What a Disaster…?!

So one of the projects I have been given this term was called the Design Innovation in Plastic CompetitionThe competition brief has the theme of “Saving Lives”: Design for Disaster Relief, and requires the design of a product which can help people that have encountered some form of significant disaster.

I chose to go down the water filtration system route and looked into that area. Initially I wanted to focus on looking into a fixing which adapted to any tap shape, which would be used when places get flooded and the population is advised not drink from the taps because the water is contaminated. However, after some brief research I found that this idea had already been done.


These are the 3 ideas I presented to my tutors and I used a Matrix concept selection table to help guide me towards the idea which had the most potential. Having done this I knew I was going down the handheld water filter concept but once again after some quick research I found the LifeStraw already existed. However, as most designers know, products can be improved and redesigned all the time so I took this route and tried to improve it in my own opinion.

I tried to come up with some developments and advancements in my designs and produced some quick drawings and sketches to help explain my ideas.

mycollage (4)mycollage (3)

After doing these developments I was getting a clear idea of what I was wanting to do and proceeded to produce final designs which explored the real functions of the product, how it fit together and the engineered design behind it.

mycollage (2)

So after coming up with my final idea I produced it on the CAD software Solidworks. Now I’m a bit of a novice when it come to all this CAD stuff whether its Solidworks, Photoshop or Illustrator but I gave it my best.

Firstly we were asked to come up with all the parts and have Engineering Drawings Made from them.


Once the individual parts are made they are needed to be put into an Assembly.


After that is done then Final Renders can be produced.


This is a final render of my produced with an exploded view of each part. The main body of the straw is made from transparent Polypropylene with a Hand Siphon Pump attached in the middle.

Here is a user persona I produced to help explain the concept of my idea.

ImageThe idea was that you could drink straight from the straw using the pump now and again to help force the water through the filter so you don’t have to suck with much force yourself. The other function is that a continuous flow of water can be obtained by squeezing the hand siphon pump more times than once which causes an upwards suction in the straw. This uses the same principle as when siphoning water from a tropical fish tank. This way a large container can be filled of clean drinking water for later use.

I also produced a possible advertisement for my product but as I said before, I am a bit of a novice using Photoshop so this was the best I could do at this time.


So this was my product, I struggled to find interest in this project as it seemed every time I came up with an idea, it had already been made. You can put that down to insufficient research or lack or imagination and innovation however it was hard to be imaginative when you loose interest in that project. On the other hand you can see I have followed the project through to the end and come up with a solution, it may be very similar to an existing product but I think it has some slight improvements on it and can accomplish things the equivalent cannot. Therefore I see this as a successful outcome but lets hope the next project is more engaging.

~ by callumtyson on December 10, 2012.

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