Tag Archives: botzen design

D.I.Y Ultra Quiet Shop compressor from a refrigerator motor (compressor)

How I built a Ultra Quiet Shop compressor from a refrigerator motor (compressor) for my Industrial design studio workshop. In the video I show you step by step how to build the compressor from parts you can buy on Ebay and your local hardware store, Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, or a scrap yard or an old refrigerator (fridge). Add your own optional Motörhead badges too.




I needed to build a very quiet, higher capacity compressor for my Design shop, since the one I have is quite loud and does not have the capacity that I was comfortable with for urethane casting work.

I sourced a 6 gallon tank on eBay for $35 including shipping from a fellow in Indiana. I then needed a refrigerator compressor. I got lucky and have a buddy I play hockey with that is in the small appliance repair business. He was able to get me a new replacement unit that was not needed on a recent job. He was also able to get me some of the copper tubing i needed for the project.


Everything else was pretty straightforward after that.  I have access to a lot of good fabrication equipment. First I built an adapter plate to mate the tank to the compressor motor. I built this from an old “Big Iron” IBM server cover. I made a cardboard template to follow and then transferred it to the sheet metal and folded the edges for extra strength. Then I applied a bit of primer and paint to finish the exposed metal.

I replaced the original oil in the compressor with 10W40  weight motor oil for added protection.

I mounted the motor on the sheet metal bracket I made and connected the compressor side to the tank with some 1/4-20 socket cap bolts. ”

Next I connected the compressor side to the tank with some 1/4″ copper tubing and a one way check valve to keep the air from flowing out of the tank back through the compressor inlet.



On the business side of the compressor I used some parts I had laying around including a pressure shut off valve that I had from when I attended college at Pratt in the late 80’s from my dorm airbrush set up! It still all works great and is able to turn the motor on an off with no issues. I also used a main pressure gauge and added a pressure regulator so I could adjust how much air comes out of the tank. Additionally I added a quick disconnect to I an easily connect an air hose to the tank.


I added a computer electric socket connector to the set up so I can remove the power cord if I need to as well.


The key to making the whole thing ultra quiet is building a intake manifold that absorbs the sound of the compressor. For this I used a spent metal aerosol travel shaving cream can. It already had openings at both ends and was perfect for my needs. I packed it with some brass wool to help absorb the sound and added some pink packing foam for a filter. The combination of the metal can and the brass wool significantly mutes the sound and makes the whole set up extremely quite.



Last but not least I added some Motörhead badges to give it some character. Lemmy R.I.P

A fun build and an essential piece of shop equipment to have when making Industrial Design models and prototypes.

Eric Strebel, is an Industrial Designer living in Southfield MI. He has a home-based Industrial design studio “Botzen Design” and has been designing consumer products for 25+ years ranging from sunglasses for Bauch & Lomb, Traps eyewear, entry level luxury vehicles for Ford, wireless charging PowerMat for Homedics, to magnetic toys for Guidecraft. He specializes in tabletop and handheld products, ranging from routers to cosmetic products to Bluetooth devices and everything in between, he also teaches Industrial Design at Wayne State University and CCS (College for Creative Studies)


Follow Eric on Twitter @botzendesign and Subscribe to his Youtube channel.




2015 Upcycled Lobster TRAPS Eyewear collection designed by Eric Strebel of Botzen Design

Sunglasses made from wood, that’s fairly common these days. Designing with locally sourced East Coast material from the state of Maine, now that’s uncommon!  Meet the Up cycled eye-wear from Traps that are made of decommissioned Lobster traps.

Industrial designer Eric Strebel of Botzen Design in Detroit began design work on the first pair of glasses for Traps Eyewear in February of 2014. The first pair, The “Ulysses” is a classic interpretation of a unisex oversize pair of sunglasses. Traps wanted to create a product that was effortlessly stylish, using re-purposed Atlantic ocean aged oak lobster traps and sustainable materials. Using recycled materials was the obvious choice to attract the “Y” generation to a new pair of sunglasses. You can watch the video here of Eric designing and prototyping the glasses.


The second pair is inspired by John F. Kennedy. These are called the “Jack”. Both pairs use acetate for the frames. It is a non-petroleum based plastic that is made from natural cotton and wood fibers. Cellulose acetate is made from renewable materials, and that is great for everyone on the planet.


The design process followed a proven path of getting a solid design brief from the customer and sketching on the clients direction. Initial concepts were refined and sifted down to produce stylish eco-friendly glasses that are simple yet recognizable.

