Flair – A Climate Control Revolution
What if every room in your house could be the exact temperature you want regardless of how many people are in it, if the sun is coming through the window or any other factor that might play into comfort? This is exactly the problem that Flair is solving, all while saving you money on your power bill!
Flair is designing a smart vent and sensor/control module that pumps data up to the cloud and integrates with Nest and other smart thermostats. This allows Flair (@flairvents) to determine how much air needs to be going to each room, if any, for optimized settings based on your personal preferences. If you are not home or not using certain rooms, Flair can also detect this, shutting off air and saving you money.
Hear from Dan Myers (founder) on how Flair came to use Fusion 360 and how they are using it today.
I taught myself Inventor back in High school and actually designed a solar powered car image. An Autodesk vendor actually donated this at the time, which in retrospect was an amazing donation. It really enabled me to learn, grow and build.
During school at Northwestern, I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science but still found myself using my old copy of Inventor for designing robots and other extra-curriculars while in school. I had stopped using CAD for a few years as I was only writing software, but once this project grew legs I quickly realized I needed a powerful CAD solution and looked to get Inventor – but, once we saw the price tag we quickly realized we didn’t have the budget.
I was looking around online and saw a few people mention Fusion 360 on the Hardware Startups Sub Reddit I first needed Fusion 360 for designing 3D printed parts on our Ultimaker 2 and after a few days I started to feel a little more confident. I was used to Inventor, so I needed to figure out how to do the things such as sketch, extrude, revolve, pattern, assemblies, and constraints, etc. We ended up designing parts for 40 Beta units and printed them around the clock and then shipped them to beta users. These units are still in the field collecting the metrics we need to inform product design and our software algorithms.
We entered Haxlr8r, an accelerator for small companies such as ours designed to help us go from an idea to shipping our products quickly and efficiently. We are now currently in China building models and starting to talk with manufacturers. One of the coolest features for us though all of this, has been the collaborative pieces where I can see what the mechanical design is looking like, provide design review, and also reference it for board layout design.
We have also collaborated with a number of designers who we have been able to share our designs via A360 and quickly get feedback and input. This will allow us to limit our travel to and from China while still ensuring quality design and manufacturing. We haven’t done as much with the industrial design side but have used probably 90%+ of the features for solid modeling, animation and rendering. It is an awesome product and developing it with the community is the best user centered design process conceivable in many ways.
What we are looking forward to most:
As you might imagine, since we are straddling the world of HVAC and consumer electronics, this means we have a bunch of things we are developing including PCBs, Vents, Plastic Enclosures, and more.
This means we are using sheet metal in a number of places. The sheet metal tools in Inventor are advanced; you could model your part and then have it simply unfold the whole thing. For prototyping, it’s very common to use a laser cutter in shops (pre mass manufacturing where it would instead be a stamping process) but without a proper sheet metal modeling workflow, getting the 2D cutout profile from the 3D part is painful and involves guesswork that is in fact already solved in Inventor. We can’t wait to see this added into the functionality of Fusion 360!
To learn more about Flair, how they are using Fusion 360, designs they are working on for the future or to place an order, please feel free to contact them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.