The RunnerPro team has been hard at work the last couple of weeks creating our prototype. We are currently working on our 3rd prototype and it has definitely been a challenge for the entire team. It wasn’t until we started working on this prototype that we realized that we all had different ideas for what the final design would look like. That’s when I realized how important communication is in a group project. Because we all had different ideas, we finally sat down together and drew out a final design that we would end up building. Doing this step was so helpful because we were able to collaborate our ideas together and we were also able to help each other problem solve the different faults of each of our knee brace designs.
So far the hardest part of this whole process has been building the prototype. This project is so unlike anything we have ever done before and the entire process of building a joint protection device is really new to the RunnerPro group. In order to build the device we had to go through different trainings. My fellow member Diamond and I both learned how to sew so that we could construct a better prototype and the other two members of our group, Dimanique and Viviana, learned how to 3D print. So far we haven’t used 3D printing, but sewing has become a major part of constructing the prototype and we have learned that Viviana is the best sewer/sewist in the group.
Problem solving has also been another huge part of the design process for the RunnerPro group. Every time we go and work on out knee brace we run into some type of problem that we have to solve. Lately all of our problems have been focused around the hinges that we plan to incorporate into our design. The hinges are a great way to support and stabilize the knee joint, and to make our knee brace unique we plan to make the hinges removable and also combine them with a compression sleeve instead of the standard hard hinge knee
brace. Before we started ordering materials my group and I assumed that we could just order knee brace hinges online, but after many hours of searching we learned that hinges for knee braces are not easy to come by. This served as a problem for our design because my group and I are relying on the hinges to stabilize the knee, so we have had to brainstorm possible alternate solutions. Because two of our group members are trained in 3D printing we thought of making hinges that way, but we have settled on the idea of just building our own. We don’t really know that materials we plan to use yet, but making hinges is now at the top of the RunnerPro to do list!
Overall I would say that we have a strong idea for what we want our product to be, it’s just the matter of getting the ideas off of paper and actually making it.