The front frames are hand crafted in hypoallergenic Italian Acetate, lightweight and quite strong. The frames are made from cutting, heat forming and polishing flat sheets of the material into the desired form. Cellulose acetate is considered the gold standard in eye wear and were an obvious choice for these sunglasses. The Bio Lenses are made from a castor oil as well. The product is quite environmentally conscious.


The glasses are available directly from the Traps web site.  There is a special edition available from Friedrich’s in their Manhattan location as well are their Palm Beach locations, using horn frames and a multi grain temple combing birds eye maple and walnut.

Eric Strebel is an Industrial designer with 25+ years of experience. He graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn NY in 1990 and has been designing products for clients all around the globe, ranging from sunglasses for Bauch & Lomb, entry level luxury vehicles for Ford, wireless charging PowerMat for Homedics, to toys for Guidecraft. He specializes in tabletop and hand held products.

You can follow Botzen Design on Twitter and Google+ and Facebook, or sign up here for the occasional newsletter from Botzen Design. Subscribe to the YouTube and watch all the industrial design videos as well.

2014 Another year of design success at the Botzen Studio!

WOW! What another unbelievable year of product design it has been this year at Botzen Design! I worked on design projects ranging from sunglasses to industrial equipment, phone cases, drones and credit card readers.


The Ulysses

In January I began a journey with a client to develop a pair of classic sunglasses “Ulysses” that used aged Maine oak lobster traps. The project sprouted into a second pair of sunglasses “The Jack” that are based on the 35th president JFK and his classic look. Traps Eyewear will soon be shipping both pairs of “eco” glasses, look for more information about the glasses very soon!









Currently I am working on some great new products for the Danish industrial group BM-Teknik. I am designing two new products for them as they expand out of the Scandinavian market in to the global market including the United States. These products will be sold under the Cougartron name. More about those products will be revealed in the upcoming year.

PowerClix magnetic adventure toy


The three magnetic robot toys I designed for Guidecraft PolyMech, ReptileMech, and TeraMech are available for purchase through Target online, and Amazon, and even Brookstone.

Recently I launched my Industrial Design Video On Demand channel on Vimeo, A design journey from concept to functioning prototype The 8 part series take you on a step by step voyage of how to build a functioning solar charger prototype. The latest series focuses on the ideation sketching process of the Red Jack adventure vehicle pictured above. You can see the trailers on Youtube as well.

Are you are looking to have a consumer product designed, visualized and prototyped? Feel free to reply to this email and lets set up a time to chat. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Google+, click any of the links below to follow me on your favorite social media site, or sign up here if you were forwarded this bulletin. Look for more updates soon!

I want to wish each of you a Happy New Year to you and your families!

Best wishes

Eric Strebel

Search Botzen and check out my other blogs!

facebook linkedin twitter youtube

WOW! What a year of design success it has been this year at the Botzen Studio!

This year has absolutely flown by with so many successful design projects and new clients I don’t even know where to start…..Youtube anyone? My design videos have gotten a bit of exposure this past year, over 85,000 views and I suddenly have over 600 subscribers to my channel! Recently, I was featured on the Prismacolor facebook page for the black and white Prismacolor pencil sketch that I did. Next year, I hope to publish a few more design videos, so look for those throughout the year.

A few of the products that I had the pleasure of designing last year made their way into production in 2013 including; The EL shutter shades that I designed for Lift Audio as well as the Saferide vehicle adapter from Saferide.

Final glam shots B copy

This past year also saw the addition of a 3D printer into my arsenal of design tools in the workshop at my studio. This tool has changed the landscape for product design in so many ways. Testing forms, ideas and concepts has never been easier than now with in-house 3D printing capabilities.

I was also lucky enough to do some design work for a few new clients that were looking for some fresh ideas, including concepts for an Aluminum Multifunctional Carabiner, a kids GPS bracelet for Precise Innovation, LLC, some drinking fountain concepts for Haws Corporation out of Nevada and some really fun design research projects for Zingermans right here in Ann Arbor Michigan.

I have also been working on some dramatic Sci-Fi play toys for a client for most of the year. I can not reveal anymore than that. The toys should be available for retail purchase in Spring 2014. If you are at the Spielwarenmesse in Nürnberg Germany in January you will get to see them debut OR if you are in New York City at the Toy Fair in February you will get to see me and I can show them to you personally! I am so excited for these toys that I have laboured over since June when the project began. To see them go from concept to prototype then to production in the time span of the last 6 months has been truly amazing! I am bursting with excitement and can’t wait to go to the Toy Fair and see them with all the other amazing toys at the show!

Clean desk

Also, I will also be teaching again very soon in January 2014 at Wayne State University starting in a few weeks after a hiatus of a few years. I will be teaching the Design Studio class to the Juniors and graduating Seniors. It is one of my favorite things to do in life. I truly enjoy teaching and giving back to the world about what I am most passionate about, Design!

