All About Foam Shopping- Zabdi S.

Perfect foam for our neck pillow!
Perfect foam for our neck pillow!

Vertabend is now in the designing and making process of our innovated neck pillow idea. Currently, my engineering teammates are focusing on creating a 3D model of our neck pillow design. Zane and I are focusing on researching where we can get all of our materials. Our group has filled out order forms of every material that we need to purchase for the actual design. In this blog post, I will focus on the research made for looking at different types of foams as well as which items we decided to order for our neck pillow.

Our team made a list of the materials that we believed were necessary to purchase before we began researching. At first we thought of finding types of memory foam, but our team decided that it was too expensive for making our first prototype. Thus we decided to focus on polyurethane foam since it was the best quality foam for a cheap price, and it is also a high density material that can hold a shape. For our prototype, we decided that we needed a large block of soft polyurethane foam and another much more firm polyurethane foam. These blocks needed to be thick of about 4in and close to the size of a normal pillow such as around 22in by 20in. We also planned on finding types of foam rolls for the neck rest as well as any soft pillow coverings. These brainstormed items helped us guide our research.

Original Photograph of Materials To Order Document Research List
Original Photograph of Materials To Order Document Research List

During the commencing stages of our research, I mostly focused on researching all the types of foam that Hancock Fabrics offered. Our team had already visited the store previously, and we had found many promising and useful materials for our neck pillow. I still tried to look at what other companies had to offer such as Capital City Upholstery which had a catalog online on the types of foam they carried. Unfortunately most of the foams that they carried were too firm or heavy since they served mostly as mattress toppers, seat and back cushions, and office furniture. The catalog also did not provide any pricing information since one needed to go to the store to see the prices. Another downside is that this is not a store that our school is partnered with, thus leading to more difficulties. I also browsed through other websites such as Foam Factory, yet I realized that they could only mail you items. They had good types of soft foam such as the Shredded Conventional Foam Pillow for $13.99 and Shredded Memory Foam Pillow for $26.99. These were relatively good prices, but I thought that the process for purchase might be too risky as many things can go wrong through mailed shipments. Home Depot also offered many different types of foam rolls which were promising in order to create the curved bump where the neck would rest. There were two flexible types of foam such as a 3in multipurpose white foam for $25.00 and a specific 5in by 19in blue cervical foam roll for $14.99. These were made out of good quality polyurethane foam which was also a great plus.

Possible foam for neck support.
Possible foam for neck support.

Ultimately I returned back to Hancock Fabrics, and my team concluded that this was the best store to purchase our items due to the fact that it was close to our school and they offered the best foam at good prices. Our team chose a 4in blue polyurethane Cushion Foam (22inx22in) block that the store offered for $22.19. This block of foam can be easily manipulated to the shape of our prototype, and it is just the right size. We had also decided to purchase a soft 1 yard fabric to cover the pillow at Hancock Fabrics. We found that Home Depot offered the best price for a quality blue foam roll for $14.99. We placed three different orders for each item, and our team is now waiting for all of these items to be delivered. We found all of these items at great prices that we even have more money to spare. Overall, we are now anxious and excited to get our hands on these materials and to begin the building process.

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