The final prototype is complete! SEAS is really excited to have a model of our intended end product. Our current insole is finished and currently drying in the classroom. In addition to the supportive arch and raised heel, we added another strip of the wave gel (cut out from the Dr. Scholl’s insole) to the region of the insert where the ball of the foot and toes will go. This way, the user’s feet will be comfortable in all areas, and not just the heel.
Prototyping was a great learning experience because we were able to analyze what methods worked and didn’t work. For example, the rubber cement dried very hard. This is counter productive because it will make the shoe insert stiffer, hence less comfortable. Since our goal is support and comfort for women who are constantly on their feet, a flexible shoe insert is ideal. Stephanie and I experimented with the 3M adhesive spray Ms. Miesner found for us. Either we were not using it correctly (although we did follow the directions), or the spray does not adhere gel-like plastics together. The waves in the gel also pose a problem because the glue would get stuck in the crevices, and this would limit the fluidity and flexibility of the gel, hindering the amount of comfort it could provide. SEAS will be on the hunt for an adhesive product or method that not only works well, but also won’t cause the insole to stiffen.
Another problem we noticed is the size of the insole, both in length and width. At the beginning of last class, we attempted to fit the insole into Stephanie’s TOM shoe. We managed to fit it into the shoe, but it was a tight squeeze. Now we know that insoles must be very close to the size of the user. Stephanie tried fitting her foot into her shoe with the insole inside. We discovered that not only was the insole too long, but it was also too thick. We speculate that the yoga mat were half of its current thickness, it would be just right.
Tomorrow is our last Biomedical Design and Entrepreneurship class of 2014! It’s crazy how quickly this semester has flown by. Tomorrow SEAS will focus on the presentation which will be delivered on the day of the final (12/17). The presentation is ten minutes and during that time we will discuss our design process, our research, prototype, and ideas we plan to implement in our design for next semester.
Happy Holidays WordPress-ers and see you next year!