NAME: Nick Max
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
Born and raised in Warrington, PA, now living in Quakertown, PA
WHAT IS YOUR POSITION AT CREATIVE MECHANISMS, AND HOW DO YOU CONTRIBUTE IN THAT ROLE?
I am a design engineer. I pride myself in bringing fresh eyes and new ideas to projects and prototyping. As a Drexel Engineering grad, my mind has been hardwired to always think in terms of efficiency and productivity, so I strive to deliver the best results I can quickly and effectively. I am very comfortable taking on complex projects, breaking them down into necessary steps, and executing them as precisely as possible. I like contributing to math and engineering concepts and calculations, as well as presentation and communication with clients.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO BE IN THIS FIELD?
My dad has been a mechanic since I was born, so I grew up tinkering with things and fixing whatever I could get my hands on. I was always academically strong, but I knew I didn’t have the personality for a dull career in a cubicle. I love being able to take on a job from a sketch and a description then design and prototype it myself. There’s a real sense of reward when you can hold a great product in your hands that you designed and built. If anything goes wrong, rather than blaming someone else who worked on the design, I can only think “what can I do better now, and how can I do better next time?”
EXPLAIN THE CREATIVE MECHANISMS PROCESS; HOW DO YOU BRING AN IDEA FROM CONCEPT TO REALITY?
The first thing we do is talk directly with the client. Not only do we avoid getting second hand information, but we are able to discuss and ask the questions we need to as engineers and designers. Typically, we will then brainstorm the logistics and design concepts of the project at hand as a group. With such a diverse team, everybody brings their own values to the conversation, and we each spark ideas in the rest of the team. Depending on the size of the project, it may be given to one person or divided amongst a few, but communication is always prioritized, both internally and with the client. With constant feedback from the client, we reach an end product with as little iteration as possible, and with the mutual understanding of why each feature was designed the way it was. Our designs are almost always engineered for manufacturing at this stage. The next step is usually to prototype the product. This is an incredibly important step to test fit and function before tooling up, or to do market testing and get consumer feedback. From here we can guide the client through manufacturing and production, to assure the best chance of getting quality parts and ultimately seeing success in sales.
TELL US ABOUT ONE OF YOUR MOST SATISFYING PROJECTS THUS FAR:
I recently worked on a kid’s toy project with several mechanisms and functions. The project was done in several phases, and in the correct order to ensure a quality product. These started with a non-functioning “looks-like” model to pitch the idea. This step gave a good indication of relative size and feel, and looked pristine after being painted and finished. At the same time, we made a testing gadget to collect sample data from children. This gave us some important information while being disguised as a play toy. After some positive feedback, we moved on to a math model, which used the test fixture data to give us a starting point for laying out the mechanism. We determined the correct leverages and gear ratios before we even designed the mechanism. The next phase was a “works-like” model that allowed us to test the mechanism and its function, without worrying too much about appearance or manufacturability. Usually, designing and prototyping a mechanism with this many moving parts and different functions requires a good deal of adjustment, iteration, or redesign, but everything came together so nicely on the first try. It was truly satisfying to take the correct steps and nail the prototype model on the first assembly. From here, we did a lot of styling and shaping, and engineered the proven mechanism for production. With multiple team members working under a tight deadline, we got the project done just in time.
WHY SHOULD COMPANIES & ENTREPRENEURS CONSIDER CREATIVE MECHANISMS?
At Creative Mechanisms, we take pride in providing our clients with a truly great experience. Our president, Tony, works as part of our team, rather than a middleman delegating between us and the client. We are in direct contact with the client and keep a flow of communication to avoid any surprises or mistakes. We are pioneers that constantly handle new territory and improvise unique solutions to novel problems. As individuals we are smart and skilled. As a team, we are well-rounded and capable of incredible things. We strive to provide the best possible results for the many projects we are tasked with.
Do you have a project that requires a design and engineering team? Consider Creative Mechanisms
We've put together a team with depth and breadth across many industries to help design and engineer solutions to complex problems. Our team has extensive experience with plastics, and we are skilled at defect prevention for injection mold manufacturing. Here are some quotes from previous clients about working with the Creative Mechanisms team:
- "After thinking there was no way to develop and prototype living hinges, Creative Mechanisms were recommended to me. I quickly learned they offer a rare and sought after service, ideal for any early stage prototyping through to production level injection molding. They were hands down the best external contractor I can recall working with." Carla Zampaglione, Invetech
- "Creative Mechanisms is the type of company that is hard to find. I’m glad I found them. They provided what they promised on a short notice, tight timeline, and with amazing precision. They exceeded my expectations and I highly recommend them - without a doubt." Hassan Mohamed, Edgewell