My group is called The Knee Team, and our goal this semester is to create a joint protection device for the knee. So far my group has been satisfactory in the construction and design in our model. I think that one thing that still needs a lot of work is our communication skills. We all have our own ideas, but we find it difficult to discuss them with each and agree on one solution.
During our joint model design we researched and found a knee protection device already on the market. We found one that claimed to protect the knee from incoming force. After wearing it for a day I found a number of things that made both the product beneficial and also possibly harmful. Overall the productive was uncomfortable and either fit too loosely or was too tight. It did not support the knee and whenever the knee was bent a large part was left exposed. It was not designed for every situation imaginable. One good thing that I noticed was that the device seemed to be made of durable material. It was all one color, blended in well and didn’t stand out considerably.
This process along with our customer interviews helped me to start formatting our five customer needs.
When we were planning out the design for our knee joint model, we found it challenging to come up with an idea on what materials would be used to make the bones and accurately portray the joint type the hinge.
Once we were able to establish a clear picture of what our model should look like we then needed to use materials provided by Ms. Miesner and the maker space. For the epiphysis curvature we used the white clay; once we molded it we left it out overnight to harden. For the bone of the femur, tibia and fibula we used pieces of wood found in the Makerspace. To make sure our model was accurate we measured the leg on the model in the classroom and cut it accordingly. To represent the muscle we used pieces of car tire and to represent the different tendons we used different colors of pipe cleaners. To create the cartilage between the hinge we rolled up pieces of clay and wrapped it in plastic wrap to give it that shiny look. To connect the femur to the tibia and allow the joint to move we used pipe cleaners to represent the ACL and PCL.
What I’ve learned from this experience is that sometimes it’s easier to understand an idea in one’s own head rather than getting your point across to a group of people. So that is something that I plan to bring up to my group in our next meeting. While we still need work on communication with one another, now I realize that we need to work harder as a group in finding ways to clearly present our designs to a panel of people. I think that thickening our biomedical and market research as well as having a broader range of customer interviews would benefit our group greatly.