Next-Gen Product Design Stories: Five Sweet Words: Real-life Iron Man Suit
Written by: Cat McClintock

Specialized’s dazzling, amazing design studio

Is your workspace cool? Sure it is. Is it Specialized cool? We’ll let you decide for yourself.

The bike manufacturer opened its doors recently for a profile and revealed stunning spaces. You can find design stations of course, but there’s also free food, pool, air hockey, and tennis tables for recreation. And just to make you feel like you’re being cheated? A barista comes in every Monday morning.

The result? Some epic bikes. For instance, read how they used Creo to build an industry-changing women’s endurance road bike from the ground up. Inspiring.

Scene from Specialized's studio

Inside Specialized’s offices. Source.

3D printing democratizing small business

Whenever 3D printing comes up in articles or when you’re trying to explain to your parents what additive manufacturing is (when they inevitably ask), words like “revolutionize” and “game-changing” always seem to arise. Because they should.

One often overlooked topic though is how 3D printing will help revolutionize (see?) small to medium-sized companies, small-scale manufacturers, and even the maker community. This piece in Entrepreneur looks at how SMBs tap into the power of 3D printing technology:

3D printing eliminates such costly barriers to entry by not requiring physical prerequisites like molds for production. In fact, products can be custom-produced directly from digital files, with 3D printing software able to identify potential design flaws or inconsistencies before the manufacturing process even starts. And the ability of service bureaus to print products on-demand eliminates the need for large manufacturing runs or the potential for excess inventory.

3D printing certainly brings down costs, providing fewer hassles, and shortening the time for new products to be envisioned, designed, and quickly produced. It’s an exciting time for our industry, isn’t it?

 Mt Hood printed on the inside of a beer glass

Can you imagine trying to create and produce this glass just a mere decade ago?  Read more.

Fan designs are sometimes the best designs

What do you get when you mix imagination, some fanfiction, designers, and killer design skills? Fictional superhero technologies made real. This article from Machine Design highlights six of those designs, from Batman to our favorite, a “real-life Iron Man suit.”

The suit’s creators, Gravity, have also built and filed patents for a human propulsion technology that re-imagines manned flight. In the meantime, their Daedalus flight suit “should be able to fly at speeds up to several hundreds of miles per hour.” Though it’s not technically the same suit from Iron Man, it is a jetpack-style flight suit with jet turbines on the lower back and arms.

That’s close enough for us.

 Iron Man-like suit

This is exactly what it looks like. Source.

You’re going to want to watch this video:

The Future of Design

With technology always changing, it can be difficult to know where product development is going next. Download PTC’s “10 Expert Insights: The Future of Product Design in the Age of Smart & Connected Devices.” Learn from industry leaders as they predict how you will be designing products in the near future to help you stay ahead in our rapidly changing industry. 


Tags: CAD
About the Author Cat McClintock

Cat McClintock edits the Creo and Mathcad blogs for PTC.  She has been a writer and editor for 15+ years,  working for CAD, PDM, ERP, and CRM software companies. Prior to that, she edited science journals for an academic publisher and aligned optical assemblies for a medical device manufacturer. She holds degrees in Technical Journalism, Classics, and Electro-Optics. She loves talking to PTC customers and learning about the interesting work they're doing and the innovative ways they use the software.