Thesis Project - Modular wall panels

Discussion in 'Walls and Ceilings' started by kendo31, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. Jul 8, 2014 #1

    kendo31

    kendo31

    kendo31

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hello all.
    I'm a graduate student exploring the feasibility and market of producing a modular wall system where the resident mounts proprietary uprights onto the wall structure providing them with the ability to apply a myriad of modules. These modules are used for shelving, hanging, storage, cabinetry, or to apply various materials and finishes. Modules would be interchangeable thus allowing people to easily add, remove, relocate items as needed.
    A draft concept walkthrough is viewable from the link below:
    [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EMfhs_KtzE"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EMfhs_KtzE[/ame]
    I'd like to gauge people of expertise on their initial impressions. Any questions and comments welcome.
    Thanks.
     
    zannej likes this.
  2. Jul 8, 2014 #2

    havasu

    havasu

    havasu

    Guest

    I'm a little confused. Is this garage system what you are trying to duplicate?

    Flow-Anywhere-Shelf-Starter_thumbnail-1.jpg
     
  3. Jul 8, 2014 #3

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

    Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,543
    Likes Received:
    1,174
    Nice idea, but doesn't seem that revolutionary. What gets left behind when you decide to move a module someplace else? If the wall is "damaged" by the supports, then it's no different than screwing in existing items.
     
  4. Jul 8, 2014 #4

    kendo31

    kendo31

    kendo31

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    4
    The application is for anywhere in the home. When you place a pair of uprights, it's with the intent that some form of module would always exist there. Over time, the desire to add, update, and remove components is much easier than destroying drywall. In this manner, walls and never destroyed, merely reskinned. The uprights are regarded as permanent and regular as the structural studs within the walls.

    **sidenote** i posted the same inquiry on DIYchatroom.com and 10 min latter I'm completely banned...what's their deal??
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
  5. Jul 8, 2014 #5

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    4,660
    Likes Received:
    1,598
    We like to talk to new members a bit before we ban them.

    Actually we get several of this type post per year. It's interesting to watch the replies more than the questions. I'm an inventor and have a few patents and I never say never to new ideas. I actually saw your title and was excited as I thought you were working on walls that could be moved. Myself as you have asked would not be interested in such a product. Maybe a better place for a system would be in office space. But there are already many doing that. Your film was nice but I would want to see detail on how it all works.


    Sent from my iPhone using Home Repair
     
    zannej likes this.
  6. Jul 8, 2014 #6

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    10,818
    Likes Received:
    1,435
    Forums like this don't appreciate new members using us for free advertising. Websites like this cost a lot of money to run and are funded by advertisers. First time posters, promoting a product or service usually end up banned. Posting like to other website will get you booted, please re-read the forum rules that you agreed to when you registered.
     
    zannej likes this.
  7. Jul 8, 2014 #7

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,897
    Likes Received:
    3,118
    Great if it gets you a passing grade, but that dog will not hunt.
     
  8. Jul 9, 2014 #8

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    4,660
    Likes Received:
    1,598
    I understand this is a project for a class, and some professor suggested you use some sort of method to collect data.

    I once did something similar only in real life and it was a product I was getting a patent on and needed real input before sinking a life savings into. I joined a forum that was quite ingrained in the topic and participated for many months getting a feeling of the members and truly forming friendships. I then asked if they would honestly give me feedback. It worked out great and I still know all the people there. The thing is when you join a place like this with a goal in mind you will miss out on lots of information you didn't even know you would find out.


    Sent from my iPhone using Home Repair
     
    zannej likes this.
  9. Jul 9, 2014 #9

    Jungle

    Jungle

    Jungle

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    339
    Likes Received:
    29
    " In this manner, walls and never destroyed, merely reskinned."

    People in housing are cheap. Like $8 for a sheet of drywall. That's what your competing against, you can do a lot with dry wall, it's even fireproof. Most people have one kitchen for years and years and years. So i think your overestimating peoples desire to change their decor. Think cheap like Ikea. People want a shelf they get one for $10 and put it on their wall where they want. If they don't like it they take it down and repair the drywall. Cheap system, why mess with it?
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
    nealtw likes this.
  10. Jul 10, 2014 #10

    kendo31

    kendo31

    kendo31

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thanks for all the replies and not slapping an insta-ban.

