This design was different from the others because I didn't start with a problem, I started with an opportunity. I realized that drywall makes up 95% of interior walls in the US and that drywall is hung with nails or screws, creating thousands of tiny magnetic surfaces hidden all over houses. This idea had been plaguing me for years, but I couldn't find a good reason to make something that would hang on these tiny magnetic surfaces (TMS).
Years went by and my oldest son was getting older. We found an arsenal of Nerf guns at a yard sale for a steal, and we set up targets all over the living room. However, since the room was still baby-proofed for my youngest, it limited the amount of surfaces available in the room. We were restricted to the floor and the fireplace mantle, which got boring fast.
Finally, I found a reason to hang something super light to the nails in the walls. I designed a simple target that looked like crosshairs and 3D printed them with a press-fit hole for a magnet. The MagTargets were born! It was so simple, my son would use the target and scan the wall until he found a nail. We repeated this until all the targets were hung, then we stepped back and shot at the targets. When the target was hit, it would fall due to the weak connection, which was just enough to hang and even survive the shock of a near miss.
What surprised me was that rehanging the targets was a whole other game. My son enjoyed finding those spots again and again, and eventually he could recall them rather quickly. I played with a few design iterations, including Minecraft characters, targets you would see at a shooting range, and even glow-in-the-dark targets. These covered designs six through nine, and we had loads of fun with them.
This design was a departure from my usual problem-solving approach, but it was a fun and creative process. It also shows the importance of being open to opportunities and experimenting with different
- Have you ever come across an opportunity that sparked an idea for a new product?
- How do you make the most of limited spaces for playtime or recreation at home?
- Have you ever modified or customized a toy or game to make it more fun or engaging?
(Assisted by AI)