Consumer research - User studies helped to identify issues with the product and guide development
 Conceptual design - A number of mechanisms and aesthetics were explored to solve the design brief
 Prototype development - The product went through several stages of prototyping, testing and iteration before moving into manufacture
 Product prototyping - Testing the clipping efficiency of an early prototype design
 Design analysis - The engineering design was evaluated and optimised within CAD before final production tooling
 Final product - Injection moulded devices attached to the Elipse Facemask
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The Elipse facemask is a re-usable safety respirator developed by Fenchurch Specialist Product. During development client feedback identified difficulties when threading the face-mask strap through the attached buckle after tightening. A new clipping system was developed to remove this threading operation and simplify the strap tightening process.
The final product is a simple plastic clip attached to the face-mask strap. After pulling the face-mask tight, the user passes the strap through the back of the component and clips shut, fastening it securely.
When testing design of the new facemask, user feedback identified the thread processes above as a difficult task. After analysing this process in detail, a series of new clip concepts were developed that would eliminate this threading operation. After evaluation of the new concepts the most feasible were selected for further development and prototyping.
A number of prototype designs were manufactured and the insights gained from each stage helped inform and direct the future development of the component. The initial design was orientated perpendicular to the direction of the strap and subsequently altered after feedback from user testing.
After refining the design through prototyping, the final CAD design was evaluated using mould-flow, drafting and thickness analysis prior to being sent to the manufacturer for tooling.
Using the final CAD model, injection mould tooling was secured from a Far East supplier. Further refinements were made after initial sampling from the tool in order to improve the function of the part.
The final product is injection moulded in polypropylene and assembled onto the Elipse face-mask strap. Four strap-clips are assembled onto each mask, simplifying the tightening process.
Processes: Product design, Prototyping, Design visualisation, Design engineering, Manufacture