Saturday, 9 June 2007

Smart Design

Smart!, originally uploaded by xrrr.

Alison bought be some Smarties today as a reward for doing some gardening. I have not had Smarties for ages and the last time I had them they still had the plastic lids with a letter on the back.

Initially I was disappointed that something from my youth was out of date and then I examined the new lid. It is an incredible design!

Why? The overall cleverness of it that is why. The entire tube is made up from a single piece of cut card, nothing unusual there, but the lid design is the bit I love.

The secret is that "lip" that sticks out of the top of the tube. On the bottom side of the main tube in my photo above.

The lip does 2 things:
1) Inside the lid there is a bit of glued cardboard. That provides the structure for the lid and keeps it rigid. The lip is just the right size and shape that when you press the lid down the lip 'clicks' into the glued cardboard with a satisfying click. The lid is now held reasonably secure by the lip.

2) When you want to open the Smarties the lip acts as a spring. So as you push with your thumb there is a bit of resistance, then sudenly the lip pops up propelled by the little lip.

It might not sound like much but I think it is amazing industrial design and a great example of "keep it simple" engineering.

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