Fibre optic polishing machine (APM model HDC-5000

Ian Hewitt, Bruce Watson

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact


The aim of Hewitt’s re-design of Domaille Engineering’s ultra precise, fibre optic, polishing machine, was to create a design that met the needs of the user, but that was also simplified in terms of product manufacture, construction and assembly, in order to succeed in a very competitive market. His concurrent observations of users’ needs and requirements, and insightful analysis of what and why things were not working in the existing polishing machine helped to generate a successful usability solution to Domaille’s failing product.; The design was conveyed to the end users with the use of full scale 3D models. The models also aided marketing of the product; allowing users to sample the new design before prototypes were available. Watson worked closely with Hewitt to validate design concepts from engineering and manufacturing perspectives. As the project evolved, Watson translated the design concepts and 3D physical models into 3D computer solid models for manufacture, under the guidance of Hewitt for aesthetic integrity. During the project, there was also close collaboration with Omega Plastics, who validated the tool design implications of the components, thus ensuring that the product could be easily manufactured. The total time scale from ‘first concept generation’ to prototype parts was only 3-4 months. The new design reaffirmed the company’s standing in the market. Hewitt’s functional and aesthetic design specification brought new life to Domaille’s polishing machine. It reinforced the company's brand identity and reputation in the market for the most accurate products and it raised their reputation for usability. The project has been used as a concurrent design case study with Masters in Design Practice students.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2001


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