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My time at Speck Products

My six-month Co-op at Speck led to new products released to market, and a patent under my name.

Background

For my second Co-op, I went to the SF/Bay Area to join the Speck team
DATE July 10, 2018
SKILLS Product Design, CAD (Creo Parametric), Surface Modeling, sketching, sourcing, talking to vendors, testing
STATE Graduated from Speck
huawei1
case-e
speck-grabtab

Developing a new product from scratch

I worked directly with an industrial designer creating a new product starting from brainstorming until near market release. We sketched ideas about what the product should do, what it should look like, how big it should be, and then we began creating prototypes using a 3D printer. I created about a dozen prototypes with novel mechanical features. I also ordered over a dozen items from our competitors to sacrifice them. We iterated on our designs and as we continued the development process. We gained additional constraints from marketing and feedback from the brainstorms we held. We worked with the legal team to see if our product infringed on any patents. I prepared presentations and documents to send off to the legal team to make their lives easier. I also participated in naming sessions to figure out what the product would be called!

Case-E

I breathed engineering into the Case-E design. I cut manufacturing costs down by reducing material usage while mitigating aesthic reprecussions. Also, I worked directly with the lead industrial designer behind this project engineering the arms to make sure they passed regulations for child-safety testing. Oh—and I got my name on a patent!

Adhesives project

Another major project I held was figuring out the best adhesive to use for the GrabTab. I came into the project with very few constraints and desired criteria which meant I had to create and quantify them. I pulled in a lot of information I gained from my final project in my ME4505 class (Mechanical Design). I worked with a senior engineer and we came up with desired qualities: strength, resuability, and minimal-residue. Then we talked to many vendors to source a large array of adhesives. We created test fixtures to consistently benchmark each adhesive in a controlled manner and narrowed down the list. Then I talked to many more vendors, and even some of them face-to-face in the office. I looked through dozens of spec-sheets, ran through rounds of environment testing, and we found our grail adhesive. This adhesive had the specs that we wanted, plus more. It is currently being used for the GrabTab and it will be used for future projects.

There was lots of CAD

I learned the ins and out of Creo and surface modeling. I created two phone cases for a Huawei and Google phone. Making CAD for these phones was a labor-intensive process as I had to start from scratch and create a clean, organized, and logical tree of steps. I worked with industrial designers to check my surfaces and curves ensuring they look aesthetic. I designed the inside surfaces with manufacturability in mind so I mitigated undercuts as much as possible in areas such as port holes. I constantly used curve analysis and surface analysis tools to double check continuity and cleanliness. I also used the draft analysis tool to make sure when the mold parts, nothing would get snagged and ruin the part.