Santa can bring you a new way to shovel snow off the walks - from your living room! Collaborating with the Design 1st team, a Toronto Inventor has been busy creating a new product for the northern markets where an aging population will experience more back injuries by snow shovelling walks and driveways.
Introducing HEATSTONE™ a new way to get rid of unwanted snow from your home, coming to the the market in 2012!
Consiglio, a Toronto based inventor, approached Design 1st with the idea to build outdoor radiant flooring with concrete patio stones. Seeing an opportunity to increase winter safety, comfort and convenience Consiglio engaged with the Design 1st team and began the product development process. From the initial first meeting a year ago, to introducing the product to the marketplace, a creative engineering and design team was needed to work alongside Consiglio on his first journey as an inventor.
The first stage for a design team working with new ideas and inventions is simply to listen. From there we help determine all the things that are important to the success of the product. Ol' Saint Nick makes a list and checks it twice; the Design 1st team uses the same process when designing product concepts. First we get creative, imagine possibilities and illustrate the concepts with sketches, images and models. It is good practice to outline requirements that meet both our clients and their end customers' needs. For Consiglio this included safety, ease of installation and maintenance of his radiant flooring concrete patio stones. Safety wise, the patio stones had to clear pathways of ice and snow while meeting reglatory compliance issues in North America.
The patio stones will be selling in local commercial hardware stores so ease of installation was a must, as many clients would be building the outdoor radiant flooring themselves. Winter seasons vary from one year to the next so maintenance and quality were also key design requirements. No better walkway for ruggedness across the seasons than decorative concrete stone. All the electronics are well protected inside the stones so mother nature and garden tools cannot get at them.
From there the Design 1st team creates 3D models of the concepts checking over the details and ensuring every surface, edge movement and feature is resolved with critical consideratin of the product image, human interaction, materials and manufacturing requirements.
From idea to physical working models, once the technical details and product requirements are met, modelled and reviewed - the 3D virtual design concept is sent Santa's workshop to be assembled into a working prototype. In a similar fashion to Santa's North Pole facilities Design 1st' onsite workshop has all the tools to build technical products including CNC Machines, micro-saws, cutting machines, epoxies, batteries, bolts, wires, hardware and building materials of all sorts.
For Consiglio's outdoor heated patio stones the prototyping process involved creating working concrete stone patio blocks that were tested, modified and delivered on the promise to melt the snow as it falls or even after it accumulates. After some minor tweaks the new product introduction (NPI) phase commenced where the Design 1st engineering team documented every screw, part, assembly and surface treatment in preparation for manufacturing.
Now as Consiglio moves into production cycle the Design 1st acts as a guide helping provide manufacturing introduction, design support, quality control and identifying opportunities for cost savings as the product facilities make last minute improvements. This holiday season when the snow begins to fall, ice begins to form and sleigh bells are ringing the gifts from Santa's workshop will put a smile on children's faces and patio stones designed in our workshop will put a smile on yours!
A joyous Christmas & a Prosperous New Year to All