The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: How to research/invent a new product?  (Read 2672 times)

Offline Chris876

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
How to research/invent a new product?
« on: 03/01/2015 20:54:03 »
Hello,

I was so annoyed with my zippers on jacket and backpack that I was wondering about zippers and got further into it (how they work, when they've been invented, where they are manufactured, materials etc.)
Then I found that there are some people working on alternatives - for instance a zipper with a magnet to assure single handed zipping (more expensive and it would need to be produced directly where garments are coming from and be included widely in garments).
Or some powerful magnets for tying up shoes - which wouldn't really work with backpacks and jacket - whereas we've got a cool mosquito net with magnets that snaps together after one went through.
(both products found on kickstarter).

Now I was wondering how to start. It doesn't have to be a zipper - it should be a closing tool that holds to sides of fabrics together.
So I was looking into materials - probably it should be organic chemestry - so plastics would be cheap, resistant, something to start from.
How would you continue from there? Research prices for raw material first? Or mechanics?
How would you organise tests and ideas? Get ideas and inspiration?

I'm coming from an IT/economical/private enterprise background - so this is a bit .. interdisciplinary .. for me - if I might put it like that.

Thanks,
Chris


 

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4699
  • Thanked: 153 times
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Re: How to research/invent a new product?
« Reply #1 on: 04/01/2015 19:25:01 »
Velcro works very well. The inventor's inspiration was burdock. It's good for kids' shoes, hot-air balloons, and just about every soft material in between.

Ziploc packaging comes in several forms, one of which uses nanoformed ridges and valleys in soft plastic to maximise the contact surface area between opposing sheets.

What is the annoyance about zippers? I'm a great fan of them. Less so with velcro for outdoor use as it tends to get clogged with grass.

You need to specify the tightness and strength of the seal you want. Just to stop things flapping (buttons and toggles are great!), windproof, waterproof, with as much tensile strength as the fabrics? 
 

Offline Chris876

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: How to research/invent a new product?
« Reply #2 on: 07/01/2015 09:10:49 »
Velcro works very well. The inventor's inspiration was burdock. It's good for kids' shoes, hot-air balloons, and just about every soft material in between.

That's true - velcro was a very good idea.
It is more expensive and not as durable as a zipper - plus the noise level using it is higher and it can't be water resistant.

Ziploc packaging comes in several forms, one of which uses nanoformed ridges and valleys in soft plastic to maximise the contact surface area between opposing sheets.

That is something that comes very close to a zipper, but doesn't seem to have the mechanical shortcomes of a zipper.
But I tested plenty of ziplock bags and if they are very cheap and very small, it's sometimes difficult to lock them - I suspect the pit and the land there are just too small to fit easily or be securely locked.

What is the annoyance about zippers? I'm a great fan of them. Less so with velcro for outdoor use as it tends to get clogged with grass.

It can be a bit of fiddling around sometims if the zipper doesn't lock easily and properly. Some zippers are really smooth, others aren't.
Zippers come in different quality. Over years, they wear out - sometimes they open in the middle of the zipper by applying a pulling force (like putting many things into a backpack or getting caught on a door knob with the jackets pocket or similar - ever had a jacket or pants where the zipper opens/doesn't stay zipped? It costs like 20 EUR to exchange the zipper (repair) and 30 EUR to get a complete new garment - that leads to more trash and a shorter product life cycle.
If zippers are used in rain/muddy situations (bike bags/gear) dirt can be caught between teeth and the zipping mechanism will be interrupted.
At dresses one always has to be careful with ones better parts hair - since they can easily be trapped.

A zipper is a very good product. It has been on the market aroun 100 years and the whole wide world uses it. But there hasn't been much improvement within those 100 years but technology and science got way further - so I just assume there could be some hidden solution to the next level of fixing cloths.

You need to specify the tightness and strength of the seal you want. Just to stop things flapping (buttons and toggles are great!), windproof, waterproof, with as much tensile strength as the fabrics?

Buttons and toggles are good but slow and inconvenient. But as velcro tape as well, they have their right to exist and are used in certain applications.

windproof, waterproof would be good, flexible like a zipper, easy to sew on, impossible to wear out or very easy and cheap to change. The product should be better than a zipper.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: How to research/invent a new product?
« Reply #2 on: 07/01/2015 09:10:49 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums
 
Login
Login with username, password and session length