These past few days have been quite hectic on many different fronts (electronics, business strategy and bowling), but we did manage to make progress on product design as well. We had to scavange for a license to 3D design software, which ended up being Autodesk Inventor (in lieu of SolidWorks). Even though none of us were familiar with it, the learning curve was soon surmounted, and it proved very easy to make a quick conceptual rendering of the product and get some feedback:
The top is the mouthpiece, and the bottom rotates to switch the device on/off and select difficulty level.
For a sense of scale, we quickly photoshopped this little thing:
That green ring would be lit from within the product. We were thinking of using different colors to signify difficulty level or other things to the user.
But still, the only way to really tell what the size would feel is to make a physical mock up. Luckily the R/GA accelerator has a bunch of Makerbots.
We printed relatively low resolution parts for our assembly:
From sketch to physical model the whole thing took only a few hours, but we’ve already discovered three important things: the mouthpiece size is all wrong, the “salt shaker” constriction mechanism we imagined for the bottom end will not perform as needed, and the size and shape make it a bit slippery when held in small hands.
Back to the drawing board!