Inductive Charging iPhone Case

Upwells latest iPhone case design will be produced to work with Upwells Walhub system as an inductive phone charging accessory for the Walhub product line. Currently the case only acts as a protective case with a beautiful ceramic/clay type of finish. The goal here is to create a beautiful case people want to own, regardless of the built in charging capabilities – that’s just a huge added bonus. Stay tuned for more updates as this product evolves.

design medical splint 3dprinting

Custom Medical Splints in Hospitals – Why Not?

I recently dislocated my finger and was told by the Dr. I would’ve been better off breaking it… She said it would need to be in a splint for 2 months, and only the outside knuckle. They couldn’t properly splint it there (amazing healthcare I have) so she recommended I buy a splint at Walgreens and use it as a” buddy” splint – tape finger to closest finger for support.

I tried this Walgreens splint for two days before I had to rip it off. It was horrible, wet and sweaty and incredibly uncomfortable. So, I decided to make this a new studio project, why not.. Necessity is the mother of all invention after all… It was an incredibly quick project – several prototypes and 2 days later I now have a splint that I can live with for two months.

Having a rapid prototyping machine often makes me feel as if the Jetsons are here. This project got me thinking… Why aren’t we using rapid 3d printing in hospitals and clinics for things like this, or maybe we are and my healthcare coverage just doesn’t cover those clinics and hospitals.

Upwell Custom Finger Splint test

design medical splint 3dprinting

Upwell Medical splint

Google Glass, A Failed Social Experiment?

One of the more interesting social experiments has come to an end – at least for now. Impressive technology in an unappealing package? Makes you wonder if Google Glass failed on a hardware level – following a similar unappealing path as the Segway – or were we as a society just not ready for such a socially invasive product? Anisse Gross wrote a great article in The New Yorker last March on this topic Whats The Problem with Google Glass? exploring issues from the actual cost of the product to the rude social dynamic of wearing a camera on your face. What ever the reason(s), I’m sure it won’t be the last we see of the technology in Google Glass, but maybe next time we’ll find it in a more socially accepting format…





New Upwell Work | PUNK for Sol Republic

Its always nice to see new work come to fruition.
PUNK is a wireless bluetooth speaker designed to be the smaller, transportable, more durable version of DECK – Sol Republics first wireless speaker. The goal was not only to create a small, transportable speaker, but one that followed (visually) very closely in the steps of DECK – the older brother within SOL’s wireless speaker family.

While migrating DECK’s existing product language on to the PUNK’s stout proportions we also focused on a transportation/wearable feature. I looked at mechanisms like clips, silicone bands, screw posts, etc. We eventually settled on a universal mounting system – similar to a threaded tripod mount. This was a more cost affective solution… PUNK’s body exterior is molded silicone, with raised hard buttons for volume and bluetooth connection.
Now available at Sol Republic
sr_sm_punk punk-sol-upwell-design1-speaker punk-sol-upwell-design
Walhub future design concepts

on | Walhub Future Concepts

We recently kicked off an in-house design program at Upwell that will be focusing on a new Walhub future product line called ON. This program will explore future concepts with the long term objective of bringing the best concepts to market… This new line of Walhub products will have integrated power and technology and will work with the existing Walhub switch plate system. Incorporating power in these products at their locations opens up endless possibilities for this line: lighting, Bluetooth communication, inductive charging as well as others. These products will concentrate on connectivity with our mobile devices, bridging the gap between smart phone (or other mobile devices) and smart home. The goal of the Walhub system remains the same, whether it’s a powered Walhub accessory or an analog one it’s there to simplify and enhance your daily routine.

We’re excited to kick off this new design project at Upwell and look forward to documenting and sharing our process with you. We’ll try and post our process as often as possible. Feel free to comment and suggest, being so early in the conceptual process were open to anything!




Patent Granted on one year anniversary

We are really happy to announce that after one year of “Provisional Patent Status” followed by another year of  Patent Pending, Walhub – “the Multifunctional and Configurable Wall Plates” – has been granted its Utility Patent as of June 2014. June is also the 1 year anniversary of Walhub being available for sale! Although it may not seem like much, it feels nice to “own” your work in the eyes of the government

Thank you,
To every one who has supported us throughout this past year, and prior! Looking forward to what the next year has in store…

Happy National Day of Making!

President Obama has proclaimed today – June 18th 2014 –  as “National Day of Making”. Check it out here on the official White House website: Presidential Proclamation — National Day of Making, 2014. I think its pretty cool that the government recognizes creators and innovation. Finally an announcement from the white house that all parties can agree on.


Here are some interesting facts about the Maker Movement from our retail friends at The Grommet:

  • The Maker Movement contributes to the 28M small businesses in the U.S. and these businesses create 2 out of every 3 new jobs in our country (Martha Stewart, USA Today Oct, 2013)
  • The 3d printing market is projected to be worth $8B by the year 2020 (MarketsandMarkets, Nov 2013)
  • The World is expected to crowdfund 5.1 B in 2013 (Forbes, April 2013)
  • There are 200+ hacker spaces across the U.S. (New York Times, May 2013)



Maker Faire at The White House
On June 18th, a select group of makers will get to show off their projects at the White House and talk with the President about making and how it has shaped their lives. Check out the details on Makezine.


Experimenting w/ Makerbot | I now hate my computer less

Experimenting with the new Makerbot (aka: R2) via new iPhone case. I needed a new iPhone case – incase fail – and a good excuse to play with Makerbot, so I did a quick one day design-to-production experiment at Upwells studio. Was able to design and print a fairly accurate model by end of day, however final model with CMF took a total of 3 days. The majority of the three days was spent refining and printing models for fit around phone and moving parts, as well paint and finish.I love that 3D printing/rapid prototyping has become more affordable and smaller – hence more accessible to the public. It will definitely be the new standard home appliance in the future. Its pretty incredible to think you can design something in the morning, send it to print in the evening, and have it waiting for you in the kitchen by morning… the kitchen seemed to make sense. Finally, I can use my computer for something useful.
Upwell Design, An industrial design studio

Welcome to the new Upwell Design site

In this blog section I will be posting new Upwell work, worthy design stories and flattering press of course – but for now  have a look at the new site, find out what Upwell is all about – and feel free to leave a comment.

Upwell is myself, an industrial designer focused on crafting thoughtful work for my clients. I love what i do; mostly because it gives me a valid excuse to conduct social experiments in order to better understand how we interact with each other and our surroundings. This is in turn gains me knowledge so that I can improve upon, or at the very least support those experiences through design solutions.

I’m always happy to discuss future collaborations, no matter what the medium or category may be.
Feel free to reach out: justin@upwelldesign.com