Product Design Shorts: Trends, Cars, and Bringing Back the "Wow"
Written By: Cat McClintock

A batch of fresh product design stories, curated just for you.

Where’s Industrial Design Headed in 2017?

Although it’s only March, it’s apparently not too soon for a 2017 design trends piece. Machine Design magazine has a post on what they see are the top industrial design trends for the year.

Here are trends that we found most interesting.

  • Designing for emerging markets, like Southeast Asia and Africa, will gain momentum as demand increases for products that offer “low-cost solutions for basic needs.” Think durable containers that are designed to transport clean water and roll easily, personal mobile water-purification tools, and coolers that helps farmers preserve crops. Sure, they’re altruistic, but they still need to work – and they need designers.
  • Smart products and the Internet of Things will keep growing too. As such, designers need to understand that any product being designed could also potentially be embedded with “software, processors, sensors, and connectivity to exchange data between the product and its user, the environment, or other products.”


A smart connected world is quickly approaching

Product designers will soon be incorporating embedded sensors, processors, and software into their products.


Dieter Rams: Car Designers Need to Simplify

The name Dieter Rams should roll off of every industrial designer’s tongue (or at least know who he is). Now, Car Design News magazine says auto designers should start to heed his theories of good design. Ideas like, “good design is honest” and “does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept. (If you’ve ever tried to lodge a large coffee cup into a smaller holder in the console, then let’s agree there’s work to be done.) Here’s an excerpt that articulates his simple manifesto nicely (or brutally honest depending on where you are in the aisle):

“The current trend for oversized, fake air intakes is counter to this, hinting at more power and performance than is on offer. See also faux ‘diffusers’ on hot hatches, the Range Rover’s side ‘gills,’ and perhaps also ‘hidden’ rear door handles – or perhaps worst of all, SUV and crossover-style vehicles which are in fact two-wheel-drive only.”

Ouch. The truth hurts. And Dieter Rams knows the truth.

Bookcase designed by Dieter Rams
606 Universal Shelving System, 1960, designed by Dieter Rams. Simple and stylish, unlike many cars on the road. Photo: Wikipedia.


Project Design of the Week: Animated Compressor

If you’re not familiar with our User Community, go over and introduce yourself. It’s open to anybody, whether you’re an actual Creo user, or just an interested observer. You’ll meet all levels of designers and engineers there, as well as a number of PTC experts. This week, we’re bringing you a favorite from user Mike Jenkins. Click through to see the model with animation.


Compressor designed with Creo


[If you’ve never seen anything quite like this before, Jenkins notes that his design is protected by multiple patents--inlcuding Axial piston compressor, US6439857, 2002;  Swash plate containment assembly, US6883416, Apr 2005; Compressor with swash plate housing inlet port, US7153105, Dec 2006; Pump valve assembly, US7318709, Aug 2003]

Get Designing

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Tags: CAD Retail and Consumer Products Connected Devices
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.