The BIG Consultant has now moved to Rotherham Town Centre, and opened up a new office at:-
Monday, 4 February 2013
The BIG Consultant has now moved to Rotherham Town Centre, and opened up a new office at:-
Thursday, 28 June 2012
It is very important at the early stages of your design, to pin down and write up a clear Product Design Specification.
A good product specification, will save you development costs and time. Plus will ensure that your chosen supplier can meet or exceed your needs. I have written a template that explains some of the concepts, and also is useful to batten down ideas into a concrete plan.
You can download the instructions and Product Design Specification template here and use it right away!
Good luck in your aims, to get specifically what you want. At the price, timescale and quality you want.
Monday, 14 May 2012
BioAMD Ltd asked The BIG Consultant to design a consumer product for medical high street retail. Here is a presentation from the 3D CAD data, used to demonstrate the product prior to commercial manufacture.
We use SolidWorks and also SolidEdge 3D CAD CAM to design and realise new product concepts. Prototypes can be produced as physical, tactile and working models. In this case a range of "Soft Tools" were created to cast a number of injection-mold-like facsimiles which were built with the working electronics and software to drive the product. Please email email@example.com for more information
Tuesday, 10 April 2012
This is No1 for inventors, small businesses and start-ups with a new product or service idea, that is worth money. You NEED to start using an NDA ( Non Disclosure Agreement ) . Right now!
Please find here my Non Disclosure Agreement , which you can re-write as you wish, and add your details in as the disclosee. The file is attached in MS Word format.
Alternatively, feel free to use a Government Official version of a Non Disclosure Agreement.
Heres how it works:-
1. In the bits I have highlighted yellow, put in your details. You are the disclosee.
2. Print out 2 copies for every person that you meet, and disclose the ideas to.
3. You and the person you meet both sign a copy of each. You keep one copy, and they keep the other.
4. Do not disclose until / or unless they sign.
5. Explain to them, that this is required, by law to ensure that the design is patentable and protectable. It has to be non-publicly disclosed, and this document ensures that legally, its is not public disclosure, but is a trade secret.
6. This document, proves who you have spoken with, and is dated. Also, its an agreement not to disclose the idea without your permission. It is VERY important, should you require patent protection later, and you may well need this, in a competitive situation once product(s) are launched.
7. Please take this seriously, and keep a copy or folder with all the records and contacts that you have disclosed to from now on.
Please take the NDA seriously. Big companies are incapable of coming up with good ideas for themselves. Its up to us, the little guys, to give it to them. But do be cautious with having a game plan, which you clearly are developing, keeping a tight ship, and understand the law.
In legal terms, you hold "prior-art" hopefully, and if its a goer, then we can not only build you working prototypes, but also draught and file any registered design rights, patent applications, design drawings etc etc.
Make sure that you also mark any drawings you show as Copyright ...
It sounds daft, but it will take you very little effort, to mark any drawings or sketches you show with © Your Name 2012. And you would be surprised how much legal protection it gives you. Dont question it, just take my work for it.
Generally, copyright lasts for the lifetime of the 'author' plus 70 years. Copyright is extended automatically to all Berne Copyright Convention countries. Copyright protection is also extended automatically to all Universal Copyright Convention countries provided that the standard UCC copyright notice is placed on the article or design. The notice should consist of three elements, namely, the symbol © which is the capital letter C contained within a circle, the name of the copyright owner and then the year of first publication of the work (e.g. © Your Name 2012). Also adding "Any unauthorised copying or reproduction is prohibited" would be a good idea on any drawings, followed by "Copyright and Design Rights subsist in these drawings or articles shown".
That file to download again NDA Agreement in editable MS Word format.
Very simple to do. No cost. But very very important.
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
However, you can do this yourself. And this is the way that I would recommend to start. Your time costs less, and it is not as hard as you might think.
A. Speak to Ged Doonan at the Leeds Central Library. They have access to the entire patent database, and Ged has helped me to do this essential search for free when I was looking into my own invention many years ago. And Leeds Central Library has an extensive search facility for Prior Art, and excellent support facilities and staff. Please look into this on the following link for all your Prior Art searching needs. I cant recommend them enough! Very knowledgeable and helpful!
