Michael Paloian, President of IDS, is an internationally recognized and respected author, editor and lecturer on product design. Michael has been a contributing author to plastics design books and a staff design editor for RotoWorld magazine. He has written scores of design articles for a wide variety of trade magazines and trade associations, at home and abroad. He has been quoted frequently and invited to speak at numerous international conferences, in Italy, France, India and Brazil.

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  • Rotational Molding Product Design

    Rotational molding part design is often confused with product design which is significantly more complex and broader in terms of design considerations versus part design. Most rotational molders often think that a design which is ideally engineered for the rotational molding process is equally ideal for the end user or market. This perception has encouraged many molders to include designers on staff as part of their overall services. In some instances the responsibilities of these designers are specifically restricted to optimizing incoming designs for the rotational molding process. Restricting responsibility to part design adds value to their overall service since in-house designers are able to contribute their processing expertise. The product designer familiar with the application has the benefit of optimizing his or her design based on this invaluable insight. This separately managed integration of disciplines usually results in successful products if the parties work together cooperatively and productively.

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  • Analyzing Medical Design

    This case study describes the design methodology applied to redesigning a chemical blood analyzer based on integrating industrial design with engineering and processing expertise.

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  • New Stand Up MRI Design

    A few years ago our design firm was awarded a project that represented a classic case study involving all the challenges previously cited. Integrated Design Systems was chosen by Fonar to develop a set of covers for their new Stand Up MRI system. This project was a unique and exciting opportunity for many reasons. First, we had an opportunity to meet and work with the current president of Fonar and inventor of MRI, Dr. Raymond Damadian. Second this was one of the physically largest and most challenging projects we ever encountered. Third, this product was the first of its kind, allowing patients to stand within an open framed MRI during scans. Since this product represented a revolutionary step forward in MRI, Dr. Damadian sought a design that was consistent with this breakthrough concept. He described his vision for the new product to convey comfort, technological leadership, quality and most of all openness. These characteristics had to be consistent with the massive inner structure of the MRI system. This massive steel structure was required to create the powerful magnetic which this technology was based on.

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  • Design-CAD File Part Details And Tooling Part 3

    This issue of Design Corner will continue with Part 3 of CAD modeling techniques and details to be considered for rotationally molded parts. In my prior column I discussed the importance of deciding on the type of mold construction at the beginning of the project and its affect on partdesign. Now I will try to outline some of the techniques and design considerations that should be included during the CAD development of a rotationally molded part. Although rotationally molded parts are molded hollow, it is unnecessary in most cases to shell (core out the geometry) a 3D CAD file. Almost all of the parts we design are modeled as a solid 3D part without any internal shelling. This saves us lots of time due to the difficulties that are sometimes encountered shelling a complex 3D part. Since rotationally molded part molds are based on the exterior surface of the part geometry, a shelled model is of no use to the pattern maker. A solid 3D CAD model is all that is required to construct a rotational mold. However, one has to be careful to not to ignore the basic design guidelines specific to the rotational molding process. For example the 5:1 rule for minimum separation of two parallel walls of a desired wall thickness must not be overlooked. If the internal walls of a rotationally molded part are critical in an overall assembly, the part may have to be shelled. Other factors that must be considered are inserts and kiss-offs which are sometimes difficult to visualize if a part is not shelled. As a general rule, you are not required to shell a rotationally molded part unless it is required by you as the designer to better understand an overall assembly.

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  • Design-CAD File Part Details And Tooling Part 6

    The last time I wrote an article for Design Corner was in November of 2007. That was quite a while ago. As promised in the closing statement of the July/August publication of Design Corner, this issue will address draft, undercuts parting lines and other features that should be included in 3D CAD models for rotational molding. The majority of patterns and molds fabricated today are machined directly from a 3D CAD file provided by the designer. The tool maker typically makes little to no changes to the file with the exception of adding draft and a few features for mold fabrication. Therefore the designer must be extremely careful to include all the proper features to mold a quality part. The remainder of this article will review the importance of draft, undercuts and parting line location in the CAD file.

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  • Design-CAD File Part Details And Tooling Part 2

    In my last Design Corner editorial I discussed the evolution of the design process from drafting tables to CAD. I also mentioned the added responsibility designers have undertaken as technology has progressed and development cycles have decreased. In this issue of Rototalk, I would like to limit my discussion to tooling selection and its affects on part design.

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  • Design-CAD File Part Details And Tooling Part 1

    During my thirty plus years in product design I have personally experienced the evolution of the design process from a lengthy manually intensive process to its current highly sophisticated, time compressed, state of the art. When I started as an industrial designer in the mid 1970’s, I began designing with hand drawn sketches which were later rendered using a spectrum of colorful Magic Markers. A selected concept was eventually detailed for production molding after spending hundreds of painfully tedious hours on a drafting table. This process required multiple sheets of velum paper layered upon each other. Design changes were very slow and costly to implement, since even the slightest alteration would require dozens of part drawings to be reworked.

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  • Product Design In India, An American’s Point Of View

    This will be the first of many editorials that will express my personal viewpoints of design’s impact on product sales, competitive advantage and performance. These editorials will express my opinions, knowledge and experience about product design as it pertains to the rotational molding business. My intentions are to raise your awareness of good design and its benefits to your company. I encourage you send email your comments to me at paloian@idsys.com. In this first editorial I would like to share my impressions of the rotational molding community in India, India’s business opportunities and the rotational molding community’s perception of design. These opinions are based on my second trip to India; the first trip was two years ago when the first SARD conference was held in Mumbai and Delhi. My appreciation for the culture, people and history was enriched with my second trip. I was astonished by the rapid economic growth and pace of change which was evident everywhere I turned. To one side I saw 30 storey high rise apartments being constructed adjacent to small mud huts. High tech corporate buildings were surrounded by street vendors selling traditional Indian handmade goods. Traffic jammed streets were excavated by dozens of women hand digging trenches, while world class modern shopping malls were being erected with huge cranes. This same dichotomy of old versus new, labor intensive versus automated and traditional versus state of the art was observed during my tours of manufacturing facilities. The signs of change were everywhere. Rotational molding companies which only a few years ago were 100% vertically integrated, making everything from the machinery to the molds and parts, were now beginning to focus on a particular aspect of their business. This evolution and growth which took place in the US overa period of 100years is happening in India within one tenth the time.

  • Marketing & Design

    If a survey were conducted amongst engineers and rotational molders requesting them to list the most important qualifications for a good designer, most would limit the list to technical knowledge. Few would include artistic skills, graphics, styling and marketing knowledge. However, when we are consumers looking for a TV, car, piece of furniture or any other personal item, how do we make our selection when price and performance are comparable? That’s right, we choose based on how the product looks! We look for a product that reflects our personal tastes and represents who we are. Products are designed with character, whether it is intentional or not.

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