mobile office organizer

Here are a few pictures of my project for Product Design (2.769J). It's a concept design for an interface to connect personal electronics to the new (as of 2005) computing systems available in high-end GM cars (Cadillacs and Buicks). The models here are for a replacement of the interior of a center console. The user is meant to dock her electronics in the center console, both for charging and for a data link. The data from the electronics is linked to the computing device in the DVD-touchscreen system in the center pillar.

For these models, at least, I am responsible for the design and modelling of the center console unit (the grey thing). The white pieces were made by a teammate: they are the docking modules for specific electronics. The part is designed with large draft angles so it can easily be thermoformed or blow molded. The idea for the docking area is that every slot have a USB connector, and the specific modules connect to the in-dash computer through USB. This also allows for a user to supply their own docking connector if needed. Besides the docking, there are also 120V AC plugs, a pen/pencil holder, a compartment for hanging file folders, and another bin for storing business cards and whatever other small things the user choses. Not modeled here is the top of the console, which would have some sort of work surface, probably something which expands. The picture below is of my teammate Ethan demonstrating a mock-up of the solid model made mostly of foam-core. For the final model used in our presentation, we purchased a 2001 Cadillac STS console off of ebay and mocked up a version of this part in that, but unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of it.

It's interesting, and perhaps inevitable, that the computer connectivity concept is now widespread, in systems like Ford SYNC. When we presented our concept at the end of the class it was well received, but I'm not sure it was exactly what GM was looking for, since a system like it hasn't been implemented in real cars (yet, anyway).

a sketch model of the console a cad model of the console