DESIGN, PROTOTYPE, PITCH
Work in teams of two, competing against other teams of designers and engineers to invent something new or capitalize on a gap in the market, pitch the idea to a panel of professionals, and obtaining a provisional patent—all in 6 weeks.
PICKING A TOPIC
This was arguably the most difficult part of Invent @ SU. My partner, Steven, and I began by creating maps of problems in our own lives and branching out from there. We followed up on similar experiences and talked with our families and friends when we thought we were onto a good topic. We also thoroughly researched industry and manufacturing problems since Steven and I are both interested in the technical side of things.
After a lot of compromise, we settled on tackling the 1.5 million consumer packages damaged everyday in transit. Most online forums and people we asked cited the same problem: it is difficult to find affordable, simple, and time efficient ways to pack and ship fragile items—especially items of sentimental value.
TESTING. LOTS OF IT.
These two videos are a glimpse of the tests we conducted with various types of foams. We dropped, broke, and cleaned so many eggs — and when we found a foam that worked just right, we needed to figure out how to make the reaction easy enough for a consumer to start, but also giving enough pot time to allow the user to fit their item into the package.
FINALIZING AND FILING
Steven and I brainstormed all of the possible way to mix the solution and decided on on a kneading action—it would mix the two components well enough to start the reaction. That helped us land on making breakable 'pods' that were pre-inserted into a package that a consumer could pop and knead, then insert their item.
Pictured are diagrams from Steven and my provisional patent filing.