Detailed redesign for an extreme drop test
22 March 2022
Our client was developing a product for use in harsh environments which needed to be extremely robust. They were having difficulty passing one of their drop test requirements, which was a particularly challenging test but vital for them to successfully launch the product for this market.
They approached Springboard and asked us to conduct detailed analysis of the problem and update the design to meet these very stringent requirements.
We needed to understand which parts of the design were failing under the drop test. We were able to infer some information from inspecting the failed units, but to properly understand the failure mode, we used high speed video analysis to see exactly what was happening as parts were put under strain and pinpoint the root cause.
Image 1: Springboard testing
We were able to identify one critical part of the structure which was failing first and leading to subsequent failures in other parts. We then used finite element analysis to model the expected stress and strain in the component and found that we did indeed expect it to yield under these conditions. Finite element analysis also offered us a way to rapidly ‘test’ different potential designs for this component without carrying out multiple rounds of time consuming and costly destructive tests. We iterated the design of the component in CAD until we were confident from the simulations that it would withstand the required forces, allowing us to prototype and test the improved design only once.
Once we had verified that the updated design had resolved the issue, we worked with a toolmaker to carry out the detailed design for moulding. The part used a high glass-filled Nylon for stiffness, and we further iterated the details of the design to achieve suitable mould-flow, shrinkage, and part ejection. We managed the tooling process on behalf of our client ensuring that the necessary specifications, drawings, and inspection criteria were in place for a production part.
Our analytical approach to the problem allowed us to minimise the required design changes by identifying the single point of failure in the design. By applying finite element analysis we were also able to design a solution without extensive iteration.
Having identified a solution, we carried out the detailed design of the updated component and managed the production of an injection moulded part which could be used as a direct replacement in our clients’ product. This allowed them to successfully pass the required test without a full redesign, a risk which could otherwise have jeopardised the success of the whole project.
Image 2: Completed part for the client
Springboard skills used in this project:
- Finite element analysis
- Detailed design
- Design for injection moulding