This past week of working for Create & Innovate has been exciting in that we have finally reached the next step of our project- the design portion. We started off last week taking a short trip to different stores around our school to see if we can find similar products and/or tools that could eventually help us in the future making of our product and prototypes. We visited a decent variety of stores such as Target, Harbor Freight Tools, Dollar Tree, Savers, and Play it Again Sports (a secondhand sports store). We took a lot of time looking around sparking new ideas and getting a feel of what tools we could possibly use in the future. Although we couldn’t find anything genuinely similar to what we were looking for (seat belts), we looked at similar items that had straps or a strap (like a car seat for babies, or bag with adjustable straps). Fortunately enough Harbor Freight has tons of tools that would definitely be helpful in the making of our product (drill, screws, hammer, measuring tools etc.).
After this trip, we started to work on the design process. As a group we each sketched three possible design solutions for our problem (creating a seat belt that allows someone to lay down safely and comfortably), and then collaborated and shared each others design. I liked seeing what everyone else’s ideas were because it gave me ideas on how I could put all those great ideas into one. After sharing all our sketches, we all got a feel of how our product should look l ike and what the best design would be. We then went home and created one detailed sketch each of a design that we thought was best and shared again. After sharing, we filled out a decision matrix that helped us narrow down a final design based on our top customer needs. We ended up choosing Ryanne’s design, a blanket type cover that will secure anyone who is under it and that will hook onto the bottom of the seat. Of course we have a long way to go in terms of improvement and editing but I am glad that we finally have a base design that we can build off of. I am definitely looking forward to the next step of actually making a prototype (being the engineer of the group) and seeing how far we will go in our design and how successful we will be.