Over the past few days I have been working on bringing my product medicrate to reality by designing its external form and the internal components that are required to make the product functional. From these designs I will create some digital models and utilise 3D printing and other digital fabrication techniques to create some physical prototypes. To start this process, I looked back at some initial concept drawings had I created before my Christmas break, where I had figured out that medicrate was going to be comprised of three main components:
- Control unit
The control unit is the brains of the product, its where all the different electronic components are housed enabling medicrate to have all its different functionalities.
- The tray
The tray is where the user’s medication or health supplements will be stored.
- The casing
The casing is the products outer sleeve which gives the product a clean finish and locks the tray to the control unit.
From this, I then focused on designing the tray of the device, as this component would be responsible for the most important element the product – the storage and dispensing of medication. From prior research I knew that this component was going to take the shape of a cylinder with segments for each medication dosage which would rotate allowing each compartment to dispense. Next, I just had the challenge of making this idea functional while considering manufacturing constraints. The design I settled on for this component is comprised of three different parts which can be seen below:
These parts can be seen assembled to the right:
There are some additional design features which have been considered when designing the tray which may not be obvious:
- The ridges along the base of part one helps to secure the segmented part in place and prevents it from rotating when the tray is being filled.
- The notch cut out at the front of the tray is used to align the tray whenever it is being inserted into the control unit of medicrate.
- There is a cylindrical slot cut out at the base of the tray which allows an RFID chip to be inserted. This can be later programmed to allow the control unit to automatically detect the contents of a tray.
- The middle segment of the tray is rotated by stepper motor on the control unit whenever the product is dispensing.
If you are interested in how the control unit and casing of medicrate were designed, then keep posted for my next blog post.