Interesting story of what appears to be a high utility product. Just goes to show you what seems simple in terms of concept and even design, doesn't necessarily translate that way when it comes to exploring the optimal manufacturing and production methods. This is a nice example of how prototyping services priced within reach can give even the bootstrapping inventor an actual chance of bringing product to market. Nicely done, Micah.
Wonderful idea. Using a color piece at both ends of the cord may preclude the need for an image. In many places in my house, it would be difficult to see the image (under the TV cabinet). But the color would be easy to spot. If there were a corresponding color doohicky at the appliance end, the image wouldn't be necessary.
I agree that the living hinge and the snap-togather are very critical features that would demand a lot out of any prototype. So I am impressed that it worked well. I would offer an opinion that icons are stupid and numbers would be a far more universal method. Also, probably easier to read in poor light, if an appropriate font and size were used. Numbers plus colors could easily provide at least 40 discrete identities, which should be enough for most folks. Hopefully the buttons can be opened for removal and re-use, and to correct installation errors. This would be the best point in competing against the non-reusable cable ties that are also used for cable identification.
The rise of PLM and end-to-end tool chains which essentially facilitate feedback (implementation of engineering changes after the initial prototyping phase) is a very important aspect of this process. We're going to explore this further in an upcoming edition of Design News Radio. Please click on the link to register: Bridging the Mechanical & Embedded Design Worlds.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.