B. There is a free online service run by the IPO called GB Esp@cenet
Way down the line in the future, I might consider spending some money but right now, its best to do as much as possible yourself.
Monday, 5 December 2011
Friday, 4 November 2011
Thursday, 3 November 2011
Tuesday, 6 September 2011
I had to re-blog this, as it's an amazing (if true) story:-
"When it comes to renewable energy solutions, sometimes nature has the best ideas. That was 13-year-old Aidan Dwyer’s conclusion after a wintry hike in New York’s Catskill Mountains, a trip that inspired him to build a unique and effective solar array design."
"Dwyer observed patterns in the trees and, after further research and contemplation, realized the branches matched up with the Fibonacci sequence, a mathematical pattern found throughout nature, such as in falcon flight paths, nautilus shells and ratios within the human body."
"Dwyer speculated that this pattern aided the trees in photosynthesis and tested his hypothesis by building a miniature tree-shaped solar array. The project won him a 2011 Young Naturalist Award from the American Museum of Natural History.
The 7th grader describes his experiments in a detailed essay:
I designed and built my own test model, copying the Fibonacci pattern of an oak tree. I studied my results with the compass tool and figured out the branch angles. The pattern was about 137 degrees and the Fibonacci sequence was 2/5. Then I built a model using this pattern from PVC tubing. In place of leaves, I used PV solar panels hooked up in series that produced up to 1/2 volt, so the peak output of the model was 5 volts. The entire design copied the pattern of an oak tree as closely as possible.
The design generated up to 50% more power than the model of a traditional solar installation during periods of low sunlight. The individual solar panels’ various angles help the array capture light even when the sun is very low in the sky. And, since they don’t lie flat, many of the panels are also less affected by shade and snow.
At this point, Dwyer’s design a backyard experiment, but perhaps in the future we’ll see roof gardens planted with solar tree arrays. "
Friday, 15 July 2011
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Friday, 27 May 2011
Thursday, 26 May 2011
I have to be honest, that I was rather disappointed to see a lack of innovative products from Britain, in the show, although I am very sure there are some extremely forward thinking companies in the UK. Something seems to stop us from taking the technology lead to the forefront. In the main exhibition, the only product I got really exited about was unfortunately German! A great idea to increase the the efficiency of impellers, and very much borrowed from nature. Makes the machine run silent too, and is designed for air-conditioning on the outside of buildings.
Friday, 20 May 2011
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
I have just created a mailing list with people I know that are interested in developing new products. If you want to be included, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I created the list I created today. I thought it would be easier and quicker to send any useful info that I come across and share it.
As you may or may no know, I am no big fan of Government backed funding schemes. They often end up being intensive on the old paperwork, and you often get sidelined to advisers who in my opinion have very little experience of product development.
However, I did think that this link was of interest. The blurb says
And the direct link is here
I have not researched this link fully yet, and there is as we know a hold on Business Link for funding new ideas. However, I do know that government grants will be available, even with the cuts. But these will likely be subject to strict financials being provided.
Please direct any enquires via my email email@example.com
Designed for Special Needs (SEN) and with a modern and stylish design SMOOTH TALKER is the most versatile, single and sequential message, Communicator currently on the market.
The product is now widely available for sale at a guide price of £109 in the UK and is also being distributed in Europe, USA and Australasia
Monday, 12 July 2010
Monday, 14 June 2010
The Chinese way of working has almost defeated one British entrepreneur, writes Malcolm Moore in Wuxi
Read this very amusing and colourful true story here about manufacturing in China , and you'll get a clear picture of how this advanced manufacturing nation operates!!
The moral of the story. Get your product manufactured and made by companies that care, and havea reputation to uphold... Preferably English speaking too. Making products in China is laughably prone to errors, and there are a whole host of companies that profess to help you to do this. Trust me, there are better ways!!
Sent: 09 June 2010 18:30
Subject: Feedback Form
I am 15 years old and have an idea which I believe will dominate both the [removed for protection] and in [removed for protection] markets.
I would like to know three things however before I disclose details of my idea; 1/do you offer advise on the viability of designs, 2/ do i need my idea to be protected before I disclose details of it to yourselves and 3/ do you have the resources to produce on a large scale as well as prototyping.
I eagerly await your response.
Thank you got your interesting email.
