Save-A-Joint Progress to Success – Jennifer M.

From taping cotton balls to a sock to sowing padding onto fabric and attaching a hard surface, we’ve truly built a stable design. We started out by brainstorming what materials would be best for protecting the joint as well as meet all of our customer and design needs. When we were assigned to build a prototype, at first we picked the materials that we thought were important, such as hard surfaces, thick padding and a stretchable fabric. We played around with our first prototype in order to see what worked and what didn’t. After testing it on one of our teammates, Stephanie, we discovered many flaws in our design and the lack of comfort/ stability. In order to further our research and investigations we were given the opportunity, as a class, to try each of our prototypes and give each other feedback on them.

We were open miIMG_4363nded about the project and after hearing what our classmates had to say, it really gave us a better look on how people responded differently on our prototype. We were given feedback such as “change the fabric of the sleeve so it’ll make it easier for it to fit” “provide more padding in between spaces” “Pay closer attention to the details” etc. The sleeve overall affects the movement of the elbow overall and has to be made in order to fit a wide arrange of sizes. If the plastic covers a wide area of the elbow, it’ll lead to movement restriction and discomfort. We found that it was better if we separated the hard plastic and put thick padding in between them so it will increase stability as well as help players move more as they’re playing. Another thing we noticed was how the hole in the middle of our sleeve. While it helped with ventilating the muscle and keep the device from smelling/tearing it took a lot away from the design itself. Rather than being on the sleeve, a better option would be to attach hard plastic on critical areas around the elbow (such as the humerus, radius and ulna) and make holes in them. This way the design will be easier to put on and prevent injuries as well as the device from rotting/tearing. Reading book on the anatomy of the elbow helped us see the muscles that stretched and how we should be designing the device based on the flexion and extension in order to give the player more freedom while providing comfort.

IMG_0713After building an entirely different prototype form scratch and putting our design through various tests such as slamming it against the table and comparing it to our reference product we’ve began to make improvements based on the feedback and differences between current products and ours. We’ve began to sow materials such as cotton, polyester/cotton fabric onto the sock in order to provide stability and more protectiveness according to our customers/interviews. We made it bigger where the elbow area is except instead of a hard shell making it uncomfortable, we’ll replace it with thick padding in order to make the blow less hard.

Thanks to our project manager, our class got the opportunity to interview professional roller derby players, (Bullet and Grit) and how they saw safety gear played a valuable role in their bodies. When asked about elbow injuries they mentioned that smaller pads are less effective, falling back would cause many injuries “It felt like there was nothing between me and the concrete”. They talked about how bigger pads are more reliable because they can protect the elbow more, it’s all about “Can your skater trust that design to do what it’s meant to do”. There can be equipment that’s inexpensive but not effective, therefore people are willing to spend money on equipment that protects their body and prevents further injuries.

We hope that in the next few classes that we have to perfect our prototypes, the materials selected for our design will meet our customer needs and be a reliable product for skaters. Testing and sharing our prototype with our classmates helped open our brains to new ideas and possible innovations to our current product in order to make it successful/ improve it the best possible way we can. Along the way we’ll experience trial and error, but it’s what makes the experience fun and worth it.



5 thoughts on “Save-A-Joint Progress to Success – Jennifer M.

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  1. I enjoyed reading your thoughts and explaining the different steps you guys took as a team. I feel like you did a good job explaining the different thoughts that were going through your head while going through the stages of completing your different prototypes. You’re also very open minded with change and trying new possibilities in which I feel this will help your final product be very successful. Although I enjoyed seeing the visuals, I would say you should say what is going on in the photos… But other than that, I enjoyed reading your post!-DimaniqueHenderson

  2. I really like how you described your first design as well as explaining all of the changes that you have made or that you’ll are planing to make to your design. I also liked how you mentioned the feedback that was given during class abut our designs because I think that, that is a very important step in our process to improvement. -Diana Garcia

  3. I really enjoyed reading your blog post. I like how you described where your design started and how much you’ve progressed now. I also liked how you included to have an open mind about the criticism you got from other classmates. Your pictures and your description of your posses really give me a sense of what your group is doing. Your prototype looks like its coming along really well. Good job!- Julia Mendoza

  4. I really liked how you added the feedback that other people from your class had given to you and your group. I also liked how you started from where you started which was from making your first prototype going to where you are today in your making of your new prototype. Your pictures really helped because if I was a stranger who was not in your class then I would be confused in picturing your prototype. Overall, great job and can’t wait to see how cool your prototype turns out to be! -Araceli Rodriguez

  5. Jennifer, I really enjoyed reading your blog post and how you described the journey that your team has been through so far. You have really used the resources that you have and have applied your customer needs very well onto your device. Good job!

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