i4pd was approached by epipole as a potential industrial design consultancy since they had been aware of the team's extensive experience designing ophthalmic devices. Once contracted, the two development teams (epipole and i4pd) set-off at a pace, each working to their strengths to achieved the shared vision of a next generation handheld video ophthalmoscope.
epipole had previously developed the epiCam C product but were keen to add new features to the device as it had been in the market for a few years. At the same time there was an aspiration to elevate the products look and feel to become class leading. epipole brought their expertise in optics and image processing to the project and brought in i4pd's complementary industrial design expertise. This included ergonomics, product styling, CAD ‘A’ Surface model creation and design for injection moulded plastic components.
The project started with the usual focus on product architecture. Due to the short timeline this meant i4pd would be working from the outside in whilst epipole would be simultaneously working form the inside out. This only worked because the teams were in constant communication, and had the same focus: a compact, ergonomic to hold and operate design, including consideration of the weight distribution, and where the optical design and associated motors would be optimally positioned. Card and 3D printed models allowed the teams to check that the product handling and spatial envelope were developing in the right direction, with good access to the eye and avoiding clashes with the patients nose.
“i4PD delivered a high class, modern design with some truly top-notch CAD skills. Throughout the project they were prompt, easy to deal with, truly collaborative and, potentially most importantly, they delivered everything on time and exactly as needed. Highly recommended.”
Charlie Wardrop, Product Manager.
As the configuration developed, i4pd’s industrial design team created alternative design aesthetics – there was a strong desire for a ‘wow’ factor to stand out in a busy market – and first pass casing split, where the injection mould tooling would avoid complex sliding cores.
As the concept gelled, i4pd created the outer skin or ‘A’ Surface and, after a final 3D print the CAD shell, split to form the required casing parts with a few internal details, was passed to the epipole team to complete.
Having defined the form of the camera, i4pd were then able to work in parallel with epipole, and we finalised the design of the table top Docking Station – from ‘A’ surface to detail design.
Completed within the tight timeline, the i4pd team released the shelled 'A' surface of the camera and fully detailed cradle to epipole's in-house engineer to continue the detailing and support the product's introduction to manufacture. The product has been well received since its launch and attracted extensive coverage at the annual American Optometric Association (AOA) congress.
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