Working with Loket Design [Industrial Design Update 1]

Working with Loket Design [Industrial Design Update 1]

I did not expect how big of a difference industrial design would make in the final stages of InvenTABLE's product development.

The version of InvenTABLE that you see in most of our pictures and videos, which we built ourselves in our makerspace, felt (at least from the outside) like a finished, polished product. At the very least, it was finished enough for us to take it to events at museums, to professionally photograph and film, and to launch our Kickstarter campaign. We knew we wanted to hire an industrial designer to polish it up and get it ready for manufacturing, but didn't realize how pivotal that step would become.

It has been so interesting to see how a few thoughtful changes and details can alter the entire product experience for the better.

We met Bart Ruijpers of Loket Design through a friend who launched a Kickstarter campaign back in 2020 (True Places) that had worked with Bart for their product. Though we didn't see many other hardware products on his portfolio at the time, his playful design style really resonated with us. Most importantly, he understood our vision for InvenTABLE right off the bat. 

In our first phase of working with Bart, we went over our extensive product requirements, and he took a few weeks to create these three potential design directions for the InvenTABLE. 

 

We were originally really drawn towards the "Pleater" because we loved how the pleats reminded us of corrugated cardboard, and loved how easy it would be to pick up and move the "Grabber". Ultimately though, we decided that experience-wise (and according to our manufacturer, tooling-wise) the CUT-E made the most sense. 

With our feedback, Bart moved the power button to the side of the machine, and we also began to work out some ideas for how we would build out and attach the table accessory "add-ons" that we offered after hitting our 200K Kickstarter stretch goal. The idea here was to bring the pleated design back but this time, have it be on the lid as a way to attach the fence, angle cutting guide, and circle cutting guide to the top surface of the machine. This concept kicked off a ton of brainstorming and prototyping different lid options. 

 

While working simultaneously with our manufacturers, we realized that one part of the InvenTABLE experience that was lacking some thought was the way that the dust collected inside of the machine is removed. As of now, users open up the circular lid and can either attach a shop vac to it or pick up the entire InvenTABLE and shake it over a trash can. Realizing that most of our users don't have shop vacs, and that picking the entire InvenTABLE up every time you use it isn't the best user experience, we have changed direction towards a removable drawer that can be pulled out of the machine and emptied over a trash can instead. We know some people are excited about the shop vac connect-ability, and are thinking about ways to make that still work - perhaps a free 3D-printable shop vac attachment? 

 

This final render is quite close to what the final version of InvenTABLE is going to look like. We know this new design represents a bit of a change in the look and feel of InvenTABLE, and we are excited to hear what you think!

24 comments

  • Jaime on

    Loving the peek into the design process. I agree with most comments that the gird on top is very important for the overall machine. It would be so helpful for those older creators who want to make a more accurate cut and needing the guide as they cut. I would hate for it to ship without that grid on the top. Overall great design choices though!

  • Vickie on

    I agree that the grid would be incredibly helpful for anyone cutting with this machine. I also like the idea of the removable drawer as we don’t have a shop vac available at school and I can imagine the mess that would come when students tried to tip it into a trash can.

    Very excited to have my inventable later this spring and will probably be sad that I could only afford one.

  • BJ on

    I enjoy seeing all the updates, and hadn’t even thought about structural changes. I like the idea of a removable waste drawer. I really hope the grid will be included in the final product design.

  • BJ on

    I love seeing the updates, and hadn’t even thought about changes in the structural design. However, I really hope you’ll make sure the grid stays a part of the final design.

  • Gabriel on

    A drawer for dust removal is absolutely a solid design choice. On the other hand, I think the sloped sides will make it take up more space than necessary when stored, and don’t like quite as clean as the straight boxy version. It had a nice retro look before. And obviously, it needs the grid, as most comments are already saying. It’ll be disappointing if it ships without the grid.

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