Frequently Asked Questions
Is my confidential information safe with you?
Yes! I take the security of your ideas and IP very seriously. I will never share your confidential information without your permission. I am happy to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Click here for a downloadable NDA you are welcome to use.
How do I pay you?
I accept PayPal, Google Wallet, Square Cash, Venmo, credit/debit cards, mailed checks, Guru.com SafePay and for payments over $400, bank transfers/wires. I require a deposit prior to beginning any work, no exceptions. The deposit funds must "stay ahead" of my fees incurred on the project, which means either a 100% upfront deposit, or (for larger projects) a smaller upfront deposit with subsequent deposits when unused funds run out.
What is your turn around time?
I will give you an approximate time estimate as part of your quote. It all depends of the specifics of your project and what else I am currently working on. I can try my best to work with your deadlines and accommodate urgent projects.
Do you have 3D printing (or prototyping) capabilities?
Yes! For more details, see my Product Design page.
Will you write my patent application for me?
No, I do not offer this service. I recommend you either hire a patent agent or attorney (I can provide a recommendation), or if you're feeling adventerous and have the time and desire to so, embark on writing it yourself. Also, I will not provide legal advice or give opinions on the patentability of your idea.
How should I take the photos I send you?
I might ask you to provide photos of your product, part, prototype or competing product in order to accurately convey its look and geometry. By taking photos a certain way, from various views, and including a size reference (such as a ruler) in the image, I can often use these photos to create very accurate 3D models or 2D drawings without needing the physical object in front of me (but I work that way also). This can be helpful for creating CAD models, manufacturing files, patent drawings and for reverse engineering existing objects.
Minimizing parallax and lens distortion: If you have a zoom lens (optical zoom only), zoom all the way in before taking photos (and move away from the object until it takes up about the center third of the image. If you don't have an optical zoom, just move back far enough to keep the object within the center third of the image (to keep it away from the edges).
Capturing the correct angles: Most times there will be several important views to capture. More often than not, these will be some or all of the six "orthogonal views". Imagine you have a cube (six sides). The cube would have a front, back, left, right, top and bottom. The idea would be to capture an image looking exactly perpendicular to each of the faces that are unique. If the object is symmetrical, the faces that are identical to or mirrors of another face don't need an additional image. If your image is truly perpendicular to a face of the cube, you won't be able to see any of the other faces. It is also a good idea to capture some additional views from different angles to ensure an overall understanding of the object's geometry and to also take close up images of any small details that aren't clear in the other images.
Do you offer any discounts?
I always strive to charge competitive and fair rates, however it is possible to receive a small discount off the amount due. Some payment processing methods charge me higher fees than others. If you choose to pay through a method that costs me less, I'll pass the savings onto you. You will receive a 3% discount when paying with Google Wallet, Square Cash, or Venmo. For bank transfers/wires, you'll received a 3% discount on the amount in excess of $400. Please mention this discount before payment so I can update your invoice and provide payment instructions and account information.
Are there any other information resources you recommend?
The following resources may by of use to you:
US Patent and Trademark Association: www.uspto.gov