Billy Mack

Senior Industrial Designer, Noble Plastics
Louisiana, USA

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  • 22 Favorited Articles

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  • 44 Comments
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  • "F**k outta here, wire tap with video capabilities. At least fetch a beer. Happy birthday Paulie."
    on: Amazon's Astro, a Household Robot for Home Monitoring, Has Zero Combat Effectiveness
  • "It could be functional if the hole in the second level of floor has a large enough diameter to include the footprint of the stair."
    on: How to Make a Spiral Staircase More Dangerous: Allow It to Spin
  • "Exactly. Also notice the embossed name the more I look at it."
    on: French Beekeeper Invents Murder Hornet Trap
  • "Those may be injection molded. It seems like I can make out ejector pin parks along the perimeter in the second to last photo. There's also engraved arrows which would be difficult to do that cleanly otherwise."
    on: French Beekeeper Invents Murder Hornet Trap
  • "Ahhh the bread and butter of preparing a design for injection molding. Another sizable part of our business is automation design, but as far as design for molding goes... 80% of my work is helping non-designers vs actual designers. Many people interested in developing their own product are surprisingly thoughtful when it comes to functionality, but usually have limited or non-existent knowledge of manufacturing processes. I interface more with engineers (usually mechanical). I'm sure its a lopsided ratio (ID vs ME), especially in my area.We do get customers that have spent thousands on "design" only to have to pay for a re-design, or at the least a DFM (design for manufacture) phase. I am currently working on a product with a lot of functionality/features. The client has a bright engineer on staff. Initially, they wanted to handle design internally. I critiqued the design and scrutinized it from a manufacturing perspective (without freebie designing). Their concept was extremely costly and required several post-process welding operations. Ultimately, they contracted us to DFM. We were able to reduce the overall number of components and ensure that the parts can be injection molded. We also completely eliminated the need for any welding via snap fits and getting rid of undercuts.By the way, we have employed the mold base/insert method as well. It's a great option for prototyping elastomers, as the 3D printed quality of soft parts isn't exactly comparable. Also, check into MUD units. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2QDXzuMlHc They're great for keeping tooling costs low on small components."
    on: Compensating for Designer Ignorance: Rapid Development Over Rapid Prototyping
  • "This is novel, and pretty cool...no pun intended.Watching the processing gif makes me wonder if the "tiny air pockets" inherent to the material are intact in the final sheet form of the product. It seems as if the husks get chopped up."
    on: The Eco-Friendly Nutshell Cooler Performs Better Than Styrofoam-Filled Coolers
  • "If I really wanted one for myself...I'd probably attempt to build my own. Could be done relatively cheaper, save the higher cost of wood these days. Could be a fun project."
    on: What the Adirondack Chair Used to Look Like
  • "Nice! I loathe the typical ratchet strap user experience. This is definitely an upgrade. Clever use of a cordless drill. What I prefer about the Bumble Bee is that you seemingly only need to use one hand. The other one looks like you need a set of gloves to prevent brush burn."
    on: Clever Inventions to Make Rewinding Ratchet Straps Fast and Easy
  • "That does seem cheap. It's tough to say. Domestic manufacturing is still typically higher than say China, but things are starting to level out a bit. Automation helps and I've heard wages are improving there. I haven't seen where these are produced. Maybe I missed it. But if they are made in Australia and shipped here, that's impressive. Good design helps! The faster the parts are released from the mold (cycle time), the lower the cost. Less material = lower cost, etc. Also, tooling made in China is quite a bit cheaper than the US. But, with longer lead-times and more risk. We always strive to go domestic when our customer's budget allows, but it isn't always the case. It helps to have a relationship with a reputable mold shop there."
    on: Well-Designed, Injection-Molded Heavy Duty Storage Totes for Off-Road Vehicles
  • "Also, quality content Rain!"
    on: Well-Designed, Injection-Molded Heavy Duty Storage Totes for Off-Road Vehicles
  • "I'd give it a thumbs up. I see no issues in terms of molding and I am particularly interested in the hinge and latch designs. The lid geometry is a nice touch too. I may have to get my hands on one to check it out. I regularly use pelican cases to transport music gear and would love to see how these stack up...pun intended. The price seems comparable, but there are metal components in most pels. Based on the product size, those are substantial molds. But, they're likely pretty simple with seemingly open/shut geometries. This is a good example of good design saving cost on the back end. Now I want a mullet, a ute, and an Aussie adventure.P.S. someone please revisit the design of ratchet straps! They jam, and are pretty un-intuitive IMO. Opportunity."
    on: Well-Designed, Injection-Molded Heavy Duty Storage Totes for Off-Road Vehicles
  • "Many years ago (about 8), I worked with a customer on solving a similar problem. His product were silicon covers for regular incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. The form factor was almost identical to this, except it was like a fitted jacket over the bulb. The idea was that if the bulb shattered nothing escaped...glass, vapors, etc. I am not sure what became of that product, but this seems like a potential step up. Interesting concept."
    on: Shatterproof, Silicone LED Light Bulbs
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