Prototyping, Prototyping, and More Prototyping – Sara E.

Backwards In High Heels has finally made it to the prototyping stage! This has been the stage everyone has been anticipating, but may prove to be the most challenging. Looking back and reflecting on the past few months, we can see that the “imagine” and “tool up” stages have come to a successful end. During the imagine stage we were able to select a problem, brainstorm, and come up with our company plan through the completion of a memorandum. The most recent stage completed was the tool up stage which was where we researched not only patents through prior art, but narrowed down our selection with the use of a decision matrix. Now that our final design has been selected we will further embark onto the “make” stage. During this step of designing, we will order materials, build our prototype, test it, and analyze the results. Once this stage is complete we will get to move onto the “improve” stage, which will require a second ordering of materials and most likely a handful of changes to the constructed prototype.

We have just sent in our first set of orders for our prototype, which included gel bra cups and museum putty. We plan on using the gel cups as the massaging gel that will be located where the ball of the foot rests. The museum putty we will be using as a way to keep together the gel, the foam and the leather material. Our goal is to order the leather in the next round because we feel like it is necessary to go visit actual stores to find the specific type of leather we will need rather than trust simply online shopping. Also we have lucked out and found a website of a corporation called Faytex, in which sells fabrics and materials that are used in shoe insoles. We have contacted them by sending a message asking for samples of various types of materials we believe will work best for the location of the heel. Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 7.08.15 PM

 Faytex website offers many different fabrics that can be used for all types of purposes, such as shoe insoles.

(http://www.faytex.com/index.html)

Overall this stage has left us to take charge and become more independent. We have been given a very loose schedule, with many workdays. Usually our days are planned by the hour, but now we are simply given deadlines. I prefer this method, since we get to control our own schedules and there are more opportunities for team meetings to make sure we are all on the same page and on track for success. With this independence comes great responsibility and it is a necessity to have great time management. Just like an old friend has advised me, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” So far our biomedical team of two has gained great amounts of new information about how the foot is affected by terrible heel designs, while our engineering dynamic duo has made great progress with the three dimensional model using an old friend, AutoCad.

Backwards In High Heels will continue our journey and within the next couple of weeks we will have a functioning prototype in our hands. If there are any questions about the design process or the making of our prototype please feel free to comment!

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 12.03.33 PM

Backwards In High Heels final logo.

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