## Laptop Light System
**Industrial Design / Prototyping**
Many developments arise because there is a problem or
someone has a plan to improve something. For example, a
typical [IKEA lamp](https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00345592)
can do its job, but it doesn't look good, nor
do you really want it on your desk. It glows, but nothing
more. It is unfortunately not possible to stand out individually
from the crowd because it is a mass product. But how is a
product actually developed?
With the LLS (Laptop Lighting System) documentation I will go these steps
with you. We will analyze the problem, create drawings, build a first
prototype and implement it so that we get a feeling for
It is also about exploring boundaries and sorting out bad ideas. So we will
also discard again and put sketches in a drawer, because they are no good
after all. And we will always have to find solutions for partial problems,
because otherwise we will not make any progress.
The LLS documentation is also there to show the process in its entirety
as an example, so that it does not have to be described again and again in
the other documentation. Once we have learned the main tasks, the variants
are self-explanatory and clearly understandable. It is about being able to
transport collected knowledge simply and without effort, because the less
stress we have in the learning process, the more we can concentrate on the
development process. The strenuous work must flow automatically out of the
![[Gettin' there - TheRealBreadman](https://www.reddit.com/r/Cyberpunk/comments/6jvzy7/gettin_there/)](_images/lls2.jpg)
How an industry design prototype can look like, we can see from the
example of TheRealBreadman, who posted a smartphone data glasses at Reddit.
This is simply made of cardboard, fixed with adhesive tape and equipped with
three lenses. Nevertheless, we can already determine very precisely in which
direction the developments should go. Cardboard is a really good material
to realize projects quickly, i.e. we will use the material also in the first
steps. A good source for industrial design techniques is
Only materials from old projects or household materials are used in this
documentation. The aim is to promote improvisation. It should also be shown
that the concept of a quick idea can look as good as a well thought-out work.
Sometimes you just have to put a thought into practice that you have in mind
to check a thought. We need a long neon tube, tape, cardboard, drawing pads
and various pencils (you don't have to use professional design pens for the
beginning), a luster terminal with an on and off switch. Finally, we need a
digital caliper gauge.
Our current status before the start of the project. On the
left side is the lamp of a Swedish furniture manufacturer. This
fulfills its function (illumination of the table). But it doesn't
look good, has the wrong color (white light is too aggressive for me),
seems too strong (you can recognize it by the glare effect on the
photo) and can't be positioned properly. Some partial problems that have
to be changed or optimized.
Before you start a project, you should visualize the ideas in
your head. You don't even have to be artistically talented, but just have
to deal a little more with the idea. When you draw something, it is
possible to look at questions from a different angle, and it is also the
first step in developing a concrete concept from a vague idea.
In the cellar I still had a neon tube, which I had once gotten as
a present. The plastic housing has already been used for another project.
Since this is cheap Hardware, we still have to make some technical changes
beforehand. It will almost always be the case that we have to change things
in their form or structure. Therefore, industrial designers are familiar
with many materials. Sometimes you have to make something out of wood
or paper, another time with clay or aluminum.]()
An on/off switch with a luster terminal has been connected. Since
it is cumbersome to operate the laptop lighting system with a power
supply unit every time you use it. Since we only implement one idea
quickly, that is sufficient. We should not waste time in fancy details
and concentrate on the core elements. The main task can be defined in
this way. Lamp should be able to be attached to a laptop lid. Done.
Details develop over time when a certain routine has been developed
In order to develop a prototype, we must first measure our existing
hardware with a digital slide. This enables us to create concrete
guidelines to which we must adhere (e.g. length, width, depth). This
is our first correct
It is built according to certain rules and we can also
give it to other designers or craftsmen. Once we have put everything
together properly, your employees will have no problems reading it.
Drawing of a [cube net](https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/W%C3%BCrfelnetz)
on a base. Sometimes it is better to record simple geometric
objects as a network of bodies.
This is one of the two cubes I made for the ends of the neon tube.
As you can see, this is neither nice nor difficult to realize and everyone
with tape, cardboard and scissors can create a prototype.
When we have measured the two boxes of cardboard fit exactly. It
is important to work accurately and to follow the measurement
instructions. This shows people who consider your work that you want to
work and be treated as a professional. Of course, you can work a little
more freely at home, but my personal standard is high and I have therefore
given up this in my spare time. But you also learn that by yourself
In the next step we will create the actual packaging for the laptop
lighting system. We measure the height and width of the LED tube and
transfer this data to a piece of cardboard by drawing long rectangles.
We cut them out with scissors or a cutter. The individual cardboard strips
are glued together with painter's tape and attached to the rest of the
construction. Two adjacent sides of the tube remain free so that our
lamp only shines in this particular area.]()
As we can see, our construction works. We attach them by gluing three
adhesive strips and then attaching them to the laptop. In the
following pictures you can see the project in its full effect. It was
shown how to create a prototype out of cardboard to realize an idea.
Various techniques and tools were used to achieve this goal.
Of course you can't start your own business as an industrial
design freelancer right now, but it helps to get a rough picture
of this profession. Each country has different requirements as an
industrial designer. Sometimes you have to complete several years
of training or study. Sometimes it's enough to have done a few good
jobs. This is very different. All in all, this is a very multifaceted
profession and anyone who has watched videos on the subject can
certainly get a clearer picture.