The Graphrite was first by Keith Meinkrantz, a senior mechanical engineer, to aid in daily graphing and sketching demanded by his classes. It first made its debut in the Spring of 2017 in the Maker’s Design Competition where it took first place and since then has continually been developed.
Where the Graphrite stands now, it is being marketed as a sketching and graphing aid specifically to mechanical engineering, mathematics, and physics students. Over the past few months the team has met with both students and professors, understanding the difficulties these two groups are met with daily in the context of sketching and graphing.
Because the Graphrite was first created by a mechanical engineer for a specific purpose, our first and primary target market has been students in this focus area. As we talk with more and more students and professors alike we realize that our market can be much greater, reaching even to design students.
In our conversations with design students and the college’s own design department co-chair, Nate Mucha, we discovered just how many ways the Graphrite can be used outside of its intended purpose. Among these uses were quick sketches of frames, clean circles, and for drawing proportional environments.
We realized the problems that the Graphrite solved for engineering students are similar to what many other students deal with in other majors as well. With this in mind our future versions of the Graphrite will be modeled to include feature that will serve across multiple disciplines.