I appologise for my earlier posts as this is an industrial design forum, and well, I didn’t show any process. So here it is.
After initial brainstorming and rough sketching of ideas, I settled on the tape dispenser, and I wanted it to be a functional, simple to use product. I came to the conclusion that a single piece of polypropylene bent around the role of tape with a serrated edge would work, so I went ahead and made a batch of prototypes testing lots of different things.
It failed, every single one failed completely, in every imaginable way. I at this point could either change my product, or make it work. Back to brainstorming and looking at other dispensers. Looking at how they worked, why they worked and what made them worked I figured out why mine didn’t. I done this before redesigning, to not waste time and effort on a flawed idea.
A solid material was needed, so I changed to acrylic, again lots of different designs I started to change what I was designing, It stopped being consumer and cheap and it became more aesthetic, even a bit designer. I still focused on function, like all of my design work but kept an eye on the aesthetic, playing with shape and personality.
Finally, one of them worked. So far I counted roughly 40 prototypes, and one worked. But I wanted to know why only one of them worked, the where cut from the same sheet, using the same machine at the same time with the same (roughly) serrations. But only one worked.
My theory was that it was the angle of the serration, so for my next batch they had the same serration, copy and pasted. I then changed a few to be a bit wider, taller, thinner, less of an angle etc.
None worked. This project became an obsession, grades didn’t matter, other work was put aside and I needed to know why It didn’t work. I used a microscope, endless testing and testing. Two rolls of tape later I realised why. So a new set of prototypes where on their way for the next day…
they all worked, I could relax. Now I could look back at what I had designed. I stepped back and looked at the latest batch and I had three options:
Option 1: Make a consumer tape dispenser (original plan) Option 2: Make it smaller into a key ring Option 3: Focus on aesthetic, make it “designer”
I chose option 3 after much deliberation, talking to peers and tutors about it, because of development cost and the more expensive material, making it cheap and selling it cheap wasn’t a viable option. I needed to add value to the product.
Now I had two options for my aesthetic. The face, which I named “Tape Mate”, or the leaf, which I named “The Last Leaf”. I ended up taking it to vote with everyone I knew and met, and just carried an example of each in my blazer pocket.
The outcome was the leaf, so I was onto Final development of the product, and my final 4 prototypes.
And then onto my final product, a minimalist tape dispenser. I believe it is the smallest tape dispenser for a full size roll. And it is universal, as the roll sits underneath it can take any diameter and up to 30mm wide tape.
Thank you if you managed to read the whole thing, this has been probebly one of my favouite projects so far.