This weeks installment of idea generation is brought to you by the word, "SCAMPER!" SCAMPER is a useful word when it is broken down to it's seven letters. Applying each letter will yield different results and bring wondrous new ideas to your paper!
Ok, really, SCAMPER is indeed a word made up of the first letter of 7 other words. Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Magnify/Minimize, Put to other use, Eliminate, Reverse/Rearrange. These words are all applied to an existing winter product that deals with our given theme for the first part of this weeks assignment. As my theme is "winter travel," I chose traction chains as my product of inspiration. The reasoning behind this is that traction is the main concern for most people when traveling by bus, bike, or car in the winter, and traction chains are required by law in some states to aid vehicles in that regard. Some of the problems of these traction devices is that they are expensive, cause a rough ride when on open roads, lower the top speed of the vehicle, and are not widely available for bicycles yet.
When thinking about what I could substitute in for materials, or parts, of traction chains, I came up with many ideas. Rubber, or plastic, could be used for some of the links according to certain weather conditions. Serrated links could be installed, or carbide spikes could take the place of some links. These are just a few examples but the idea that won out for my purposes was serrated links. The sketch below illustrates this idea.
This prompt is to make one think of different things that can be combined with the chosen item. This prompt also yielded many interesting results, which include adding studs, paddles, blades, hooks, and heat pads. The idea that stuck with me, for practical reasons, was combining chains with serrated blades and paddles. Since the prompt was to combine items, why not combine ideas? The sketch below illustrates this idea more clearly.
Adapting objects or processes to achieve a desired affect is the idea behind this prompt. Some of my ideas where to adapt snowmobile tracks to automobile drive-train systems, added weights for increase force on the ground, carbide strips from snowmobile skis, snow tire treads, and somehow using the same technology as an octopus tentacle to grab slippery roadways. The idea that seemed the most feasible to me, and is sketched below, is to use a carbide strip to use on the front wheels of a vehicle to help steer in icy conditions.
Magnifying or minimizing parts, or frequency of parts, is the M prompt. This prompt was less inspiring and only yielded increasing the number of chainstrips and making the chainstrips narrower to make the ride less bumpy on open roadways. I decided that the narrower chain was the more practical idea and is sketched below.
Put to Other Use
This prompt is quite self-explanatory and yielded some interesting results. Traction chains could be installed on footwear, modified to be used on winter race vehicles, used on bicycle tires, and be made easier for people with physical disabilities to install or remove. An easily removable footwear device seemed to be the most feasible and is sketched below.
Exterminate! Or eliminate, remove, delete. The ideas this inspired was to somehow eliminate the chain links or tensioning chains, making the device sectional, and using the negative space between chainlinks. While not essentially eliminating anything, the idea that had the most merit to me is to utilize the negative space between chains to make them feasible for operating on open roadways. Below is a sketch of the idea to clarify this.
There really isn't much to rearrange on a traction chain, but I did manage to come up with a few ideas. These ideas included alternating the crossing pattern of the chains, a diamond shaped crossing pattern, and a center chain that runs the circumference of the wheel. The center chain I felt would decrease rolling resistance while increasing sideways traction for corners. It is sketched below for your viewing pleasure.
Part two of this post is brought to you by "tables!" Everyone appreciates a good table! Tables are great because you can eat on them! Tables are great because you can work on them! Tables are great because you can use them as catalysts for new ideas!
The table I decided to use is a morphological table. To use this type of table, a product is selected and three or more features of the product are chosen. In this case, the product is a wheel and the features are material, rotate, and traction surface. The table is pictured below.
The first idea I concocted from the table was Saw Wheels. This is the combination of steel, saw blades, and spikes.
Idea number two was a screw-on traction aid. This is the combination of a bottle cap, rubber, and treads. This would be an exterior set of treads that can be installed over the current set.
Idea three is gear wheels. These are the combination of steel, gears, and tread, and would require a "geared" roadway surface for these wheels to lock onto and function properly.
The final part of the assignment this week was to pick out the top 10 ideas from both the Blue Sky post and the ones created for this week. To determine which ideas made the cut, I determined which ideas could actually be produced with modern technology and that people would actually buy. These wonderful ideas are listed below in no particular order.