Product Development Cycle

Air Rider Project

Osprey Limited are typically involved in early concept development and with manufacturing experience can contribute to the holistic development of a new product, this contribution will save considerable time and money. Below is detailed a typical project cycle:

The Air Rider project was a really exciting development for us. The client came to us with a novel and interesting concept, ‘a cylinder vacuum cleaner that will float on a cushion of air making the unit itself effectively weightless and therefore easy to use’. The system works by drawing air through the vacuum hose, filtering out any dust particles and then exhausting the used air through the base, as this air escapes from the base it generates sufficient lift to create clearance between the base and any even surface.

The concept of a vacuum cleaner has been around for decades and has been universally accepted so we knew we would be able to make a real statement with the design without scaring off the potential end users, this needed to be a ‘look at me’ product, it needed to reach out from the shelf and say ‘I’m different’.

In this case the first stage of the design process was to take the client to car showrooms and the high street to have a look at attractive design features on other products from cars to espresso machines. From this we went from the drawing board and tried some different things to see what features would work well together, it wasn’t long before we all agreed that we had the shape for the new ‘Air Rider’.

Over the course of the next three months eighteen components were modeled in detail, everything from switches to filters to cable rewind mechanisms were created in 3D space and fitted to the overall assembly.

It was time to bring the Air Rider to life, we needed to do life tests to find out which motor and air flow unit would be required, we needed to know how the base plate with specially designed airflow ducts and recesses was going to perform, it was time for prototypes.

We manufactured FDM Models for all components, the build went well allowing assembly of the first Air Rider. The second option of three months and airflow units proved to be a successful combination as the Air Rider powered up, left contact with the ground and started to move backwards gently.

Once we were absolutely sure that all components fitted perfectly together we started the twelve week tool build project. After all tools had been built we had injection moulded components finished in a high gloss polish. Now it was just a case of assembly box and distribute.

Osprey Limited has helped many successful development projects reach their markets. We take a holistic approach to the success of all the projects that we are involved with.