Focused relief from lower back pain
Develop a product to help users recover from back pain using rotational movement to stretch joints and alleviate pressure in the lower back. A design was required that provided support, comfort and the desired rotation necessary to provide the required mobility.
The BacRac project started with a proof of concept prototype providing the basis from which to work. The client had spent considerable time evaluating the requirements for support and rotation in the product, which provided a solid foundation from which to work. Concept development work was carried out to explore the functionality, assembly and aesthetics of the product. The aim was to create a design that provided support whilst providing a range of movement to allow optimal rotation. With this in mind, the product was designed to contain a series of different sized support ribs that would allow it to comfortably support the user in the required manner. Suitable materials were evaluated and an organic aesthetic was suggested which created a visual link with the human spine. 3D CAD was used to develop the size and shape of the ribs before initial CNC machined prototypes were created which allowed the client to test the shape, size, strength and arrangement of the support ribs. The analysis of the initial prototype provided valuable data that could then be used to shape the design moving forwards. Further CAD work and prototypes then focused on improving the strength of the design in certain areas and ensuring that the design could be reproduced cost effectively. An integrated EVA foam support pad was introduced into the design, to provide additional comfort for users on the main contact points of the ribs. The final product geometry required 3 different sized ribs, and the challenge here was to create a common part that could be used on each of the ribs. Finally an additional support pad was created to provide additional cushioning under the pelvis. Duku carried out a production quotation stage and selected manufacturing partners to provide competitive tooling and unit costs for the product, as well as designing product packaging for the final product. Once the final design had been approved, and a manufacturer selected, a final prototype was created, this time by the manufacturer. This allowed them to test the tooling strategy that was to be used for moulding the foam support pads.
The prototypes and design work was used to create a promotional video enabling the client to raise funding for the production tooling for BacRac via a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. The product successfully raised £20,000, and as a result is currently available to buy online at www.bacrac.co.uk