Significant early design involvement created a new concept in eye protection wear that allowed air to vent in, but prevented any chemical splash from penetrating. The 20-step program development included field-of-view studies, fit studies, urethane cast models, stereolithography, color studies and Moldflow analysis.
The criteria for the new goggles’ design from American Allsafe included low profile, lightweight, futuristic, snug, comfortable, easily assembled and use of the patented ventilation system. The goggle also had to be able to fit the face of every potential user.“We can come up with the greatest design, but if the tool can’t be built and you can’t mold it, it doesn’t do you any good. By having Phillips’ design team involved, it was extremely helpful for us. We knew we would have a manufacturable design that met our expectations when it was finished,” explains American Allsafe Director for Product Development, Paul Korzen.After exploring several options for the venting with a lens consultant, Phillips engineers chose a “labyrinth” indirect venting scheme formed by complex slides and side actions in the tool, complete with well-placed ribs that won’t allow liquids to get near the user. Further, the design used a multi-shot process so that a soft material could be placed on the goggles to enhance design as well as touch and feel. Phillips Plastics was presented an Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA) Bronze Medal from the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and Business Week magazine for the development of the American Allsafe chemical splash goggle.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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