Design and development of an assisted eating platform
Pioneering innovate solutions
Project 5 are a start-up company with a strong focus on developing products to provide innovative solutions that can help elderly and those with disabilities live independently and overcome challenges in their lives by pioneering innovate solutions to make everyday tools more accessible.
Innovation Voucher Programme
The problem is simply the challenge of feeding yourself with limited hand dexterity. Project 5 came to CISD, after completing background research, they decided to develop a product to enable and encourage people to feed themselves at breakfast, a boiled egg and toast.
From observing people with reduced mobility and range of motion complete the task unassisted, caused pain and frustration often ending in mess. The team quickly recognised a solution to this everyday problem:
- By incorporating an egg cup onto a plate created a stable platform. In eﬀorts to stop the user knocking the egg cup and egg over.
- Creating a wider and deeper egg cup for secured grip on the egg to reduce the chances of knocking the egg out of the egg cup.
- Positioning toast upwards oppose to lying ﬂat to minimise the dexterity needed in the wrist.
“The equipment and expertise in product development and design available to us at CISD enabled us to develop and reﬁne our concept and produce an innovative manufacturable product.”Denise Macgiollari
The Project 5 & APT/CISD Technology Gateway partnership
Project 5 came to CISD with a small prototype to help explained their product. After 2 brief meetings between CISD and Project 5 the objectives of the product where clearly outlined. CISD is the Industrial service and design section within APT Technology Gateway.
Voucher 1 Research: From here, CISD applied a user-cantered design approach to help identify any hidden needs or constraints of the user. After the project was discussed with an occupational therapist the following was recognised: A. Additional height would beneﬁt the user. B. The target users respond better to bright colours. C. This product would also be ideal for young Children.
Concept Generation: After the initial research stage concepts where generated in sketches and later transferred to CAD renders. At this point CISD discussed with project 5 what quantities they would expect to manufacture in year 1, 2 and 3. Initially project 5 wanted to create between 500 – 1000 parts in year one, with the intention to give away some of their product as samples and help establish their brand identity. CISD recommended vacuum forming the product for year 1 to help keep tooling cost low and moving to injection moulding in year 2/3 when demand for the product increases.
Prototypes: After sending CAD rendered concepts to Project 5, they selected 3 concepts they wanted to see prototyped to help them decide on a ﬁnal product. CISD 3D printed, hand ﬁnished and painted 3 prototypes.
Voucher 2 Process: For the next stage Project 5 wanted to ﬁnalise their concepts down to one product. Then make prototypes to hand out and test on the market before doing full production run. The ﬁnal stage was to link Project 5 to a suitable manufacturing company in Ireland to make their product. Reﬁnement: Project 5 had time to review the prototypes, test them and garner feedback. This helped the team decide on a prototype to bring to production. With some minor tweaks for the ﬁnal product, completed in CAD, an SLA prototype was produced for Project 5 to sign oﬀ on. Project 5 where happy to sign oﬀ on the reﬁned SLA prototype. Options for a small production run where discussed and it was decided to manufacture an SLA tool. This allowed Project 5 to de risk the tool and the product before investing tooling prior to a full scale production run. CISD 3D printed an SLA tool in house over night and recommend and supply a suitable material – 2mm HIPS, as it is food safe, robust and comes in a variety of colours. Initially some webbing occurred but CISD where able to quickly identify the problem, recognise why it was happening, 3D print a plug assist overnight and the problem was ﬁxed using the plug assist to produce perfect parts the next day. This step allowed CISD to change the CAD so in production a plug assist would not be needed keeping start-up costs low for Projects 5.
By levering CISD expertise in product design, product development, design for manufacture and polymer materials. Project 5 were able to develop an innovative assisted living product working closely with CISD going through a full product design process, from concept generation to production.
They are also considering further collaboration work with CISD and the wider network as a result of their initial interactions with CISD.