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Bouncelite Flash Modifier Case Study: Tony Chau

Tony Chau is an independent professional photographer with vast experience running photo shoots and commissions for clients all over the world.

The requirement

BL-open-on-sideWhilst always able to achieve the results required by his clients, Tony Chau knew that with the photographic equipment currently available on the market, no single flash unit could achieve the light results he needed.

What was needed was an effective single flash diffuser to minimise light losses and achieve the desired lighting conditions to replace the multiple separate components that were currently needed.

As an alternative to carrying these separate pieces of equipment around, Tony came up with the idea to develop his own single, multifunction flash modifier device.

How Tony Chau Chose his Design team

Tony quickly realised that to produce an all-in-one flash modifier (that would subsequently become the Bouncelite) he would need a reliable partner to design the product for him.

He approached Jon Plumb of Cambridge Design Technology to discuss the concept with a view to producing a technical concept design. Jon Plumb immediately understood the requirement and developed a conceptual design that could be taken to an early prototype.

How the Cambridge Design Technology design team ‘added value’

The process of turning an idea to a physical product is complex and highly technical. As a private individual who had never gone through the process before and who knew little about it, Tony Chau needed to be guided through it, to avoid the pitfalls and obstacles that can complicate development.

From the outset, Jon Plumb explained the process of product development to Tony, identifying to him the challenges and hurdles that must be overcome.

He also provided realistic forecasts of the costs involved in taking a concept to injection moulded product. This advice, without any of the complicated jargon, meant that Tony could easily understand the ‘big picture’ behind the product development process, giving him confidence that his product could be realised and allowing Tony to make the informed technical decisions for project approval.

Project process

bounce-door-openingStarting with a card model and outline requirement from Tony Chau, Cambridge Design Technology transformed the concept into an aesthetic design to encompass all the user and performance specifications.

The client provided vital feedback and approval at key stages, allowing Cambridge Design Technology to optimise the designs. Two prototype stages were used, the first for functional purposes and the second for demonstration and product photography.

A pilot batch of production products was then made by Prototype Projects, which was followed by mass produced product from production tooling.

Technical Challenges

Tony’s keen eye for design and style required a clean, sophisticated design worthy of mounting onto high value professional camera rigs. It was therefore critical to arrive at an elegant design, which would fulfil all of the technical specifications and functional requirements of the product.

The resulting design achieved a balance of functional requirements using several mouldings to be assembled together and with an attractive yet robust style.

The experience of Cambridge Design Technology’s team in production engineering and injection moulding resulted in a suite of tooled parts which combine to make an elegant yet innovative functional design.

Outcomes and benefits

Tony Chau had started out with a clear idea of the flash modifier product he needed, the function it would perform and the professional photographer user requirements it would address.

By working with us, he was able to evolve those conceptual ideas through early physical designs into a robust product development process which ensured that the Bouncelite could be brought to market successfully.

By using Cambridge Design Technology’s direct experience in product development, the process was clear and mapped out from the start. Having gone from a card model to a prototype to a production product, and raised crowd funding through Kickstarter, Bouncelite is now being sold to distributors around the world.

Tony Chau says:

The Cambridge Design Technology design team helped me understand what would be required for the design and development of my Bouncelite product, from timescales, to stages to budget costs.

As someone that hadn’t gone through the process before, I found Jon’s technical knowledge invaluable, as he used language I could understand to help me get to grips with all the issues.

“Now I’ve got distributors interested in 15 countries and it’s a great feeling.”

About Cambridge Design Technology

Cambridge Design Technology is an innovative creative product design and technology development consultancy that helps organisations in the medical, scientific, technology and industrial sectors to realise their design requirements for commercial success.

The benefits of these product and technology design services include reduced time to market as well as validated confidence in their development from start to finish.

These optimum design services support our clients in meeting their market and end user requirements on time and on budget.

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