Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on November 19, 2013.
About this project
9to5mac.com: "A few other multi-purpose tech tools have been featured here, but the ChargeDrive’s industrial design is extremely appealing."
Der Spiegel: "Charge Drive is the little helper...... It's no much bigger than a USB stick, but can do much more."
ChargeDrive is cellular phone charger which serves as a tripod mount, and it also contains a flash memory drive for storing and transferring electronic data. To serve as a cellular phone charger, one has to connect a cellular phone’s power inlet to the outlet connector of the device then subsequently connect the USB outlet of the device to a power source.
Most cellular phone chargers are long wires with a USB outlet on one side and a cellular phone charger outlet on the other. They tend to be long, tangle easily, and tedious to carry on one’s person. These are the reasons why I found it imperative to invent the ChargeDrive, to mitigate these issues.
Although others have invented portable cellular phone charges, various functionalities that set ChargeDrive apart are:
- it is more versatile
- it is more compact and portable
- it does not make use of long wires that can tangle and become very cumbersome
- the tripod legs can be setup in multiple positions, thereby enabling the user to view the cellular phone’s screen in either landscape or portrait mode
- it has a flash drive storage device integrated into a charging system, thereby eliminating the need to carry multiple devices for both purposes
- it has a standard 1/4" diameter, 20 threads per inch screw on the back, which enables the user to screw it to other devices and tripods, and
- it can have a NanoSuction plate attached to the back screw as well.
Our frustration and we presume the frustration of others with run-of-the-mill charger cables prompted us to come up with ChargeDrive. So it started with an idea, an idea of a portable, utilitarian, and well designed phone charger that anyone would be proud to show and tell. It then became imperative to put this idea down on paper. As an engineering student another device that seemed to always be in my possession in addition to my cell phone was a flash drive. It was only natural for me to find a way to integrate both necessary devices into one. This was the birth of Charge Drive.
Suction cups are old news! We used very sticky and easy to clean and use micro suction technology on the screwable back plate. The back plates add an extra level of utility to the charge drive, giving the user a plethora of cellphone positioning options.
With a standard 20 by 1/4 screw the back plate can also be used with other devices like cameras.
Multiple viewing angles you can use the back plate for.
We started the prototyping process early last year, and since then we have gone through a series of incremental iterations of ChargeDrive. It was clear to us from the beginning that to create a good final product we had to do the painstaking work to leave no stone unturned in the prototyping stage. We then went about making functional prototypes. The first prototypes we made were 3D printed. We then made ephemeral molds for the second series of prototypes. We are now at the third stage of the process, mass production. This is why we are on kickstarter seeking your help.
We made the first 3D prototypes at our local community college, and we were very excited so see it manifest our envisaged functionality. We were confident to move ahead with the second round of prototypes.
The second step was to make molds for the connectors that would charge the users cellphones. This was the most arduous step in the prototyping process because we had to make different molds for 3 different connector types; android, Iphone 4, and apple lightning connector.
Final Working Prototypes!
Some make their prototypes with dark hues in the attempt to mask their flaws. We broke away from the mold and made our final prototype in crystal clear plastic because we believe the beauty of charge drive lies in it's engineering.
July 2012: Birth of the Idea of charge drive; after being frustrated with my long wired and cumbersome charger and always having to carry flash drive with me. So I started tinkering with flash drives and cell phone connectors. This gave birth to the first prototype.
August 2012: After I was comfortable with the concept and initial prototype, I spoke to my graphic engineer to set the ball rolling on the computer aided design of my idea.
January 2013: The CAD files are taking shape and we started making modifications to perceived issues.
February 2013: The CAD files are finalized.
April 2013: To test our computer files, we made 3D printed prototypes to resolve any functionality issues.
July 2013: We started talking to our manufacturer in China "Shanghai Miraclever tech Co,.LTD" to put the final touches on our CAD files, and start making low quantity molds for the fully functional prototypes.
September 2013: We have fully functional prototypes and we get quotes on mass production. We arrived at molds and equipment costing $17,000. Labor, packaging costs, and projected shipping costs of $13,000.
October 2013: We are looking to start our kickstarter campaign to help raise funds and awareness for ChargeDrive. We envisage a 40 day long campaign and we are excited already from the feedback we are getting from the kickstarter community.
November 2013: While the kicksarter campaign is ongoing, we'll be collecting feedback from our backers on questions and issues they have.
December 2013: After our kickstarter campaign we'll set the ball rolling on the manufacturing process which we project to take a month to finalize. We also project the finalization of our packaging design and manufacturing.
January 2014: After manufacturing we will be shipping domestically and internationally with USPS. By the end of January we envision all kickstarter inventory to be sent out.
So we have taken ChargeDrive as far as our might and resources will let us. We have poured the better part of the last two years into the thinking, computer aided designing, and prototyping of ChargeDrive and we can say we are confident in what has materialized from our efforts. At this point our manufacturers and suppliers are ready to set the ball rolling on this project. Here is where the kickstarter community comes in. We will use the money we raise from kickstater to make quality injection molds, buy quality USB flash drives, and pay for assembling ChargeDrive. LET'S MAKE THIS HAPPEN!
The Dream Team
Hi I'm Idris, a Mechanical Engineer from the windy city, Chicago brrrr!. I've always been a tinkerer. As a kid, I developed a fascination with electricity and gadgets. Always taking them apart and re-assembling them, to the chagrin of my parents, more of the first than the latter. I've been an inventor as long as I can remember, making gadgets and toys. ChargeDrive is one of my very first steps into mass production, and I know it will be a fun one.
Plastic Services Group
Product Design & Development using SolidWorks 3D CAD Design Software. Over 30 years experience in the Plastics Industry. Specifically, Injection Molding, Plastic Profile Extrusion & Thermoforming. Experience also to include Aluminum Extrusion, Sheet Metal, Fasteners & Electro-Mechanical Assemblies. Dan was the past President, Society of Plastics Engineers, Chicago Section. He worked on our computer aided designs.
9+ years experiences in product design and engineering. Product designer, Mechanical engineer, and Finite Elements Analysis and Simulations . CEO of Shanghai Miraclever tech Co, LTD. Li will be handling and supervising the molding and production processes.
Risks and challenges
When designing ChargeDrive we felt it imperative to use as few parts as possible, consequently reducing the unforeseeable during manufacturing. With that said the second law of thermodynamics tells us that the universe likes heightened chaos, therefore delays in manufacturing may happen but we've set in place parameters to helps us get the product to your doorsteps pronto!
Quality control is another issue we need to grapple with. Depending on how many units we'll need to make for this Kickstarter campaign, it gets to a point whereby it's very tedious to test each unit and still be timely with delivery. We will try our possible best to not cut corners and make sure all units work properly.
Yes it will. Our Apple connector supplier has the needed chips in their connectors to work with iOS 7.
Choose the option of being a US backer for now. When the campaign is over we'll send surveys, then you can let us no where we'll be shipping to.
It will charge them, and you can use the micro-suction back plate to position them, but you cannot position them on ChargeDrive in tripod mode.
- (45 days)