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).

Monday, June 24, 2013

April 2013

The interpretation of dreams is a great art. - Paracelsus

Where would we be without both imagination and experience?  As inventors, we dream of a better world and interpret our dreams as ideas that can make our world better.  As innovators, we translate those ideas into products and services that make the lives of our customers and investors better.  Experience guides us in both roles.  An inventor learns how to test and refine an idea by building and experiencing a working prototype (model) of the idea.  An innovator teaches initial customers and investors how to benefit from the idea by helping them experience the prototype.  Members of the Indiana Inventors Association met to discuss how to create a memorable experience, for inventors and for those they serve.

With 3D printing (additive manufacturing), a copy machine instructed by a computer program (digital design) makes a variety of things (art, batteries, body parts, clothing, jewelry, machine parts, medical devices, toys, etc.) from a variety of materials (ceramic, chocolate, glass, human cells, metal, plastic, resin, rubber, wood, etc.) quickly by progressively depositing layers of material.  Different kinds of 3D printing (e.g., selective laser sintering, fused depostion modeling, and stereolithograhpy) build the layers in different ways.  If you think you might enjoy working with this technology, consider using an affordable (from $397) low-resolution printer (or build your own), free or commercial software, and free digital designs.  Several online printing services (Quickparts, SolidConcepts, Tech, Inc, ) are also available.

eMachineShop is a convenient online machine shop that quickly prepares custom-designed parts by a variety of computer-controlled (CNC) methods (e.g., blanking, pressure die casting, extrusion, laser cutting, milling, compression and injection molding, honing, 3D printing, turning, welding, etc.) and provides free, easy-to-use CAD software for designing parts.

Several resources are available for building electronic features of inventions.  Companies like Digi-Key and Mouser, and Radio Shack sell inexpensive parts (e.g., meter boxes, printed circuit boards).  Texas Instruments sells a MSP430 microprocessor development kit for $4.30.

If you would like for a local company to build a prototype for you, consider contacting Wes Bickers (; account executive for the Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, Inc.), who acts as a liaison between state agencies and work centers providing products and services for sale.

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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