David Cohen: Student Innovator
Meet the man who’s got safety in the bag- the cycling bag to be specific. David Cohen, an Industrial Design student at Rochester Institute of Technology, was assigned a project with simple rules: take a product from concept to production. Noticing the rising popularity of bicycling, Cohen developed an idea for a new cycling bag that would promote the safety of the rider.
When observing the current production of cycling bags, Cohen noticed that many of the bags on the market were not big enough, comfortable enough, or sturdy enough to protect the rider’s possessions. This often led riders to prioritize the safety of their laptops during bicycle crashes, resulting in an influx of personal injuries. With his project, Cohen aimed to create a bag that was “lighter and less bulky than other ‘hard shell’ bags, but just as durable”. With the help of digital design and patterning tools, Cohen found the perfect way to create the product he envisioned.
The Journey from Pattern to Product
Before using ExactFlat Online, Cohen described his pattern-making process as “completely manual and iterative… getting it right not only consumed a lot of time but getting it wrong meant consuming a lot of material.” This long, strenuous process was made even more stressful by the danger of cutting or fitting the pattern incorrectly. Any wrong move was a waste of time and materials that Cohen could not afford under the project’s tight deadline. Since Cohen had to present a completed prototype in less than twelve weeks, a difficult task for even the most experienced creator, he needed an option that allowed him to iterate on his pattern design quickly.
That’s where ExactFlat came in. “The speed of pattern flattening and the accuracy of the patterns,” created a streamlined process that ensured that Cohen could get could get his design right the first time. “I’m not sure I could have got the results I did get in the same amount of time without it,” Cohen explained when asked about his new process.
So what is in store for this creator now? Cohen’s sample bag found success amongst friends and family, and now he wants to expand his product’s reach. “I want to validate the performance/durability of the bag and then start a program to sell them on a ‘Build to order’ basis.” With a simpler process that allows him to quickly turn his designs into patterns, Cohen is one step closer to breaking into the cycling bag business. And he has even bigger plans. Not only does Cohen intend to make his product easy to customize for his clients, he also aims to make it affordable. “The process has allowed me to explore alternative materials and come up with something that works very quickly and with extremely low start-up cost,” he says. “Since it looks like I’ll be able to price a custom solution for each client at about the same price as other bags, this should be a good niche offering.”
With a solid plan and an effective design process, Cohen’s future looks bright. “This is just the beginning for a new wave of bags for cycling,” he says. With his revolutionary new product, Cohen is ready to take on the world, one bag at a time.
About the Author-
Siena Brown is a marketing and outreach intern for ExactFlat. A firm supporter of innovation, she is interested in the unique ways that creators can turn their visions into products. She currently attends the University of Puget Sound, where she plans to specialize in English and Communications Studies.