Project - Design, prototype and test a new spray painting device for Dulux
Product /service - Spray painting device consumers can use to quickly paint radiators, doors and windows.

Duration - 6 months
Team - Industrial designer, mechanical engineer, prototyper, BA, user researcher
Activities - User research, competitor analysis, sketch development, foam modelling, ergonomic study, 3D CAD modelling, 3D print prototyping, storyboarding, 3D CAD rendering, usability testing, CMF design, design for manufacture.
Deliverables - High fidelity prototypes, usability test results, manufacture-ready 3D CAD, CMF specification
Outcome - Product has yet to be launched

Given the initial brief from Dulux, we began by tearing apart competitor products to establish mechanical workings and components. We sketched out a couple of potential mechanical designs for the product.

We conducted user research by getting local tradesmen to spray paint doors and radiators with commercial spray equipment. We studied user tasks, posture, hand position and other ergonomic considerations to inform design.

Through hand sketches, I quickly explored a wide range of styles and mechanical configurations. The product was intended to fit into the PaintPod range and so overall visual design direction was known, but the product needed to communicate ease of use for consumers who would be fairly new to spray painting.

Choosing a scheme with a separate spray-gun and base unit, I created moodboards for styling detail choices, and used digital sketches to present a range of options to the client.

I made quick, foam models to begin understanding ergonomic considerations for the spray-gun, and tested it quickly with others around the office. Together with the engineering team, we hacked together a basic working prototype to test weight and try real spray-painting at different angles.

I created a digital sketch storyboard to explain the product proposition to senior stakeholders. We proposed first a new kind of masking material is applied, followed by spray painting with the spray-gun and base unit.

As the design of the spray-gun evolved, I considered how paint packs would be loaded and ejected, and moved to Solidworks 3D CAD to detail the model accurately, producing regular renderings as updates for the client.

I began deciding upon breakdown of parts for manufacture, and designed in volumes for mechanical pump and electronic assemblies, as well as working out with engineering team-mates what was required mechanically for air-flow and nozzles to work.

In preparation for our first user test, I 3D printed spray-guns which could be connected to a commercial pump system to use. I designed the test script and created practice sheets to help users get the hang of the spray-gun's operation before we asked them to paint doors and radiators.

User testing at a client facility.

Following testing, we made adjustments to the design and presented high fidelity CAD renderings to the client for senior stakeholder engagement. I designed pack graphics for the paint packs and applied those to the render.

We produced a second prototype which included a working spray-gun and base unit, both finished to look as close to the finished product as possible. 

After discussion with the BA, we learned that the product would have a stronger business case if it could also be extended to the commercial trade market. I produced digital sketch and 'looks-like' concepts models to help the client explore ow these might look different to the domestic model.

Finally, I produced colour, material and finish specifications for the domestic model, and explored a range of possible colour options for the trade model.

Back to Top