Freebowler had created an initial prototype, a video of which can be found below, and wanted to make a market-ready product. I was selected as the product designer for a period of six months to work on this project, with a target of delivering a design that could be used for low-volume manufacturing.
My role in this project was that of the product designer. I was responsible for improving the user experience of the machine, the manufacturability of the device in low volume manufacturing facilities and its assembly.
I was able to achieve this by performing three design iterations, improving the product through each one. I developed the CAD models and aided in the manufacturing of the prototypes, translating the software model into a hardware setup that I used to test various hypotheses and materials used in the design. Simulating the ball throwing motion was not possible, due to the instantaneous nature of the action and the non-linear nature of the springs used to store the energy.
I interacted with the client, FreeBowler LLC, to translate their subjective requirements into objective parameters which could be then used to make the CAD model. I also aided in the testing of the prototype in local cricket grounds, gaining first-hand knowledge of the defects in the design.
As can be seen in the above video, the design provided by me was implemented with minimal changes to accommodate manufacturing limitations and challenges, and is now being sold by Freebowler LLC.
This project provided me with invaluable experience in working for a design firm in the capacity of a product designer, interacting with clients and understanding their needs and those of the ultimate user of the product. I was able to learn how to translate the voice of the customer into achievable product parameters and then design the required product.