You certainly have a job on your hands if your idea is as good as you have outlined. However, you have correctly identified three very important questions and in answering them I will stress to you that you should seek to carefully protect your idea, be wary of advice you are given and make your own decisions very carefully.
To answer your questions:-
1. do you offer advise on the viability of designs,
I can look at your design and give you my honest opinion, based upon manufacturing and sales knowledge. However, you should not disclose your design to any party until you have a printed and signed Non-Disclosure Agreement. This should be signed by both parties, and this will protect your idea. You should have your own, and I’ll provide you with details on how to obtain this.
2. do i need my idea to be protected before I disclose details of it to yourselves.
Yes yes yes. But be careful. There are low cost and simple ways to protect your design which your should consider first.
Your first step should be to contact the Intellectual Property Office, or IPO. This is a government organisation that manages legal protection of ideas and there are several methods by which you should protect your design – see this page for more info http://www.ipo.gov.uk/patent/info and call them if you need to.
Please be aware that
i. some companies thrive on taking peoples ideas away from them.
ii. some lawyers want you to spend lots of money on patents too early.
iii. You should research all this information yourself carefully, and double check the advice.
iv. Ideally you should develop a “working knowledge” of how to protect you design. This is in stages, 1. By NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement), 2. By post 3. Most importantly by patent application if your idea is good, (and other methods, see IPO website) 4. By full Patent Publication.
You should be safe to speak to me or others, after completing Step 2.
a. If you “publicly disclose” your idea, i.e. you show someone without the NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) you may not be able to file a Patent in this country!!
b. If you disclose your design without an NDA agreement, someone may steal your idea! Patents offer more protection, but will cost £3,500 generally. Fortunately you can use other low cost ways to protect your design, for much less, for up to 12 months or more. This includes Registered Design Rights, Patent Applied For, and Trademarks. I would suggest that the best method right now is to make a copy of all your work or ideas, and post them by registered self addressed envelopes at your local Post Office to yourself. This gives a date, and leave them sealed!! This can then be used as evidence of your having the idea first. I have personally sign and sealed copies of my ideas and given them to professional people I trust, such as my accountant or family solicitor to keep in their safe.
c. You should read the information on the IPO Website, and especially the downloadable documents regarding “Patent Facts” and “Patents Essential Reading”. You should also be able to order a printed copy from them for free. I recommend that you have a NDA Agreement, that you and the receiving party sign and date. I can send you one of mine, or your could contact your local patent lawyers and ask them for one for free (if they are any good, and reasonable they should give you one). Also why not also ask for a free 1 hour consultation, if they are registered to give “Legal Aid”. Also, I recommend that you have posted your design to yourself, and I should say that you are protected enough to discuss your idea with a 3rd party.
3. do you have the resources to produce on a large scale as well as prototyping.
I work with a range of companies to deliver services, and there are a range of options available to you in order to undertake production. All have risks, levels of commitment and potential for varying financial reward. Typically the least risky will yield the lowest reward, and this would be to licence your developed and protected (step 4) product idea to a 3rd party manufacturer. The second way would be to set up a Ltd company, to own the IP and to create ‘shares’ in this to cover the costs of development (as the cost of setting up a company is large), however, this company itself may have value and could provide a vehicle for greater profits and flexibility, but requires investment of work and careful management. Third would be to sell the protected and developed idea outright for a on-off sum, which would leave you within the money, as they say, but you would effectively have sold the intellectual property. In addition there are variations on these themes, including stepping up royalties in case of higher sales numbers.
Manufacturing typically takes place in a global market now, and as you may have seen in the news, Apple’s Ipod is not made by Apple Inc, but by a Chinese company called Foxcon. They also manufacture the Playstation! I can arrange for large scale manufacture as well as prototyping, but this involves more of a legal process, and your product must show the capacity to generate a “return on investment” i.e. it will be profitable to sell, and suitable in terms of investment of time, money and production of tooling. The simple answer is yes.
Please be careful of who you talk to regarding the idea, before you have made steps to protect yourself. Your design would not be worth anything, if for example, any company could just copy it. Also check your sources of information, and remember that even friendly looking organisations may be wishing to make a profit from you.
