Our team has been doing an excellent job staying on task and working together. We have been trying to develop a better brainstorming process due to the fact that our product was something we talked more about instead of actually planning a design. As a team we’ve noticed we need to try and pay more attention to the fact that our product will be made for roller derby, because we’ve been researching information on how to prevent shoulder injuries but not how shoulder injuries happen in roller derby besides falling.
As mentioned before the brainstorming process was something we had to work on so our initial design The Protective Tank Top was not the design we decided to make as a prototype. The Protective Tank Top is a tank top that would be aligned with padding to protect the shoulder, back and chest. The idea for making a tank top came from researching the gear that roller derby players wear, and we noticed that most of the players play in a tank top,without any shoulder protection. This then caused us to think about how our product could be used for more than just protection/ preventing injuries but as something the players wore during practices.
So we came to the conclusion of not only protecting the shoulder, but the back and chest as well because we want all articulating bones to the shoulder joint to be protected. The clavicle is the closest bone in the chest area that can be affected and the scapula is located on the upper right side of the spine, which can also be affected with heavy force. The humerus would be protected by having padding by the shoulder so that the joint does not become injured. We wanted to use a hard, but not too hard padding that would be sewed into the shirt so that it would be comfortable, have ventilation and allows movement of the shoulders. We also wanted to use Lycra for the clothing material because this type of material is used in sportswear, is very stretchable, resistant to detergents, lotions and sweat, stronger and more durable than natural rubber and includes cotton, silk, and synthetic fibers. The type of padding that we wanted to use was Anti-Static Polyethylene Foam because it dampens the effect of vibration, is an absorbing product and is very strong and resilient.
When entering the making of the prototype phase, we became aware of the complications that came with building our product. We realized that we had to think about how the padding was going to be sewed into the clothing and how that was going to affect the bones, muscle and tissues underneath the device. So we decided to break down the device into something that is simple, but more useful to what we are actually protecting.
For our prototype, we decided to create a device similar to a sports bra that has the right padding to protect the articulation bones and to have attachable shoulder pads that attach to the sports bra when playing roller derby to protect the shoulder joint.
To create our prototype we used a variety of materials such as cotton balls, type of plastic paper, a cut out t-shirt, safety masks and staples. The cotton balls were used as a padding material that was in between the plastic paper, which was used as a layer to hold together the padding, the cut out t-shirt was cut out in the shape of a sports bra and is used as the top layer of the prototype, the safety masks represent detachable shoulder pads to protect the shoulder joints and the staples were used to place everything in place.