Easy Saw Access, Tactical Look
A pair of entrepreneurs based in Alberta, identifying an un-addressed need in the outdoors industry, imagined a new type of chainsaw case optimized for back country travel on motorized vehicles. Knowing that a chainsaw is a critical piece of equipment, paired with an awareness of the difficulties associated with attaching and removing a saw case from an ATV or dirt bike, and evidence of consumer frustration with existing case solutions led SawShield to begin development of a new type of case.
SawShield engaged Tangent to provide design, engineering and manufacturing support for the case that was intended to provide easier mounting and saw access to off highway vehicle users during travel through remote terrain. Tangent’s industrial design expertise, in combination with mechanical design, simulation and manufacturing knowledge was indispensable in the development and commercialization of the product.
The Tangent project team, composed of Industrial Designers, Mechanical Engineers and Simulation Specialists took on the product development and mechanical design. Aesthetics were a chief concern, as a tactical look and feel was desired both to communicate the rugged nature of the design and align with products in use by the consumers. The new design was to use the saw bar as a mounting point, keeping the handle and saw body accessible to the user when needed.
The new design was a marked improvement on cases available in the market, but posed a number of mechanical challenges. Notably, using the bar as the attachment point in a situation where the saw and case would be subjected to considerable side to side vibration common in back country travel meant suitably supporting the saw was a challenge. Our simulation team conducted a number of numerical studies and finite element analysis of the design and was able to propose enhancements to the design prior to producing the first prototype.
With the design optimized and refined in the digital space, our team set out to prototype the case. At Tangent, we use additive manufacturing (3D Printing) for prototyping most parts and designs that will eventually be made from injection molded plastic. The scale of this design was considerably larger than the bed of nearly all commercial 3D printers. As a result, innovative approaches to prototyping were required in order to produce representative models that could be evaluated both for aesthetics and field testing.
Tangent was able to produce full scale, functional prototypes for common chain saws made from materials representative of those that will be used in the production design. The SawShield team has been using the prototypes both to generate enthusiasm and investment revenue for the product, and for functional field testing.