Company: Fortified Bicycle
Project Description: The Aviator and Afterburner are a family of bike lights designed with the urban cyclist in mind. The goal was to create a product that was not only highly functional, but that also looked like it belonged in the city. The high output LEDs are powered by a custom rechargeable battery that is accessible via a clever mechanical “trick” design. The light also includes theft-resistant features and the die-cast aluminum body is made to withstand the harshest urban environments.
Process: Working with industrial designers, electrical engineers and a lot of customer input, I brought a basic concept model to a fully designed and integrated product. Starting with simple FDM printed models and electronics breadboards, I iterated the design based on the requirements of both form and function. I then worked closely with manufacturing partners in China to create a mass production supply chain and a high quality consumer experience.
Challenges: The main design goal was for the bike lights to be “city proof”. This means that they will stand up to not only the harshest weather, but also the most determined thieves. The opposite side of that design coin was to make the product functional and user friendly. The largest challenges involved marrying aesthetics and ease of use with rugged, tough functional design. This project also had manufacturing challenges when the die cast aluminum factory was not able to achieve the tolerances that I had designed into the product. This was mitigated by engaging in a lot of troubleshooting with the manufacturing engineers in China.