I already have a few new projects underway for the beginning of the year and am sure many more exciting ones will present themselves over the next 12 months. I am looking forward to another great year.

I want to wish each of you a Happy New Year to you and your families!

Best wishes

Eric Strebel

Search Botzen and check out my other blogs!

facebook linkedin twitter youtube

The invasion of the PowerClix Mechs has begun..at 2014 Toy Fair NYC!

All threeMechs B

POLYMECH, REPTILEMECH and TERRAMECH, have begun to invade the universe in search of neodymium!

Botzen Design in collaboration with Guidecraft has expanded it’s popular PowerClix construction line with the introduction of three new dramatic Sci-Fi magnetic play sets, that turn ordinary PowerClix into fantastic robot invaders from the other side of the galaxy where builders’ imaginations can run wild with fun invasion mayhem. Help the Rahila Mechs scour the universe for their neodymium life force!


PowerClix®, is the 3D Building System from Guidecraft that lets you explore and build endless models with the easy click ‘n connect system.  The super-strong magnetic force creates a quick connect for fast, simple and powerful 3D modeling. With the 2nd Generation Mechs, you can explore, build and create a fantastic array of creatures utilizing the original PowerClix® magnetic system, coupled with a collection of new click • clip • create pieces, all with excellent high detail weaponry that will be sure to delight the casual fan as well as the hard core Sci-Fi collector. Mix and match with original sets, or with other Mechs to create hybrid creatures. Ages 7+.


Botzen designed the Rahila Mechs in a period of 6 months from concept to production for Guidecraft. Mechanized robot vehicles of all kinds were conceptualized and sketched by Eric Strebel at his design studio in Southfield, MI just outside of Detroit. Development also involved digital sketching, 3D modeling and 3D printed parts. After the initial concept development phase was completed the Mechs were refined with some rapid prototype development before handing off to the manufacturing group for final mock ups and production.


To see all of the Mech’s, come meet us at the 2014 New York City Toy Fair at the Guidecraft booth #2835 February 16th – 19th.  Eric will be available for interviews Monday February 17th and Tuesday  February 18th.  Please contact Kris @ 810-338-7407 to set up an appointment.


Eric Strebel runs an Industrial Design studio called Botzen Design located in Detroit MI. Eric has worked on designing the Powermat wireless charging hubs for Homedics, sunglasses for Bauch & Lomb, vehicles for Ford Motor Co., monsters for Clive Barker,  drink/water bottle refill station for HAWS Co., EL Shutter Shades for LIT, as well as toys for Guidecraft. Currently he consults for various companies around the globe and teaches Industrial Design at Wayne State University in Detroit.


Botzen Design is an Industrial Design studio in the Detroit area, specializing in product design and development, and computer visualization.  We design consumer products ranging from hard to soft goods and can guide you through the design and manufacturing process. We also have in house rapid prototyping and 3D printing capabilities.

Botzen Design, Inc., Detroit Michigan


email: info@botzen.com

youtube      Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/lunakov

twitter      Twitter:  https://twitter.com/botzendesign

facebook      Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/botzendesign

— end —

Old School White prismacolor pencil Industrial Design “ID” sketch on black paper tutorial


April 9 2012

Detroit based Industrial Designer Eric Strebel demonstrates a design sketching tutorial using a black piece of paper and a white prismacolor pencil. This technique has been used since the earliest days of Industrial Design by pioneers such as Henry Dreyfuss and Raymond Loewy to quickly show a design idea or concept. Eric shows how to start the sketch and describes what ellipsis to use and how to get the perspective just right. The sketch is finished with simple shading and a drop shadow highlighting the bottles top. Music is by Brothers and others Saxaphone Quartet. There are several other Industrial Design tutorials available on Eric’s YouTube channel. You can subscribe to the channel to follow Eric and future Industrial Design tutorials.

YouTube link: White pencil bottle sketch tutorial

640 x 360 Embeded link: <object width=”640″ height=”360″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/7_lh11AM0yE?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0″></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param></object>

Eric Strebel who runs an Industrial Design studio called Botzen Design in Detroit, MI.  He worked to design the Powermat wireless charge pad for Homedics, sunglasses for Bauch & Lomb, vehicles for Ford Motors, monsters for Clive Barker and the Solar Vox Ultra personal charger. Currently he consults for various companies in the Detroit area and around the globe and teaches Industrial Design at Wayne State University. He recently placed third in the Local Motors Shell Game Changer contest with the Willow Run-A-Bout for the city of Amsterdam.

Botzen Design, Inc., Detroit Michigan


email:  preorder@botzen.com

— end —