Geeky Flash Drives Part 3: Superman Fortress Crystal

Superman USB Crystal Flash Drive by Dave's Geeky Ideas

The crystals in the Superman films had several functions: home construction, beacon, glow stick, ability to restore superpowers, and last but not least: data storage.  Two of these things — data storage and the glow functionality — could easily translate to a USB flash drive. The end result is something that looks and behaves (to an extent) just like one of Superman’s crystals.

For this design a vanilla cap would cover the USB plug. Like the previous Ghostbusters design, there would be some LED lights built-in to indicate the device is in use. But one thing I’d like to see is an on-demand light that is triggered by a button, allowing you to replicate the ‘glow stick’ feature of the crystal. The drive would need an on-board battery, preferably something that can be recharged (via USB, of course). There are so many keychain light and USB drive combos, so I feel this is an attainable design.

And as a lark it should come preloaded with a few documents about trees.

LEGO Package Design

LEGO Package Design Dave Delisle

NOTE: This was my entry for the 2011 SCA Package Design contest. I did not win, and it haunts me to this very day.

SCA had a LEGO packaging design contest which was open until yesterday. The goal was to create a replacement design for the case that held starter LEGO and Duplo sets. This design would address numerous factors, ranging from production to retail to consumer use.

Knowing that everyone else would make a case that resembled a LEGO brick, I decided to do something different.

Today I unveil most* of my entry, which I call the Wave Case. The wave shape is not for looks, but for function. For starters the wave shape creates four distinct handles, making it easy to carry:

LEGO Package Design Dave Delisle

One of the Wave Case’s features is a storage bracket for all the booklets and pamphlets that come with LEGO sets. This bracket is adjustable, allowing for more booklets to be added. This promotes the collection of LEGO, and helps prevent the waste of printed materials.

I wanted to make this case easier to open than LEGO’s current model, where you have to wedge the lid off with your fingers. With the lids attached to the bin, it is a snap to open:

LEGO Package Design Dave Delisle

The second reason for the wave-shaped design was to make the removable lids ergonomically easy to pry off and put back on the lid. Note the placement of the hands when pulling off and attaching the lid (above image).

The lids are attached with clasps that resemble the hands of a minifig. Making the lids removable is a safety feature, and allows for the easier spilling of bricks. But one feature I wanted to add that would appeal to many, is making one lid a sort of dustpan/scoop to help in the cleaning of LEGO bricks:

LEGO Package Design Dave Delisle

I know some parents would get a kick out of the cleaning feature.

Other features: I made the stickers smaller so they could be more temporary in nature. The current starter sets feature large stickers that cover one side of the case. The bracket system could also store large flat pieces of LEGO, so there wouldn’t be a need for large cardboard placeholders.

*The case is stackable, for both storage and production. I also addressed security straps for retail display. A bunch of other stuff in my entry is not covered here, just wanted to showcase the main features.

The Greatest Toy Ever?

Lego 3D Printer

In light of the many recent articles I’ve seen highlighting the year’s best toys, I asked myself: “What would be the greatest toy ever?”

That’s easy. A toy that lets you make your own toys.

I predict that one day toy companies will issue affordable 3D printers aimed at kids, complete with a library of toys and accessories to print. The business model will not only rely on selling these printers, but the sales of additional 3D model files (from an online store) and plastic resin refills as well.

Wouldn’t it be cool if Hasbro released a printer that allowed you to print weapons and add-ons for your G.I. Joe and Transformer figures? Or even entire figures?

The scope of these printers would range from the small (creating parts to enhance existing toys), to the ambitious (creating entire toys or model kits). Either way, there is a lot of potential here for kids and hobbyists alike.

The LEGO Soda Cans

Cola Lego Can Soda Pop Pepsi Coke six-pack

The first of a few beverage-related ideas (other promised projects are still on the way!), this is the ‘Lego soda can’ (or pop can we call it Canada).

Quite simply this removes the plastic rings needed to hold a six/eight-pack of cans together, and in place there is an interlocking design which allows the cans to snap together. I’m sure ducks would approve.

Dr. Pepper Mountain Dew Crush Root Beer

As you can see there would be a ‘slope’ for the opening to help direct the drinker away from the tabs.

Also (not pictured), a six-pack could snap into another six-pack below, eliminating the need for a cardboard box.Probably won’t hold together all that well, admittedly.

No plastic rings needed! Ducks approve!

I only made one type of can here, a ‘jigsaw’ piece with 2 plugs and 2 ports. In reality, there would be a few different types of cans to help avoid extraneous plugs in the perimeter of the six-pack.

The plugs are held in place by an overlapping seal that can bend away with enough force to remove the can.

My design look was influenced by Harc Lee’s ingenious idea of making soda cans with no paint or dye:

Except I decided to preserve some color for display. However Harc’s design looks so amazing – it should be the industry standard. Check out his site here.