Project - Bottle design for a new Domestos bleach formula, balancing mechanical, ergonomic and brand requirements.
Product /service - New Domestos bleach formula that foamed and expanded to cover more of the toilet.
Duration - 3 months
Team - Product designer, mechanical engineer, prototyper, project manager
Activities - Sketch ideation, concept illustration, 3D CAD design, prototyping, mechanical simulation, prototype testing, CMF and graphic design
Deliverables - Manufacture-ready 3D CAD files, blow-moulded prototype bottles, design recommendation report
Outcome - New design not yet progressed to manufacture.

We generated over thirty distinct bottle concepts at project start, communicated through sketchwork. For each, we sought to find a unique form and mechanism that might create new IP, fit with the existing brand guidelines around product styling, and create an ergonomic and practical design for everyday use. The team explored the benefits of a lot of new and unusual designs before settling on a simple, blow-moulded bottle direction that would be most cost-effective.

We explored in detail how to communicate the product USP - it's expanding foam bleach - through the form of the bottle and pack graphics, communicating this through Photoshop renderings. This is of particular importance in a supermarket setting where purchase decisions are made quickly and instinctively. We quickly gained a good understanding of the limits of the form language by collaborating with the client brand team. We explored different print options from shrink-wraps and labels to direct bottle printing.

The team gradually focused their efforts on two main form concepts, and created quick 3D CAD models in Solidworks to ensure the ideas worked as expected in three dimensions.

At this point, mechanical engineer and product designer worked closely together to define details that would allow for a robust, ergonomic bottle that returned to shape after being squeezed, yet still communicated the desired visual messages. This was done through sketches for speed.

As the bottle concepts were iterated in 3D CAD, we considered appropriate dimensions by consulting ergonomic data on hand sizes and grip forces, considering plastic wall thickness and the likely 'squeezable' area we should provide. Balancing this with aesthetic considerations required co-designing between product designer and mechanical engineer.

As we iterated our 3D CAD models, we conducted simulations in Solidworks to assess the expected performance - how easy they might be to use and how much force would be required to expel the correct amount of liquid. The designers used this data to inform decisions on small details such as bottle diameter, strengthening plastic ribs and base shape.

Our client produced blow moulded prototype bottles using out 3D CAD data, and we carried out physical tests on these to validate our simulation data. The best performing concept was selected for possible manufacture and we handed over 3D CAD data and a design recommendation report to our client upon project completion.

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