The start-up company Splashful Hydrotherapy wanted a flagship product that would stand-out in the canine hydrotherapy market as the most beautiful, capable and user-centric underwater treadmill. By working closely together through the entire development process, we achieved exactly what they were looking for.
We started the project with a deep dive to create a clear design direction and target specifications. We performed a thorough competitor analysis and product benchmarking. We conducted interviews with physical therapists and conducted field observations to gain insight from the users. We created breadboard models to explore human factors understand the user interaction. With this research, we were able to identify a clear market opportunity and create target features, performance specs and the aesthetic direction.
We knew this product was going to be a complicated machine with a touch-screen control interface, an embedded system electronic controls, numerous motors, sensors, user inputs that all need to functional in real-time and flawlessly together. One of our roles was to organize the product's complexity to bring clarity to the system design. We worked closely with Splashful's in-house electrical engineers and programmers to ensure that the entire system worked together to achieve the design intent.
The machine needed nearly 1,000 unique parts, approximately 150 of which were custom designed. To help us design all of these custom parts and assemblies and keep track of all of the part data, CAD modeling was an essential tool.
To achieve the clean and sophisticated aesthetic, computer simulations and analysis tools were utilized to engineer the parts and assemblies. This allowed us to optimize the size, shape, and strength of parts while also ensuring they were manufacturable, able to be assembled, safe and reliable.
We created prototypes and test rigs to evaluate different part designs, materials and various off-the-shelf components. We extensively tested sub-systems of the product to ensure each worked reliably before finalizing the design and integrating everything together.
For a product this complex, it is crucial to have very thorough documentation. We created detailed fabrication and assembly drawings to clearly communicate the part designs, tolerances and assembly requirements.
We worked closely with the part suppliers to ensure that the design intent carried through to the final product. We visited some of the vendors and meet directly with the technicians to troubleshoot issues and get feedback that helped us modify some parts to make it easier and less expensive to produce.
We assembled a prototype of the production design. This allowed us to document the assembly process, thoroughly test and validate the design and find opportunities to make improvements before initiating production.
Using the pre-production prototype, we created a demo video to help introduce the Splash Step 100 and communicate the product features.
We helped Splashful Hydrotherapy achieve a production-ready product design that stood out from the competitors. By integrating industrial design through the entire development process, from initial concept through manufacturing, we were able to achieve the performance and budgeting requirements while also maintaining the elegant, beautiful and user-centric design we set out to create.