So far, The Knee Team has made amazing progress on coming up with a suitable design for the knee joint that protects the knee, but yet also allows movement. I know that my team and I can all agree that after designing our first prototype for a roller derby knee brace in class today, that it was stressful, but well worth the effort. Now my team and I know what to do to go in the right direction and get closer to our goals.
When designing a knee brace, it is critical to know all the ligaments, tendons, cartilage and muscles that attribute to the knee joint. in order to build a proper working knee joint, Ligament injuries are one of the most devastating injuries any sports player can have in their knees, especially roller derby players. The knee is the largest joint in the body, so it is important that ligaments are protected, as well as the tendons, bones, cartilage and muscles in the knee joint. These we all things that The Knee Team heavily considered when designing our first prototype.
The Knee Team wanted to make sure that our prototype did not limit movement, but yet also protected the knee at the same time. After thinking for a while, we came up with a design. The design would include two pieces, a “sleeve” that would go over the knee going, and an actual knee pad that would go over it, and have straps that wrap around the leg to keep it there.
As you can see above, out team decided to go with some simple, yet partly unsual materials for our prototype. We decided to use a sock and cut it up for the sleeve part, and use cotton for the padding that would go in the knee pad. We used clay to mock that the top of the knee pad would be hard, yet it would be soft below it, with padding. The padding (cotton balls) was stuffed into a little pouch that we made out of some simple white fabric. Of course we had to make it pretty so we picked out some lace and a star that we could put on it. For the straps we used simple white bias fabric tape.
We had some hard times while making the prototype, like not being able to get the bias fabric tape to stick, and needing to use real tape. But throughout the 90 minute class, we figured out how to make our prototype successfully, and my team and I were pretty proud of our creation!
As you can see, the design is a pretty big work in progress and we know we need to figure out some more things, like getting the knee pad to not move around and actually stay on the knee. But at least we know that today we made some good progress, and we know what we need to fix for the second prototype!