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The Design Bug

Having great product idea is delightful—it is fun to imagine how it will work, what it will look like and how it will be used. But, to be able to take that great idea, turn it into a design and then be able to follow up with the actual creation and prototyping of the product is satisfying on so many more levels.

When the FAB PDX team gets together in our “FAB lab”, concepts are flying everywhere. “What about a tether ball stand that has a base that looks like a cat?” “How about a desk that is actually a transformer and transforms into a giant origami moose?” “What if we build a recycling machine that is also a lottery slot machine, so you redeem credits from bottles and use them to gamble?” “What if….”

Someone will dream up a product or a process and someone else will build on that and someone else will interject their modifications to the morphing creation until finally—we have something cool and doable in mind. From there, we build a 3D model to figure out the dimensions and workability of the product and after we know just what it will take, we get to the fabrication. It is much more enjoyable to stay late at work concocting a secret creation then to stay at the shop hammering away on a regular redundant project.

After one product is fully developed and prototyped, the next idea is already halfway through formation process. Creating is addictive, after you see your “brain-child” in its actualized form; all you want to do is create the next one. You think, “wow that was awesome, but my next idea is going to blow this one out of the water!”

So, the process continues…dreaming, creating, building—the fuel for FAB PDX is imagination and the vehicle is ingenuity and know-how. For people like us idea manufacturing is a natural and never-ending process—it starts when we wake up in the morning and seeps into our dreams at night. It forces us to keep learning and growing as engineers, designers, builders and fabricators. It gives us purpose and drive—knowing that the next great idea could be just a few thoughts away.

We always say, our million dollar idea will likely be a “beer infused” conversation, that leads to a bar napkin sketch, that leads to a prototype that leads to a product that becomes something that everyone MUST have. With a team of creative people, it just takes one small simple concept to start the process, it builds on itself and with the privilege of having each other to share brainpower with, it can materialize out of seemingly nowhere.

I think our team could all agree with Ayn Rand when she said, “I don’t build in order to have clients. I have clients in order to build.” We (FAB PDX) love what we do–we relish the process of creating and we are fortunate enough to have a company that allows us to utilize our gifts of invention and ingenuity every day.