Refuelling Aid – Fill up hands free
To develop a product that assists people with the everyday task of refuelling their vehicle. The client had identified that stiff fuel triggers, poor hand mobility and cold weather made this straightforward task a problematic for many people.
Our client had already created some 3D printed proof of concept prototypes for a refuelling aid, but wanted to take the design to a point where it would be suitable for manufacture.
Duku carried out concept development work and proposed a dual material design for the refuelling aid. This consisted of a rigid plastic body to provide the required strength, and rubberised sections to provide grip and highlight functional areas. This combination created an strong aesthetic that added value to the design and allowed the product to be produced in a wide range of colourways. The dual material design also helped to add patentability to the design.
CAD was then undertaken to refine the aesthetic and functional aspects suggested in the concept development stage. This involved detailed design of the rubberised sections and the rigid plastic part to ensure a good bond at the injection moulding process, and neat seam lines. A 3D printed development prototype was then produced using a dual material printing process to give an initial indication as to how the proposed design would look and function.
Alongside the CAD and prototyping stage, Duku developed branding and packaging for the Pump Pal to build a coherent brand identity. The packaging focused on creating a cost effective solution that allowed the product to be displayed to its full potential. The finalised packaging design allowed the product to be held in place securely by the cardboard packaging folded around it. This allowed us to highlight the key functional aspects and the tactile dual materials of the product to consumers.
Following the review of the initial prototype, some minor changes were carried out on the CAD data, before a series of presentation prototypes were commissioned to display the product in a range of different colours. These presentation prototypes were created using a vaccum casting process that would mimic the overmoulding process suggested for manufacture. At this point, the branding was added to the product, ensuring that the prototypes were an accurate reflection of the proposed final manufactured item.
A patent, registered design and trademark were then filed by Albright IP, ensuring that Pump Pal had extensive protection in place with which to enter the market. Duku then created a detailed manufacturing specification so that accurate tooling and unit costs could be established. An interchangeable tooling insert was also specified at this stage, which would allow the refuelling aid to be branded with the logo of another company if required.
The Pump Pal is now available to buy online via the Pump Pal website. The product is being promoted around the UK and has recently been featured and recommended by numerous publications including AutoExpress magazine. Visit: www.pumppal.co.uk to find out more and buy now.