    I do realize the feasibility of the proposal is perhaps not the most economic, however there are products and markets which surround my target and I'm merely attempting to address such a sweet spot.

    If I had the time to cultivate realtionships perhaps I would finese my approach here more delicately however time is not so expendable. I still don't understand the hostility of crowd sourcing...I'm not selling anything nor pose to benefit financially at all. The beauty of formus is to pose opinions and discussion...even if theoretical. There's something oddly defensive & territorial about some sites that results in unnecessary backlash.

    I do enjoy reading though the responses and will continue to develop this. If I'm not banned by then perhaps I'll update.
     
    bud16415 and zannej like this.
  11. Jul 10, 2014 #11

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    4,660
    Likes Received:
    1,598
    Now you are on to an interesting topic to study. The interrelationships formed in cyber space. I have participated in quite a few web forums and even though they are quite different in topics they have some common threads running thru them all. One is there is a bit of family relationship formed between many long time posters and the forum itself is a bit of a house where the family resides. Always a few father figures and some members that come and go and even a weird cousin or two that the family understands even though many in the neighborhood aren’t so sure.

    Then there are guests that come for a short visit and like in real life make a first impression. I understand that you don’t have months or years to waste building relationships but you might have 15 minutes over a day or two.

    If I was to approach this from your side I might have come in with a softer approach. Like, Hi my name is Ken and I go to the University of Hard Knocks or UHK as we call it. I have been lurking here a few days and I see there are many of you much older and more experienced than me that I could learn from and I would really like to present an idea I have as a graduate student project needing help, advice and yes even the hard truth good or bad of my idea. I have made a short demo movie as part of my project and I could link it if that was ok. Again I’m not spam or trying to sell anything I’m just a student looking for real world advice. If that’s ok with the mods I will post the information and sit back and see what you all think.

    Looking forward to meeting everyone.
    Ken

    When you get into the real world the tool set you bring with you from college is that just a tool set. What truly will make you successful is interpersonal relationships along with what you can do with those tools. Real life isn’t much different than web forums. I see a dozen new employees a month that I interact with and forming first impressions of them within minutes. Many let those first impressions dictate the level of help and guidance they get and eventually their outcome in the work place.
     
  12. Jul 10, 2014 #12

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

    Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,543
    Likes Received:
    1,174
    Once you open the door to sales people, it's hard to keep them quiet....or even respectful to the topic. If your 'question' turns out to be soft-sell, well then there's a reason to ban you.
     
  13. Jul 11, 2014 #13

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,897
    Likes Received:
    3,118
    I have no problem with a student coming looking for feed back on an idea. But is has to make sence, I watched the video expecting to see panels being moved and how it worked and what the selction might be, well.
    I have a pretty good immagination and I can't see this ever being a good idea for a home owner and may even lower the value of the house.

    Now if he suggested it was for changable back drops for TV stations or furnature stores or even the garage. I would have suggested that earier but if you can't come up with the right customers what's the point of building something new.
     
    zannej likes this.
  14. Jul 11, 2014 #14

    zannej

    zannej

    zannej

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    533
    Not to De-rail this, but Bud, what do you have patented? Is it difficult to get a patent?
     
  15. Jul 11, 2014 #15

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    4,660
    Likes Received:
    1,598

    Zannej
    Thanks for asking and your question is really not too far off topic. Patent laws in the USA keep changing. They used to be first to invent and most of the world was first to file. We are now first to file. There is also a lot to think about as to public disclosure and posting an invention on the internet is giving the world a good look at what you are inventing and I personally wouldn’t do that until I was pretty sure I was safely covered by starting the patent process.

    The process of getting a patent or at least filing for a patent isn’t real hard. It will cost you some money though. Several hundred or more to get the ball rolling and then to follow it thru till you are holding a patent with your name on it is maybe $10,000. It’s something of great pride and accomplishment for me, but the process and what you learn along the way is quite disillusioning. Once you have an idea before anything starts there is a patent search done. And it’s something you can do yourself. Almost anything you may think of has many patents already. I’m sure the wall hanging modular device this thread is about you will find 100’s if not 1000’s of similar ideas. Then it becomes an issue of being different in some way. The items that sets your invention apart from the rest are then filed as claims and the broader the claims the more protection you will have in this country. The trouble with narrow claims is if someone wants to copy your invention all they have to do is change it enough to get around your narrow claim and then your patent isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. The other problem is we live in a global market and countries like China could care less about our laws of patent infringement. And it’s up to you to try and enforce your patent when the copy shows up in this country. It is very hard and complex to file in all countries and chances of having protection are slim. Keep in mind I’m not a lawyer and these are my personal thoughts on the system.

