Gotta love those samples – particularly those that can can be used as a 3-dimensional design guide. One of the best collections out there is the collection created by Protomold. The best-known sample is the purple Protomold Sample Cube (above). Carl Alviani mentioned it last year on Core77 as one of his new favorite things. Molded out of polypropylene, this part ships flat and snaps together. Described by one of Carl’s friend as “an ME degree in a box,” the Cube is a single molded piece that folds into cube shape, and features physical examples of over a dozen guidelines of good injection-molded part design including snap fits, pass-core features, live hinges, ribs, knit lines, textured surfaces, and several examples of how to design and not design a boss to minimize sink. The order form for this part can be found here.
The next sample to come out of Protomold was the Resin Puzzle, featuring 9 of the most popular materials offered out of the dozens available in stock. The puzzle come with a guide to the materials and the solution to assembling the puzzle (which is shipped disassembled) is available on their site (but don’t peek). To order, use this link.
Their latest offering is really fun and geeky: The Protomold Demo Mold is a simulated mold used to demonstrate specific mold and part features. This thing comes complete with the two mold halves, ejection system, the part with gate and runner system – even a side action slide. You can order it here. And when you do, check out the little video showing how it’s assembled…
Guys, I know this is so dorky… But this really IS a great teaching tool. I’m not sure how freely Protomold is letting these things go to anyone who asks for one, but I seriously hope that every industrial design instructor that teaches materials and processes out there gets one of these things to show their students. Actually, I’m hoping they get all three of them.
And, just to make the post complete, here a little promo video: