RE: Write
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RE: Write

RuffGuy Dog apparel

Critical Making Final Project

For my final project I really wanted to utilize the 3D printer for some aspect of the project. I decided to explore product design, for some ideas that I think my dogs could use. It’s not that these products didn’t already exist, I just wanted to customize them, so they would be the optimal fit for my two dogs. My two products were snow boots, and goggles.

These were my initial design sketches.

Snow Boots

Let’s start with my process with the boots. I wanted them to be waterproof, flexible, and high up on their leg. Easily putting them on was important, but I also wanted to make sure they stayed on while they played unlike so many others. I also wanted to make them soft and warm. With a lot of other pairs I've tried, when I take their feet out, they look extremely red an irritated and are ice cold.

For my outer fabric, I decided to use a nylon fabric. I went and got some fluffy socks to use as the inside liner. I also used the socks as a guide to cut my pattern out. I pinned the pieces together and used the sewing machine to connect them. In my first set (the blue fabric) I cut the fabric with more of an angle, I also sewed the cuts together so that the seam was down the center of the foot. I decided after that the seams should be on the side, so I cut the fabric a little differently the second time, and it seemed to go on their feet alot easier, and I think it looked better with the seam down the sides instead.

After sewing the outer shells, I inserted the liners. To attach the two fabrics together, I decided the best approach would be to hand sew the pieces together. I think it gave them a similar look that many old fashioned slippers and moccasins have.

I then attached velcro straps, to secure the boot to the correct size of their legs. I also added a rubber sole, to give the boots a little traction.

The boots stayed on really well, and they were really easy to get on and off. I’ll have to wait and see how they hold up in the snow, but so far I like them more than anything I could buy in stores.

Goggles

For the goggles I wanted to come up with something that would block high speed wind, and stay on their face. Majority of the goggles you can buy have too narrow of a nose bridge, since most dogs have a narrow snout. Boxers have a wider, flatter face, which is what I tried to design for.

To start the design process, I 3D scanned my dogs face, so I could get all of the angles right. I had to first put the scan in meshlab, to clean the scan up a little bit. The scan seemed to overload Fusion360, causing it to crash constantly, but I eventualy got it to work. I started with a flat sketch of the lens shape, that was the right size nose bridge etc. I then transformed it into a form, and replaced the face of the form, so that it was more rounded. I was trying to make the frames originally from that one shape and the extrude tool, but I after some research I switched to the sweep tool and did it in segments, which once I figured out, was extremely useful. I used the loft and combine functions to connect most of the shapes. I couldnt get the straps to look like how I wanted them to be in real life, but it got the idea across.

After this stage in the design, I realized I needed some way to connect the straps. I added small handles, and this was my final STL model for the frames.

I was originally going to print them in a more flexible TPU, but was told by a 3D printing company that it wouldn’t work well for this design, So I decided to go with a PLA material. I initially had idea forge print the design, and they were able to use a different material, but the had a hard time getting it to print correctly with how to stabilize it etc. As a backup I also sent the design off to Shapeways, and while that was much pricier than the idea forge, it did come pretty quickly.

For the lenses I utilized hard plastic from some packaging. It worked really well, and I was able to just pop it into the divet I created in the frames.

Next I added foam to pad the frames. I needed it to be thicker on the top and thinner on the bottom so that it fit their face correctly and gave their eyes space. I think it turned out pretty well.

Lastly, I added the straps. These with made out of elastic. 2 straps came off the goggle and connected to then wrap to create a collar almost. Below you can see how the straps attach.

Here are some photos of the finished goggles.

The dogs didn’t seem to mind them too much.

Lastly, I wanted to make a logo. I thought that with both products potentially being viewed as over the top or for ‘wimpy’ dogs I decided to play on that. I went with “RuffGuy” to go off of tough guy. The tagline makes sense in my head, hopefully others get the same message. It’s for dogs that love to be adventurous and play outside, but have some tendencies that would make them seem like an indoor dog.

Overall, I was really happy with how both things turned out, and enjoyed going through the design process.

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Thoughts and stories from Studio, a product design masters program at CU Boulder, dedicated to re:working, re:designing and re:imagining the world of design and technology.

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Karlie Cronin

Karlie Cronin

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