In Disc-Located, we have made a lot of suggestions and improvements that will benefit not only our product but our customers as well. We are now getting to our testing stage and this is where our team really started to think about how the device will benefit our customers and how it will stand against heavy weight and temperatures. We noticed that our first prototype was nowhere near ready to be tested because it didn’t have the proper requirements such as the right material we needed, the weight and overall measurements of the size of the device (see figure 1).
Something that helped us get a better idea of what we needed to focus on was having an interview with professional roller derby players named Grit and Cristina. Some questions that our team asked was do your shoulders ever get injured? The response that we got from Cristina was “Shoulders do often get hit. Blocking to the back is a penalty and it’s when a opponent is hit in the back, back of the legs or buttocks.” Another question that was asked was what ways do you fall to protect yourself? The response that we got from Grit was “You mostly just don”t wanna fall big because it’s a penalty, it can cause others to fall and hurt themselves. Usually try to roll to protect your shoulder and sometimes hitting your elbow hurts your shoulder so you have to move your arm in a certain way.” The last question that helped us focus on material basis was what are your needs when dealing with equipment? The response that we received from Cristina was “I don’t like when my material makes me really sweaty, but I like when you are able to move around in it (be comfortable & be flexible) and I want it to be able to hold onto the area that is being protected. Look for plastic that sticks to body when sweating and keeps sleeve on together. No straps the Velcro wears out or strap elastic gets worn to the point where it is not tight.”
Since we are in the testing phase, we wanted to make sure that we had all the right materials ready to be purchased for our device and when doing this, our idea changed for our overall design and prototype. (See figure 2).
There will be two parts to the Shoulder-Bra Protector design: The sports bra itself and the shoulder pads. For the sports bra, the outer shell will be made out of a hard plastic (that is usually used in football jerseys) so that it can withstand heavy forces. For the middle layer of our design we wanted to use a poly-cotton blend fabric and we choose this material because it is breathable, tear resistant and very durable and is very comfortable even when dealing with hot temperatures and roller derby players tend to sweat a lot and let off a lot of heat. For the shoulder pads, we have a new idea that changed from our original. Our shoulder pads were 3D printed and are designed to roll over the entire shoulder to protect the whole shoulder.
With the group in general, each member has been giving their best effort. Me and Jenie have recently mastered in the sewing and hope to start sewing as soon as we get our requested materials. Ishajanek has mastered in the skills of 3D printing and has been doing an excellent job at keeping the group on task and playing her role as the team leader. I believe that our group succeeds the most when roles are split and we each have a different section to work on because we focus more when we have to finish a task on our own.
It’s noticeable your team is really paying attention to detail and really are designing for the customers best interest. – Cynthia R.