We helped Start-up Company SkiA develop their launch product from an initial idea for a “dry-land” based ski training aid to a production reality.
The trainers fit onto all sizes of ski boot and help users learn essential balance skills that improve turning efficiency and develop better skiing technique. They include a series of different sized balance blocks that provide increasingly difficult challenges to teach perfect posture, promote dynamic movement and guide centred pivoting.
The Foot Plate component design cleverly combines a rigid platform with flexible sections that adjust to the shape of any boot.
We developed the design from initial concepts, through test rigs and fully detailed 3D CAD models to working SLS prototypes for extensive performance testing. We designed the product packaging and sourced, supplied and managed manufacture of the production tooling and finished boxed products from our network of Far East partners.
"Design 4 Plastics have been absolutely integral to the development of our first product. Quite simply, the SkiA Sweetspot Trainer would not have happened without them"
SkiA Company Founder.
Photo Realistic Rendering of our production level 3D CAD models.
Our Initial Concept Designs explored different options for how to achieve the variable difficulty balance challenge and how to attach the Trainer to the Ski Boot.
We created a series Functional Test Prototypes to develop the fit with the large range of Ski Boot sizes and to gauge the level of difficulty of the balance challenge.
Having proven the functional principles we developed the design detail in 3D CAD. One challenge was to provide sufficient adjustability to cater for the large range of Ski Boot sizes. The flexible side sections of our Foot Plate design allow the Trainer to fit to any boot.
A small batch of SLS prototypes were built for extensive performance testing in a live Ski School training environment. Feedback from these sessions led to further design enhancements.
Design 4 Plastics managed the entire process of realizing the product into production. We sourced suitable manufacturers and assessed all pre-production moulded and riveted samples, printed labels, user manuals and packaging for final quality approval prior to supplying complete finished product.
Easyline Edge Line Marking System
Starting with an open brief to develop a replacement for ITW ROCOL’s aerosol spray line applicator we came up with an innovative, patented solution that offers many advantages over anything else on the market.
Easyline Edge can produce 50, 75 or 100mm wide lines from a single aerosol can thanks to our clever spray nozzle design and easily variable applicator geometry. The lines produced are kept clean and crisp with replaceable spray masks and a battery powered airflow system that directs paint over-spray back within the line. The handle adjusts to suit the user and the rear legs can be folded in to allow marking close to walls and racking.
We developed the design from concepts, through test rigs, fully detailed 3D CAD models, rapid prototypes and development injection mould tools to fine tune the spray nozzle. We managed manufacture of all the injection mould tools and product assembly for the initial production batches.
“The team at Design 4 have helped us create the market leading product in Line Marking, massively increasing our sales”
ROCOL site safety product manager.
Photo Realistic Rendering of our production level 3D CAD assembly.
We created alternative concepts for producing sharp edged sprayed lines and experimented with these in our workshop to find the best way of controlling paint over spray on the move. This led us to the novel idea of introducing airflow that blows stray drips into the wet line to eliminate fuzzy edges. This proved to be a patentable feature.
Once the basic function was proven we produced the first 3D CAD assembly including all the features agreed from the Concept stage. Appropriate manufacturing processes were considered to ensure the parts could be made economically.
Evaluating the geometry of the spray nozzle posed one of the biggest challenges of the project. The accuracy demands of the orifice, material and surface finish were impossible to achieve by conventional prototyping techniques. We used a prototype injection mould tool to fine tune and prove the design.
We employed SLS Nylon to build the first fully working prototype. This was used to test and develop the function of the Line Marker and underwent many changes to refine the performance.
We sourced and managed production of all tooling for the project and were responsible for checking the first off samples. This included approving mould drawings and final tooling adjustments. We rigorously inspected the initial batches of finished products to ensure a smooth introduction to market.