Ive vs. Rapid Prototyping

By on April 29th, 2009 in blog



designWeek reports on comments from famed Apple designer Jonathan Ive, who feels that rapid prototyping tech is not necessarily the best approach. He apparently said:

When we started out we made all our own models. Just pressing “print” is an obstacle to designers being close to the materials and the object. There is a lot of lousy design.


Form being divorced from a product’s function is a huge and incredible challenge for design.

Is this true? We liken this scenario to long ago when word processing was first put into the hands of laymen, having previously been controlled by professional typesetters and 2D layout artists. The result then was, well, a lot of sloppy layouts, typically involving every font installed on the machine. And every color. In neon. And flashing text, too – oh please stop!

Ahem. Perhaps this is what Ive speaks of – new users exposed to massively powerful design software and manufacturing equipment, turning out less than optimal designs.

We think that hidden within the ocean of stuff being designed and printed/manufactured, there are gems. This is always the case in a crowd-sourced situation; lots of experimentation occurs to enable the discovery of the best solutions. We think the more people doing this, the better. With powerful modern technologies, it’s the use that counts: like Atomic Power, they can be used for good or evil. It’s not so bad, Jonathan!

Via DesignWeek and Ponoko Blog

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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