Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Industrial Design and how good design improves lives.

Today, the existence of industrial designers is vital in regards to offering improvements to the lives of others through the improvement,alternation and solution development of every day- to -day products through design.

One designer who has inspired me through product re-design and development is Mugi Yamamoto with his new product, the Stack Printer.

Lets talk about our current every day to-day-printers, specifically inkjet printers. They are clumpy, heavy-weight and visually unattractive, they sit on your desk and take up mass amounts of well-needed space. Mugi Yamamoto has come to his senses, finding a solution for the current problems and has produced a fantastic design.

The Stack Printer simply works by placing the device on top of stacked paper and printing sheet by sheet, descending through the pile. The actual device itself is much smaller than existing printers, with a seriously reduced body size. So what does this size re-design offer in terms of manufacturing? Seriously reduced production costs. The actual mechanism of the printer has also been re-configuered, with the output of the printer being at the top, rather than the bottom, which is a nice alternative however, may be difficult to access if a lot of paper has been stacked.

So to cut the story short, Mugi's new design has completely removed the need for a clumpy and excessive output tray. Instead, we can now gracefully watch our printer work it's way through a stack of paper, which also reduces the need to keep re-filling the machine with new sheets so frequently, as a stack will last much longer.

Another feature which i really appreciate about this design, is the way the printer can be stored with such ease. The printer has 3 support clips on it's roof which can be folded down, making the device very slim/sleek and easy to store, which is very much impossible to achieve with our current printers.

In addition to many of it's elegant features, the printer does raise some issues in terms of paper stack and paper alignment. What is stopping the stacked paper from being knocked? Causing the printer to potentially fall, this is one issue that could be further discussed. Or simply, do not stack so much paper.

So there we have it, a an everyday product, improved for user use and performance by simply considering minor design features and developing solutions to make a long-term life improvement. Nifty.

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