply a carrier. Think pizza, tacos, burritos, all the bread shapes,  even low carb snacks like crackers can be NED. Best of all if you were brought up by TV like some of  us were, then  you’ll love  the brand-ability of this concept. See the images above.

Knowing there’s a fair amount of tooling (though relatively inexpensive per mold) to make these things, we approached the Joy Cone company with NED. They are biggest  ice cream cone maker in the U.S.  with plants in Pennsylvania and Arizona. Joy makes special branded cones for  some of their largest customers.

I don’t  want to say we’re brilliant, but I think  given the hand friendliness, this qualifies as thumbelievable!

Ok, shutting up now –  have a look!

 

OTTOLOCK PRO MOUNT

JAKE CHARMER

The OTTOLOCK has been a break away success for OTTO, but the company was looking for a more stable mount for their coiled genius. OTTO came to FUSE with a  physical model that was  pretty close and FUSE worked with OTTO to refine their idea and prototype the refined design.

FUSE  refined and simplified the design to separate the mounting to the bike function and the securing of the lock to the mount function.

iBox

ACCESS CONTROL

GE’s Supra division is the leader in providing access control in residential real estate and they came to FUSE to update their realtor’s keybox.   FUSE provided industrial design solutions and  this was the design chosen and recommended.  We worked hand in hand with Supra’s engineering team to integrate the mechanical features with our new design. We’re told this model had sales over 2,000,000 units.

Supra IBox Open Context

UPS Truck Trike

IN TOWN BROWN

TruckTrike , a company that makes a human powered cargo transport vehicle was approached by  global logistics  leader UPS   to provide a  bicycle based  delivery vehicle. Truck Trike already makes an electric assist trike capable of moving 600 lbs and now they needed a proposal to excite UPS to get the contract.Truck Trike came to FUSE with this problem.   With a very short deadline FUSE developed an industrial design for a lightweight minimal canopy that would meet  a large cargo box  complete with interior illuminating transparent roof.   We rendered the model in UPS  brown with the requisite graphics to help UPS imagine this greener future.

We are happy to report the proposal was successful and UPS  is currently trialing modified Truck Trikes in Portland , Oregon.

Genisys Diagnostic Tool

OTC came to FUSE to essentially repackage a PC into an Automotive diagnotic tool. This main unit has a series  of accessories that plug into the unit, testing a variety of automotive engine attributes.  One of the major design improvement FUSE  made to this category of product was to  build in the toughness required into the housing. Typically this was a plastic box with external elastomer boot  that was an ugly addition. Instead we built a super robust internal chassis and over molded a  shock resistant thermoplastic  external armor. In addition, the design  featured symmetrical controls  suitable for both right and left handed users.

FUSE also did an alternative cosmetic design branded as a MATCO unit.

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GoGo Transporter

WAGONS HO!

The  G0G0  Transporter  was an internal FUSE science project  seeking to solve 2 problems: 1. What’s the most ecologically friendly way to take advantage of Portland’s 20 minute neighborhood concept? And 2., what happens to the expensive strollers that children certainly grow out of ?

Answer number 1 is the wagon. With a wagon you can haul almost  anything while on foot. That is :a 50 lb bag of dogfood, groceries, kids, even a large potted plant.

The question  then became  “is a wagon enough?” Would other people share this wagon love? So we thought more, and  I had colleagues that were about to become parents and  his or her colleagues would pitch in and buy them a really cool expensive stroller. This got me thinking about what happens to these strollers beyond being used for a younger sibling. No one wants a pooped-on,  barfed-on second hand stroller or at least  there did not seem to be a robust used stroller market.   So, what if the stroller could be  built more like a  roof rack system where you could evolve the product to transform it into some-thing or things more useful once the child gets out of infancy?

This turned into the GoGo Transporter System whereby adding or subtracting components, you can make a variety of wheeled products.

Active Key for the iBox

GE’s Supra division  came back to FUSE to get an industrial design for an update to their E-Key. This was a dedicated device beyond the realtors cell phone that would beam an infra red signal to open the iBox. Our industrial design  was tied to the electronic internals provided by GE.

BIP Concrete Chairs

Slabtown In Stumptown

A very clever guy came to FUSE with an idea.   A better way to set up a grid of rebar that floats within a slab of concrete. This wasn’t a totally new idea,  but Kerry, the guy, had a host of improvements he wanted to add and he had a plan to make these really sell. These concrete chairs turn the  painful time eating chore of setting up a grid of rebar into literally a snap. The rebar just pops into place at just the right height.Our job was to make them super strong and super cool. We made them feel like the super utilitarian future  by instituting this octogonal theme throughout the structure.  The octogonal base not only provided visual branding  but also helped with keeping the  rebar layouts in the field  straight. FUSE  designed all 27  variations that accomodate different sized bar and different heights. FUSE also redesigned the BIP logo along the way.