    For me to patent something today it would have to be something really unique with broad claims that would be hard to get around. It would have to be a product that’s only practical to build and use in this country, and it would have to be something I would be planning on manufacturing myself or I would have a plan in place with someone to partner with to manufacture. The days of inventing a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door I feel are over for the little guy. It’s more like build a better mouse trap show the world how to do it with a patent and they will build a billion of them in China and it will cost you everything you have fighting them and loose unless you can find 25 cent an hour labor and start a company. I watch the shark tank and view it a little different. But it is true if you can find investment money and go global like they do on that show there is fortunes to be made still. Maybe 1 out of 1000 might make a go of it.

    I have several work related patents for process equipment and methods of manufacturing products etc. I also have one patent I did all on my own as much for the experience of doing it as anything. It was a new mechanism to raise and lower a snow plow or similar piece of equipment. The invention allows variable down pressure on the cutting edge from nothing to much more than the weight of the equipment. It also uses a fraction of the power with each cycle up and down of the equipment, thus saving a lot of fuel. I thought the time was right so I pursued it. If I was able to manufacture it at a reasonable cost I think I could have made it go. The people in this market were a really hard sell and would rather wait you out than partner.

    When I grew up innovation was a big part of the American spirit. I remember reading in school about guys like Edison and they were hero’s. Today not so much IMHO. Capitalism and Free markets are becoming bad words, or at least it’s a quite different global game now.

    Again that’s just my opinion based on the few things I have seen. I would never discourage anyone from being inventive and trying. :)
     
    nealtw and zannej like this.
  16. Jul 11, 2014 #16

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

    Well-Known Member Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,471
    Likes Received:
    175
    I would have left the name off the video.

    Me be gone from that forum because I was tirelessly harassed and defamed by Jim Port. For a lawsuit to proceed I would have to have shown that people believed his accusations.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
  17. Jul 11, 2014 #17

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

    Well-Known Member Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,471
    Likes Received:
    175
    A statutory invention registration is much cheaper & easier.

    BTW, I remember reading about this case in the US Patent Quarterly.
    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-2nd-circuit/1054159.html
    IIRC Ms. Gilberto argued that viewers would confuse her with Miss Piggy. :D

    On the other hand, "Gilberto is an ardent advocate of animal rights.[3]" so this does seem like a contradiction! :D :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
    zannej likes this.
  18. Jul 11, 2014 #18

    zannej

    zannej

    zannej

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    533
    Thanks for the info, Bud and Wazzat. I once did peruse the patent page looking for specific things. I wanted to submit an idea to Corningware/Corelle to make stackable mugs (ones that fit in cup holders) with whatever material they use to make their plates and bowls that are very hard to break. I have dropped them and stepped on them without breaking them-- love those things. I found the patent for the stacking thing and for the ceramic material (or whatever it would be called), but there was no specific patent for the combination of the two and Corningware required that you provide the patent # for the final idea. So I could never submit it. Bummer.

    And now I'm hungry for some Baked Lays AND I want to listen to the Girl from Ipanema... I love that song.
     
  19. Jul 11, 2014 #19

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    10,818
    Likes Received:
    1,435
    I thought you were having icecream? What happened to that?
     
    zannej likes this.
  20. Jul 12, 2014 #20

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

    Well-Known Member Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,471
    Likes Received:
    175
    Try this
    http://www.amazon.com/Patent-It-Yourself-12th-Edition/dp/1413305164

    Perpetual motion machines are supposed to be impossible but there is a patent on one.
    There is also supposed to be a machine that, if you plug it in it doesn't weigh anything. But it never lifts off the scale, either.:confused:

    And IIRC it turns out that some unknown person invented the integrated circuit before the person who is actually credited with this invention. So, IIRC, the Patent Office changed the wording in their display case for this device (when they were in Crystal City) so that figuring out what was invented by the putative inventor is constructively impossible. The actual first inventor was not mentioned.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
    zannej likes this.

Share This Page