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Project that needs some "originality confirmation" Answered

I had an idea for a portable workbench/toolbox. when i drew it up it looked like a chest, so i called it a workchest. but when i showed my design to my family, my mom said that this was a design that many women use to carry their makeup and grooming things. i dont really think thats true, but i think some outside opinions might be useful here. so a wooden chest with dimensions at 1 1/2' for length, width, and height with the top unfolding to make a workspace thats 3'x1 1/2', this is something that fashionable women would carry around or keep at their house so they can look beautiful wherever they go? i dont think something like that would ever be intentionally created for makeup.


i took a look at what kind of cosmetics cases there are on google images, and had i put dimensions on this, then this probably would not look like one. Out of all of the cases i saw, none of them were made to turn into a table that would be at knee length or higher when unfolded. so does that make this sketch of a design still a design for a cosmetics case?

As caitlinsdad says, the basic design is used for a lot of cases, cosmetics cases being one of them. There may or may not be a cosmetics case out there which uses the exact dimensions you had in mind. I wouldn't worry about it - there are no original ideas left...or at least very very few; don't feel bad.

yeah, worrying about it would get me nowhere. Still, the sky is the limit when it comes to making an instructible about anything for this site!

Hang in there E.J. ! A friend was in development with a design firm to produce what he called "The Water Strap" basically an updated version of a bota i.e. a vinyl tube, insulated w/ a thermometer & bite tube that hangs between UR shoulder-blades for active types, but targeted at runners. He needed money for a prototype to guide overseas assemblers, but when I showed him the same thing on closeout at Amazon he gave up in disgust!

After reading that, it kinda makes me think about how hard it is to be original when making a consumer product. If you think of something awesome along the lines of an innovation or an invention, chances are, someone may have beat you to the punch.

You will essentially find that design inherent in portable cases that hold a lot of small items, whether it be tools, makeup bottles, artists tubes and paints, pencils charcoal, pastels, etc. There are mini-easels that are setups like that. You can have drawers or lift out trays to organize the small items. Makeup cases will have some sort of scissors mechanism on the sides of the layered trays to make it fold out automatically when the covers are opened. Fishing tackle boxes have the same design.

Scaled up or not, form follows function. Paint it pink or blue, whatever works.

ah. Man i gotta think outside the box im trying to think outside of. still, i might build this in the future.

Good ideas are built on on other good ideas. Research and learn how to search. Someone else may have had the basic idea but you just need to do it better. "Plagiarize, don't synthesize."

"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources" Albert Einstein

Something about "standing on the shoulders of giants" maybe? :-)

While this may not rise to the level of the historical quote,"Standing on the shoulders of giants." is truly what you've stated.

Your drawing, as posted, has no dimesnions. The drawing is essentially equivalent to a common cosmetic case (look that up in Google). Your description of it being ~2' cubed is obviously not portable, but that doesn't change the essential features of the design.

true. at first this was a sketch and i had forgotten to add wheels to the bottom. and wouldnt a cosmetics case have more than 3 compartments and, if possible, a mirror?

Not necessarily. Take a look at some of these, which I found trivially on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/alligator-grain-leather-cosmetic-jewelry/dp/B003QIZ4F4/ (this one does have a mirror in the lid)

You can also see the similarity of these items to portable tool or tackle boxes. You might also be amused by this item, which seems to have beaten you by a century or two :-)


that desk from liveauctioneers is something i didnt see coming entirely. i gotta remember to do research before i have an idea i want to put into motion. nice links btw.

No problem! I did the Amazon search using "cosmetics organizer," then looking also at the related results.

A second look at your sketch, with the flat worksurface and big boxy drawers, reminded me of antique secretary desks, so just on a whim I tried a Google search for "portable secretary." I didn't expect to find something as close as that one, though!

Your idea is still great, and worth building. Just because somebody has done it before doesn't mean you can't do it better, or differently.

Just because somebody has done it before doesn't mean you can't do it better, or differently....or even if not better or differently, if there are not any building instructions, those are always useful.....