Dri-Butts Relies on Slingshot's help in Haiti


LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - DriButts, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping control the spread of disease in Haiti, has partnered with Slingshot® Product Development Group to manufacture a long-lasting reusable diaper for warm weather climates where there is no electricity or running water. Michael Wahl with DriButts plans to bring 600 DriButts Diapers to rural areas of Haiti during a trip scheduled for September 9-14, 2015.


 "Infants and toddlers in underdeveloped villages in Haiti don't have diapers, so they poop openly in the house," says Wahl, lead storyteller at DriButts, a one-year old organization based in Douglasville, GA. "The fecal matter contaminates everything in the living space which leads to the rampant spread of diseases like dysentery, cholera, typhus fever and typhoid.


 "The solution is the creation of a long-wearing, durable diaper. Working with Slingshot we've found a way to affordably produce a diaper with a super absorbent bamboo cloth liner that has natural anti-microbial properties. The diaper has a two-year lifespan and can be used from infancy through the age of two. This diaper can be cleaned in a bucket with soap and water and will dry on a clothes line in about 15 minutes."


 Before developing the DriButts Diaper, Wahl and his wife Starla sewed more than 700 diapers at their kitchen table and shipped them to Haiti. At the same time Wahl started designing a long-wearing diaper, but the production costs were very high.


 "Michael approached us to be part of the solution for this epidemic of unsanitary conditions in Haiti," says Joseph Pruitt, director of manufacturing innovation with Slingshot Product Development Group. "We took the task on pro bono to enhance their design and work with our supply chain to source materials for the diaper. Manufacturing started in late July of this year and now we're finishing up the first 1,000 diapers --- 600 of which will travel with Michael immediately to Haiti.


 "Because many of the illnesses associated with fecal matter in the home are preventable, this diaper, and the overall DriButts effort, is literally helping to save lives."


 According to Wahl, the Slingshot team identified manufacturing options that cut the cost in half while enhancing the diaper design. "That's an incredible achievement when you think that every diaper will last for at least two years," says Wahl.


 "Slingshot stepped up and took this task on as a partnership, not as a project. They've surpassed our expectations and given us a way to help solve the fecal infant problem in Haiti. More than that, now they're working with us long-term to develop the next generation of this diaper that will be used to trap and retain urine in diapers. This will advance the health efforts not only in Haiti but in other developing countries in the world that we'd like to assist."


 The September humanitarian effort in Haiti will take place within 50 miles of Port-Au-Prince during Wahl's sixth visit to the country this year and his 20th visit in the past three years. He will work with local village leaders and pastors to distribute the diapers and train mothers on how to use and clean them.


 For more details on the non-profit organizations efforts and to sponsors diapers for children in Haiti, visit


Lab 2015


LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - More than 70 creative minds from around the world will come together August 7-9, 2015 in Costa Rica for the Fourth Annual Sketching Lab. Participants in the Sketch Aerobics event will learn sketching skills that lead to product development methodology, using visual communication to foster innovation.


 "We started Sketching Lab in 2012 to create an educational and inspirational space that would use drawings as a tool for design and visual communication," says Jose Gamboa, founder of the event and director of industrial design at Slingshot Product Development Group in Georgia. "This is a forum for people to share their passion and knowledge in visual communications. Designers and artists from around the world are invited to participate and we aim to inspire future generations with this unique program."


 Gamboa, who was born in Costa Rica, had the full support of Slingshot in launching this interactive program three years ago. The purpose of the event is to help build a design community in Costa Rica. Each year he plays a key role in the sessions and is able to teach visual innovation and creative strategies to participants, which include students, freelance artists, dreamers and doers in the areas of fashion, graphic design, animation, industrial design, illustration and architecture.


 "I'm able to show these people a bit of what we do at Slingshot --- using sketch technology to bridge the gap between development investment and business success by approaching product development in a complete, holistic way," says Gamboa, who has served as an industrial design professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).


 The intense three-day workshop includes drawing, mind mapping, concept development and visual communication. In addition to Gamboa, program attendees will learn from experts Andres Parada, Joey Zeledon and Matt Marrocco.


 "Sketching Lab's goal is to ignite a person's interest in improving hand drawing and sketching skills, which are essential tools for anyone in the arts and design field," says Gamboa. "This year I'm collaborating with Joey, senior industrial designer at Smart Design in New York, to create a methodology that will help develop a single idea generated by the event under the criteria of tradition, culture and nature that will later be refined by Joey, myself and the team at Slingshot. The idea will be taken to the prototype or small production stages so that the participants can see the results of their creativity.


 "With hard work, anything is possible. Our speakers are a great example of that statement. Now that we're in our fourth year, we're seeing educational institutions carefully looking at --- and recruiting --- the talented people who participate in Sketching Lab."


 According to Gamboa, sponsorship of the Sketching Lab event is important to Slingshot because it puts a worldwide focus on talented designers. "Our company seeks out opportunities like Sketching Lab to give back to society," says Gamboa. "We're able to shine a spotlight on diversity and the talents available in Costa Rica and participants from other countries by continuing to support this event year-after-year."


 For more information on Sketching Lab, visit For details on Slingshot, a full-service product innovation, development and manufacturing firm, visit

IDSA Bronze

IDEA Award


Herndon, VA—July 8, 2015—Masterack Smartspace, designed by Slingshot Product Development Group has been named a Bronze winner in one of the world’s most prestigious design competitions—the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA)’s 2015 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA).


Masterack Smartspace is a storage and organization solution intended for commercial van and pick-up truck equipment users. Key design features include modularity, ease of use and installation.  Made from structural foam and aluminum, these lightweight materials reduce weight and noise while this system still holds as much weight as comparable steel systems. It was chosen for a Bronze award among the more than 1,700 entries from around the world—as IDEA marks its 35th year and IDSA celebrates its 50th anniversary.


 "Masterack brought us the challenge of finding a way to maximize storage space in their commercial vehicles in an economical and reliable way," says Jose Gamboa, director of industrial design at Slingshot Product Development Group. "Based on ethnographic data and firsthand experience of the problem, our team determined there was a need for a lightweight modular space utilization system that was also good-looking and easy-to-assemble. All IDEA winners can be viewed here.


For the first time, just which entries have won Silver and which have won Gold—won’t be revealed until August 22—when the 2015 IDSA International Conference culminates in grand style with the IDEA Ceremony and the Samsung-sponsored, black-tie optional IDEA Gala at stunning Benaroya Hall in Seattle.


The IDEA Jury, led by Chair Matthew Marzynski, IDSA, met in June at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI to judge the 621 IDEA finalists. The result—28 Gold, 53 Silver and 83 Bronze awards. In a new video, Marzynski sees IDEA as history in the making.


“When we look at a design, we’re not just looking at what’s trendy or fashionable at the moment. We have the context of that history of that long line of designers that came before us….  That collective knowledge exists within IDSA is kind of like a living treasure.” In this new video, see more of Marzynski’s conversation with IDSA Executive Director Daniel Martinage, CAE.

















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