We’re almost done, kiddies. This is what you’ve all been waiting for. I had a great time at Dyson learning about dust mites, chatting with James about the iPhone, watching him bash a DC24 and getting an overview of the history of Dyson. But my main objective while in Malmesbury was to design and build a prototype attachment for one of the vacuums in the line up. I own the Root 6, so I decided to build an attachment for that. Before my trip, I asked all of my friends what they thought I should build. Their answers were amusing, revolting and thought provoking. I thought about updating the Flowbee or making some animal grooming attachment, but time was limited and we needed to get something done in less than 24 hours.
Will Davies, Valerie and I sat down in one of the modeling rooms for about three hours and went through the design process from brainstorming to building on one of the CAD machines. I conveyed my thoughts to Will and sketched a few ideas out in the RDD journal (all Dyson engineers are issued a journal that becomes property of Dyson) that was issued to me at the beginning of the day. Upon my departure from Malmesbury the journal was confiscated and filed into the library of journals.
Anyway, as I said before, we had about three hours to design and submit our prototype so that it could be built in the 3D modeling machine overnight. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to film the printing machine in action because of what was being built in it at the time. It was really, really cool. Essentially, the designs are uploaded to the machine and it begins to ‘print out’ whatever it was that you uploaded. There are two materials that it lays down and unfortunately I made the mistake of taking all my notes in the RDD journal, so I can’t tell you exactly what they were at the moment. The main compound is a soft plastic and around that is a gel-like material that gives the actual device support while it’s being printed and hardens. The printer basically works like any other printer you’ve seen. It slides across from side-to-side and deposits the material as it goes. My design had to be submitted by 4:30 and by 10AM the next day it was ready to go. After it’s done printing, one of the engineers scraped away the gel-like material and put it through an acid wash and then a quick blow dry to remove any remaining particles.
How did I design it? I thought about the one place that collects the most dust and dirt in my apartment and just looked down at my keyboard. Then I thought about other applications for it. I thought that PC owners would want the ability to vacuum the back of their PC case, so I added a bit of flexibility to it.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I present to you the CrunchGear Dyson Root 6 attachment. We have the only prototype and it will likely remain that way. Heh.
Of course, we had some issues with it, but they weren’t realized until after the fact. There were little nubbins inside the swivel to lock the attachment between it’s 180 degree angle and 45 degree tilt that were placed incorrectly in CAD, so they didn’t exactly come out right, hence the loosey gooseyness of it. But we had less than three hours for the entire process. There also wasn’t enough time to add bristles at the end. Overall, I can say that I’m the proud owner of a one-of-a-kind Dyson prototype. I just hope they don’t make my design better and start selling it. Heh.