Multimedia techniques have an important role to play in industrial design, from the conceptualisation and planning of a particular product, through to still and animated visualisations for marketing purposes.
The illustration above shows the first step along the way to the design of a display cabinet for an interactive touchscreen videodisc system. Having finished the laserdisc production for a government department, it was required to design a portable system to ship to a show in Switzerland. It had to be friendly and robust so that, once unpacked at its destination, it required only to be plugged in to run. The hardware elements were modelled on the computer and rearranged to find ergonomically acceptable solutions. Screen height, angle and shelf positions (as shown in the illustration) could then be fixed. The casing was then modelled and rendered variously to look at different colour schemes and the positioning of stick-on signs.
The final manufactured item made the two-thousand-mile trip to Switzerland and back successfully, running the whole time at the show without a fault. It very nearly didn't make it out the design studio doors, however. Since it could not be assembled on-site, it had to be transported in one unit. Despite being advised of the weight of the unit, the lorry which came to collect it had no hydraulic lift, just a worried-looking driver near retirement. Six-people were required to lift it onto the lorry which took off for the docks with only an hour to spare.