How does a personal trainer take his idea for a fitness device and turn it into a real product? Charlottesville-based Versatile Innovations approached SPARK with a rough proof-of-concept model for a new personal fitness product that could accommodate both hand and foot grips for everything from push-ups to stretching and leg exercises.
With a clear understanding of their needs, SPARK was able to thoroughly explore industrial design, mechanical development, and DFMA to bring the XDrifft to life in a functional, but eye-catching form.
“The XDrifft is a safer product for our athletes because there is no impact on their joints and it allows them to work in a full range of motion.”
(Virginia Tech, Head Athletic Trainer)
Industrial design concepts not only explored aesthetics, but parts break-up and assembly approaches as well to assure the end product could be mass produced cost effectively.
Understanding that both form and function are vital to success in this product space, SPARK took the proof-of-concept model and began ideating on a variety of approaches. SPARK’s industrial design team produced concept sketches to quickly communicate ideas to the client and help define a design direction early on.
Significant client collaboration occurred throughout this stage to maintain their vision and functional criteria, and all concepts were generated with end usability and manufacturability in mind..
Creating a device that was not only functional, but also comfortable for both hand and foot grips involved several iterations of conceptualization and prototyping. The end result was a handled device which spins on it’s base and “drifts” across the floor to allow for dynamic exercises with minimal impact on the user’s joints.
The reversible handle is over-molded with elastomeric material that provides a cushioned grip for every exercise created by the client. It is secured with an innovative latching system that provides tactile feedback to the user for an obvious, secure attachment with the strength to support up to 300 lbs of weight.
SAVINGS BY DESIGN
SPARK’s expertise in plastics design allowed for the XDrifft’s heavy-duty handle to be made entirely of over-molded structural foam plastic. The bottom gliding surface was designed with a low-friction polymer to allow for easy of movement on most floor surfaces.
Without the need for metals, SPARK was able to save money in tooling and part cost, while still delivering a functional and attractive product that allows home users and athletes alike to train hard while still protection their joints.