Radio Frequency Power Supply
While working at Karten Design, we had a client that was developing a new line of high (radio) frequency power supplies for use in the manufacturing of thin film electronics. There had previously been little to no industrial design in this field, and this was the client's first time working with an industrial design firm.
I was tasked with design of both the perforated panel on the device front, and with adding design elements to improve the user experience of the rear. I also provided a great deal of engineering and manufacturing insight to the industrial designers in order to maintain design intent through cost reduction and manufacturing.
The engineers at the client company were resistive to the laser cut perforated panel specified in the original design, and instead asked for an option that used a CNC controlled singular punch. I was asked to perform an exploration on this with the goal of maintaining design intent with the new process.
I first attempted to perform the exploration manually in Solidworks. However, I soon realized that this method was too inefficient and would therefore take far too long to generate a sufficient number of concepts.
To increase the speed of my exploration, I wrote a program in C to generate point clouds driven by various mathematical functions. These point clouds, in turn, drove the placement of the individual hex perforations.
The client engineers then decided that the hexagon corners would cause excessive wear on the tool and the CNC punch would take too long during manufacturing. They asked for an option with a cluster punch and circular/round holes, leading to the above exploration.
Following my work with the perforations, I was asked to specify the LED type and voltage for the front panel and logo lighting. I created the above mock-up to help with this decision.
I worked in conjunction with the industrial designers to select an EMI mesh that would be placed behind the perforated panel. The mesh had to provide EMI protection, allow for airflow and fit our aesthetic requirements. I prepared this calculation to prove that the mesh would fit the client's airflow specifications.
After a few breakthroughs on the engineering side, the hex pattern was once again on the table, provided that the corners be filleted slightly to avoid tool wear. The cluster punch patterns were still needed to reduce manufacturing time. The final design is shown above.
Rear Panel Organization
The front of this device had been redesigned by the industrial design team at Karten Design, however the layout for the back remained disorganized, and tooling had already been produced. I was asked to ensure the rear end was given proper consideration from a design perspective, and create a set of guidelines to correct any issues.
Issues with the original design included inconsistency in metal grain direction, inconsistency in fastener material and finish, confusing labeling scheme, unlabeled or not clearly labeled connectors and warning labels placed haphazardly and far from associated connector.
I first took a screenshot of the rear panel and made all necessary changes in photoshop. I opted to use a new labelling strategy to help streamline the ceremony of hooking and unhooking connections from the rear panel. In addition to this, I proposed that all fasteners used be of the same material and colour, and that the grain direction be unified to aid in the approachability of the device. I also proposed that new rear handles be designed that would fit the size of the old handles, yet fall within the design language of the overall device.
Apart from the censored logo, this is the image that I produced using keyshot. Because of the high number of parts, the finishes on some parts rendered differently from the specification. I fixed these issues in photoshop.