This project is a bearing release tool for in-line skate wheels. It’s a hand tool designed to remove bearings effortlessly. The initial design had a several problematic areas that were highlighted during prototyping. After a detailed study design, modification proposals were made to the customer which they embraced.
The design changes reduced the number of parts and reduced the unit price of the finished article by 40%. The main components of the hand tool are made from stainless steel using investment casting. The polyurethane handles are made using injection molding. There are several other small components such as: custom screws, rollers and springs. These are made using CNC turning and CNC milling and traditional spring manufacturing.
During the prototype stage, the customer came to us with an initial design and a crude prototype which was designed and manufactured in the Netherlands. He asked us to make five more prototypes for a show (2015 ISPO in Munich, Germany,) which his company was attending. As with all projects, we had a team meeting and discussed a few ideas. The outcome was a suggestion to introduce a spring to the tool to improve the user experience.
The idea was well received by the customer and the changes were made. The result was a great improvement upon the original design, making it a single handed use hand tool rather than two handed use tool. The prototypes were CNC machined from solid billet, and the screws were CNC turned. The handles were vacuum cast polyurethane using a range of five different colours.