I do however recommend this book on the subject, and it really is the best that I have seen and covers all the details of patent laws, registering, designing, legal documents, marketing, and dealing with businesses http://www.abettermousetrap.co.uk/book.htm . I do strongly suggest you purchase this, and it will even tell you how to mark your drawings so that they are copyrighted for example (another free protection).
If you do have any other questions, then please feel free to ask. And if you want me to appraise your idea, then I should look forward to seeing that you have taken the steps outlined (NDA, copies posted to self, drawings marked copyright etc).
I wish you the best of success in the meantime, and well done for asking the right questions.
MDes BSc LCG QTS
So the moral is, 1. Get an NDA which you can do for FREE is is invaluable 2. Seek to file Patent Applied for (you can write this yourself, and filing is FREE 3. Review IP such as copyright, trademarks and posting to yourself (which admittedly will cost you a stamp!!)
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
And it reminded me that, Guess What, I'm not a robot. I think some R&R and holiday time is on order! I like the images embedded in this video, and makes you think what is possible in the future?
Friday, 14 May 2010
The client, has expressed an interest to move quickly, utilising private funding. Furthermore, rapid understanding, development and design changes are best made making heavy use of 3D engineering CAD.
These are early pictures, but the final proposal will be the most advanced and efficient recycling and power generation plant in the UK. Buyers from this grid, will be large band name companies, and even better, the waste to energy from established distribution networks will feed the plant. Free energy?? Yes please!!
I'm all for government investment, but sometimes private enterprise can move more quickly, and in this case provide benefits for the local economy, improved waste services, environmental benefits and jobs. A very worthwhile and profitable investment Indeed.
As always, Steve Bell says it best. What an amazing political cartoonist.
You can find Steve Bell's "IF" cartoon clicking here and also the main daily cartoons like the above by clicking here
... I do wonder what is going to happen to all those bloated "Regional Development Agencies" and quango's floating around. There's a lot of waste going on in this part of the country, but as ever, will the changes promote successful business development and true innovation.
My comment, its really time for a new politics, and I don't think that the politicians have worked this out yet! There is a solution, but it may not be as obvious at the moment? Comments please!
Friday, 5 March 2010
Check out SolidSmack! What is SolidSmack?
"This is a very small behemoth of an online community about 3D CAD, technology, design, robots, and the occasional blast of intensely cool product design and technology. Updates on in the world of 3D, add a splash of business insight and web tech in the mix and there you have SolidSmack.
Get your 1000mg of SolidSmack.com Stat here!!! http://www.solidsmack.com
It’s your daily multi-vitamin of coolness.
Thursday, 25 February 2010
Its a weekend aevent and should prove to be a lot of fun, with some interesting things to see and people to meet.
Tuesday, 9 February 2010
Well its sweet sweet justice that someone has made a guide to dismantle and mess about with these creatures internals. http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2006/03/circuit-bent-furby.html
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Why not listen to one of the worlds most sucessful innovators and his three product development stories!!
Sunday, 17 January 2010
Prototype This is a great new programme on the Discovery Chanel which shows the entire process of developing a product design into a manufactable solution.
They do this by making a model quickly using Rapid Prototyping to discover if the product will work!! Check it out!
"Also known as snowrollers, snow bales and snow doughnuts, they form mostly in unusual conditions created by a precise combination of snow, ice, wind, temperature and moisture on the prairies of North America.
But this week's frozen weather has allowed the snow cylinders to make a freak appearance in the UK."
[Via Derren Brown, via The Telegraph]
There are inventors clubs all over the country: Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham to name a few. But what do you find there?
To my mind there are elite groups of sharks, charatans and parasites that wish to take over your Intelectual Property. These rings are not unlike being passed from one adviser to another at Business Link.
All the time somebody is making a commission!! Ching ching.
1. Reasearch your market carefully.
2. The internet is your best friend. It never tells on you when you ask it questions regarding your product or invention.
3. Write a business plan!! - they dont tell you how to do this at the inventors clubs (",)
4. Make carefull notes and strategy on how to procede.
The business plan is the single most important aspect of any product related endeavour!!
You can download a free business plan template here
Monday, 21 December 2009
3D Animations for Jarvis Transport Division by The BIG Consultant - Product Design
An animation of new products was required by Jarvis for trade shows and product presentation to customers prior to manufacture.
Sunday, 20 December 2009
Monday, 14 December 2009
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