Every prototyping project comes with unique challenges. This particular project involved designing and forming a free standing baseball mound and a catcher capable of holding the mound securely as both a raised baseball mound and a flat softball or soccer surface. The catcher had to be able to live within the field permanently, meaning that both it and the mound had to be weather durable. This created all kinds of requirements the had to be met from an engineering and manufacturing perspective.
From a design standpoint we worked with our client to come up with a system that could live within the field, but which could also convert from one playing surface the other easily and quickly. Because the whole idea of the system is that it can convert from baseball to soccer by simply being flipped over, some of the design considerations were the weight of the product, its stability, its durability, and its ability to drain in an outside field.
Once the designs were finalized we began the prototype building process. The size of the component parts was considerable. The molds we made stretched us to the limits of our capabilities with our largest oven set up. The sheets of plastic needed were incredibly heavy, causing us to look for new ways to load plastic into the frame to be formed.
At each step of the prototyping process we had to find creative ways to address and meet those different challenges. It was a long time in development, but very exciting when we finally had the first part made and ready to be sent out into the world.