The most interesting comments about the pencase beta came from two completely different sources.
One of those sources is a fellow Long Beach Con artist alley table neighbor Tony Brescini. The other was a six year old boy.
Tony mentioned that the pencase might be a little bulky for the amount of stuff it actually carries. He’s very right in that I designed the original to carry very little.
That came from years of watching the artists around me. The 80/20 rule with regard to artists tools doesn’t apply at all to the studio. But outside, at the coffee shop, at lunch, on a smoke break – artists are one tool dominant. Sure, some artists brag about how many tools they lug around and use.
At that point you’re I’d encourage you to seek therapy as it sounds like hoarding syndrome.
One of the biggest compromises I made designing the pencase regarded the belt clip. I had thought about making it detachable which would make the pencase much slimmer overall, but also a bit less convenient.
It’s interesting to note that the pencase was used as part of most people’s already crowded carryall strategy – backpacks, toolpacks, pencil cases and knick knack cases. I think fewer than half of beta testers used the belt clip even though one of the first surveys indicated nearly every tester wore belts.
The other tester, unofficially at least, was 6. The best test of any product is whether it survives a 6 year old. This one instantly opened it, and tried to pour put its contents on the floor. Perfect. Test.
I really wanted to use a cap or latch to secure all the slots in the case – something to prevent 6 year olds from flinging myens everywhere, but also totally mature people as well.
This morning I had a few ideas about where to go next with the design. The primary goal is still to get to a design which carries two pens or pencils and their respective refills or helpful accessories.
Lastly, I delivered the last beta model unassembled to someone I know has good finishing chops. This was always a possible delivery strategy for people who wanted to customize the case but in a way I didn’t have to print or redesign per user.
I also used a unique filament from Protopasta which can polish to an almost steel like quality. Really interesting stuff and very clean results. I will definitely keep this stuff in mind for future projects.