It was seen that the works of founders of States, law-givers, tyrant-destroyers, and heroes cover
but narrow spaces and endure but for a time; while the work of the inventor, though of less pomp,
is felt everywhere and lasts forever.          - Francis Bacon Preface to a Treatise on Interpreting Nature




The Design of Everyday Things

Every inventor should take this free online course. Learn the basics of design and start observing and applying design principles.



How to Design Breakthrough Inventions

A CBS interview of IDEO founder David Kelley


How to Build a StartUp

In this free online course, learn the key tools and steps for building a successful startup (or at least reducing the risk of failure).

Saturday, May 31, 2008

May 2008 Summary

Richard McVicker, a patent illustrator (see some of his drawings at the bottom of the page) and successful inventor (see a list of some of his patents at the bottom of the page), shared with us his insight into how important it is for us to set goals for ourselves. What is a goal? What you expect to accomplish. A result you prepare to achieve with a high degree of certainty. Why set a goal? To invent yourself. Most of all, a goal is personal. The purpose of setting a goal is to create your self-image (how you see yourself), to define who you are, and therefore to determine what you can actually accomplish. Everyone has a potential to accomplish, determined by our physical selves and by our environment. Self-image does not change that potential, but it does greatly affect what you actually do with your potential, how you actually interact with and change yourself, the world, and your relation to the world. A winner is never surprised to win, and a loser is never surprised to lose. If you supervise others, have each person participate in setting a group goal, or persuade each person to accept your goal as their own goal. To overcome fear. Fear can freeze people. Setting goals gives us the security of a solid plan and the power of a clear mind, relaxing us to move freely as we go about doing what we need to do. The habit of setting appropriate goals helps you accomplish useful things, helps you be who you want to be. Don't waste your ability. Goals set too low unnecessarily limit you. Remember the conversation between Alice and the Cheshire Cat: `Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?' `That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat. `I don't much care where--' said Alice. `Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat. `--so long as I get somewhere,' Alice added as an explanation. `Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, `if you only walk long enough.' How can you accomplish your goals? You will almost always achieve a goal that includes these 4 parts: 1. Meaning. Your goal must be personal, a part of you - big, and very significant to you. 2. Emotion. Because your goal matters so much to you, your happiness depends on accomplishing it. Because you will be dissatisfied until you achieve your goal, your emotions will drive you to achieve it. Achieving your goal will be emotionally rewarding. 3. Interaction. Make your goal public. Let others know about your goal so they can help you achieve it. There is strength in numbers. 4. Reality. Make your goal physical. What are the details? a) Believable. You might not have the ability to play golf as well as Tiger Woods, but you can probably learn to putt more effectively. b) Written. Clearly define your goal in physical terms. Identify specific people and materials, and what your specific interactions with them will be. c) Time. Schedule specific times for working on and accomplishing different stages of your goal. Act effectively (move toward something worthwhile, do the right thing) and efficiently (move skillfully, do the thing right). Do the right thing, in the right way, in the right place, at the right time. Thank you for helping us improve our lives, Mr. McVicker!

Patent Drawings by Richard McVicker

Some inventions patented by our members:

Bob Brand
3,179,907 Tuning system for television receivers
3,219,933 Television tuner switching system
3,241,072 Tuning control system
3,538,466 Television tuner cast housing with integrally cast transmission lines
4,503,740 Optical cutting edge locator for a cutting apparatus
4,503,896 Dog system for veneer slicer
4,601,317 Veneer slicing system
5,511,598 Veneer-slicer with remotely controllable blade angle adjustment
5,562,137 Method and apparatus for retaining a flitch for cutting
5,590,700 Vacuum flitch table with self-cleaning vacuum valve
5,678,619 Method and apparatus for cutting veneer from a tapered flitch
5,680,887 Veneer slicer with timing belt
5,694,995 Method and apparatus for preparing a flitch for cutting
5,701,938 Method and apparatus for retaining a flitch for cutting
5,819,828 Method and apparatus for preparing a flitch for cutting
5,868,187 Method and apparatus for retaining a flitch for cutting
7,395,843 Method and apparatus for retaining a flitch for cutting
7,552,750 Method and apparatus for cutting veneer sheets from a flitch

Rick Hanson
6,240,579 Unitary pedal control of brake and fifth wheel deployment via side and end articulation with additional unitary pedal control of height of patient support
6,253,397 Deployable siderails for a wheeled carriage
6,256,812 Wheeled carriage having auxiliary wheel spaced from center of gravity of wheeled base and cam apparatus controlling deployment of auxiliary wheel and deployable side rails for the wheeled carriage
6,264,006 Brake for castered wheels
6,507,964 Surgical table
D474,446 Sterilizable battery component

Bob Humbert
4,281,368 Keyhole illuminating apparatus

Ron Jackson
4,886,110 HVAC zone control system
4,943,039 Adjustable clamp
4,987,409 Level sensor and alarm
5,132,669 Level sensor with alarm
5,381,989 Adjustable spring clamp
5,944,098 Zone control for HVAC system
6,145,752 Temperature monitoring and control system
6,322,443 Duct supported booster fan
D347,596 Audible security alarm
D376,747 Door security device

Jerry McQuinn
D689,343 Universal Nutcracker

Richard McVicker
3,261,937 Three position snap switch utilizing interference blade means
3,319,477 Timer Escapement
3,332,704 Manually propelled treadmill vehicle
4,625,616 Thumb pick
6,309,076 Light barrier, screen or reflector
D240,237 Sculpture or the like
D356,653 Yard light
8389839 Thumb pick

Bill Pangburn
5,943,831 Device for Hauling Objects

Al Robbins

3,882,960 Ride quality control for surface effects craft
3,946,689 Air dynamo pressure regulation and modulation device for surface effect ships and air cushion vehicles
6,588,702 Lighter-than-air device having a flexible usable surface

Matt Thie
4,844,446 Multiple-compartment currency stacker-sorter
4,940,162 Rolled coin dispenser
7,298,280 Lighted fluid flow indication apparatus
7,617,826 Conserver

Richard Tucker
5,833,751 Powder coating booth having smooth internal surfaces
6,840,367 Material handling and manufacturing system and method
6,976,835 Manufacturing system and process
7,018,579 Manufacturing system and process

Don Walls
D707090 Torque key lever
RE36209 Door lock apparatus

Dave Zedonis
5,637,926 Battery powered electronic assembly for wheel attachment

Patent Document of the Month

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