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Glue GUN

Problem Overview

Most glue guns suffer from a loading process that requires two hands and must be done while forcing glue out of the gun.

The glue gun is a very effective tool for simple and efficient prototyping. However, some aspects of the standard design could be improved, like the glue-loading and the positioning of the tool while idle.

A glue gun needs a stand that can prevent the nozzle from burning anything, while not interfering with the user’s movement

Identifying the User

A cheap and simple glue gun can be a good tool for anyone when it comes to DIY projects or quick fixups at home, but a higher standard is required for those who spend a great deal of time prototyping, like designers, engineers, architects, et cetera.


Studying a current model

The ccbetter mini hot melt glue gun is an apt representation of what most commercial glue guns look and operate like. It has a minimalist design and cheap materials to make it very affordable for the average consumer.


A foldable stand props the tip of the glue gun up millimeters away from the table. The glue gun has to be placed very deliberately for it to not fall over.


An exposed internal piece of plastic, connected to the trigger, is used to push the glue stick into the heated nozzle.


The user must use two hands to push a new glue stick into the gun when the old one dwindles. The internal piece of plastic does not catch either the new or the old glue until after a period of pushing while it is in use.

Observing alternate designs


Ryobi makes a battery powered glue gun that can stand up on its own, assisted by the long flat base and the extra weight that the battery holds.


The 3m scotch-weld hot melt applicator requires the user to push with their thumb rather than pull a trigger. This allows for a longer stream of glue to be applied in one motion.

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The Fastenmaster glue gun uses a non-folding metal stand to prop itself up more conveniently.

Standard user process

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Market analysis

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“I’ve come to appreciate it’s size as being a necessary-evil, and now i actually like how it feels compared to the lil’ nancy-boy glue guns. This is a glue gun - not a glue toy.”

“It’s almost twice the size of the craft store guns, but handles easily. The trigger grip fits your whole hand and glue delivery is smooth and controllable.”

“Perfect for small hands! Very lightweight, and great for small projects”

“Fine for the price, wouldn’t recommend”

“Gun heats up really quickly, but tends to leak quite a bit if left at the stand’s angle.”

“Portability is great. On the down side, it drains batteries. So be aware to have a couple of batteries on hand.”

“I liked the gun itself but the battery doesn’t last long between charges.”

“I’ve had this product for almost a year and use it for almost everything the battery capacity is a little on the short end but i just eneded up buying a higer
capacity battery and it lasts for hours”

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sketch ideation

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top concepts

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Added a thicker built-in stand for more convenient placing.
This could be a problem for people with larger hands.

Added a magnet to the top and sides of the upper area. The helpfulness of this mod is dependent on the table having a metal frame, or the user having a metal docking stand.

Focused on improving the loading with a spring-assisted pellet tube. This solves the issue of having to load new glue while dispensing it.

Validation Process


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Foam model gestures

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user feedback

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The large flat bottom provided a nice stand for the glue gun to idle.

The extra support that is in front of the hand sometimes gets in the way; it is too bulky when glueing the inside of acutely angled pieces of cardboard.

The handle is somewhat oversized.

The small size, relative to the other models, was beneficial for getting into tight spaces.

The magnetic plates would not be useful on most tables, especially given that the study was taken on a wooden table.

The glue pellets would assist in the reloading process.

The slanted butt and stock provide a nice alternative way to stand the gun up when it is idling.

The main body should be slimmer to improve the ability to get into small spaces.

Processing feedback

Concept 2 and 3 received more positive feedback due to their superior ergonomics compared to concept 1.


Every user expressed indifference to the standing methods of the models.


Two users expressed dissatisfaction at the transition process when adding a fresh

Glue stick.


Concept 3 is the only model that focused on the loading process, but its loading is not a big step up from the standard design.


Going forward i planned to experiment with the idea of using a hopper system to deliver glue pellets instead. The main body of the model would imitate that of concept 2


Design Redevelopment

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3D translation

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3D Printed Models

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Keyshot renders

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