Origin

My colleague, Reem Emerson (a lead product designer at Madesmart Housewares) designed an attractive plastic bath shelf.

 

Challenges

Reem's design was great but she wanted a number of aspects of the design to be improved. 

  • Her model had no mechanical connections. The parts were simply hovering in space. I needed to design the sliding connections.

  • The design was not strong enough. I needed to increase the strength considerably without disrupting the beautiful look of her design.

Solutions

  • I tweaked the structure to emphasize vertical surfaces. These functioned as load-bearing ribs, adding considerable strength to each component.

  • I made the sliding surfaces at six points on each wing, diving the forces evenly between them. I concealed these load bearing structures under the lip and feet.

  • To allow for easy assembly, and inexpensive manufacture, I closed off the wing slots with snap clips with permanent snap features.

The polypropylene product proved capable of holding 10 pounds indefinitely at maximum extension.

The polypropylene product proved capable of holding 10 pounds indefinitely at maximum extension.

My contributions

  • Collaborated with Reem on the concept.

  • Prototyping

  • Final CAD models for all parts

  • Engineering responsibility on all parts

  • Worked with Chinese manufacturers to make sure all parts were manufacturable and functioned correctly.

  • Packaging layout and die line

Results

The expanding bath tray was picked up by several retailers, and continues to be sold today.

It was also an IHA Global Innovation Award finalist for 2016!

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