The goal of this assignment was to design a hand-held product that satisfied the needs of a given user group and user environment. This product was to have an exterior with interior components, like a TV remote, a flashlight, a Pez dispenser, etc.
Once I was given the user group of am “arthritic 70 year old woman” and a user environment of “underwater”, I decided to model a device that is designed to aid those with arthritic problems and other physical issues who wish to participate in underwater activities. The application of the propeller feature allows for people to exercise their joints and relax their muscles as they are guided through the water at a slow speed of about 1 mph. The propeller allows for swimmers to exercise their body without having to strain themselves from the constant flailing of the arms or legs underwater.
After sketching and experimenting with various prototypes, I eventually arrived to a final design for the sea propelling device, which was generated using the CAD software Solidworks.
The slightly recessed suface along both sides of the device was designed to provide an easy hold of the propeller. It was important for the handles to not reflect the solid, stick-like handles that are common in many electronic devices. Since this product is directed towards those who have difficulty extending and contracting their hands and fingers, I wanted the users to be able to hold onto the object with great ease and comfort as they swim in the water. The indented "handle" allows the user to insert their fingers into the recessed surface and lightly grip the rim that is created from the recess; essentially, this rim serves as the handles to the device. Once the device pulls the user into the water, he or she is able to grip onto the rim. Next to the handle on the left side of the device lies a brightly colored button that operates as the ignition to the propeller. This device will be of great benefit to those who struggle to swim or exercise in general because of the helpful boost that the propeller provides for the user.
Materials used: Sheets of styrene, wire mesh, polyurethane foam (first prototype); Solidworks 3D CAD and Keynote