PRODUCT SYSTEM INTEGRATION
Frogger Golf had a simple goal in mind when entering into this project; make golf accessories easily accessible for golfers. Everything sounds simple on paper, or said aloud, but the fact is, this was no easy task. What was eventually named Catch Latch, spawned from the CEO's frustration from misplacing things like his range finder or phone while on the green. His company came to us with a problem and some solutions, though after a year and a half Catch Latch was born.
After conceptualizing the design of the product, we shifted our focus toward the creation of 3D models. And, once final 3D models were created, prototyping commenced. The prototpying process was greatly shortened by the use of our in-house 3D printer. We were able to develop the small components, which this product is primarily made up of, print, test, modify, reprint, and retest, all within the same day. We have a lot of thanks to give to the rise of this extremely fast and cost effective prototyping technology. Without it, this product may have never reached its' customers doorsteps. It was great to see technology allowing a our client to create something, that just 10 short years ago, it wouldn't have had the ability to create.
Each Catch Latch product utilizes a pair of neodymium magnets embedded inside a set of male-female components. The two components lunge together when within grasp of the magnets' range and a locking cam prevents the parts from jostling apart. This design functions extremely well and gives the user a sense of satisfaction each time the two components 'jump' together. Tolerances throughout every plastic part were a large focus, as the mating components needed to sit perfectly together without too much play. Once we had a handle on the engineering, we began making basic rapid prototypes for real-world testing. We had to learn which magnets worked perfectly for the design and where tolerances needed slight tweaking.
After all parties were happy with how the parts mated, we wanted to match their aesthetic to the elegance of their function. It took several rounds of conceptualization, but we are all confident that the end results are worth the time and energy invested. We created a product for carrying a variety of phone sizes, a product that wraps around a variety of range finders, and a universal receiving system to attach to a golf bag or a belt. Each product can attach to your golf cart, your golf bag, or even a tree. A golfer could attach their phone to the nearest location to record their swing, which will help them pinpoint any mistakes they might be making. The range of Catch Latch products elegantly achieves the goal of preventing you from losing your gear next time you are on the green.
We researched and ending up working with several different materials during the discovery phase of this project. There were different types of rubber, silicones, plastics, hook & loops, adhesives, and textiles that were used early on. It is a must that developers keep their options wide open when it comes to CMF selection, especially in the early phases. We slowly honed in on the final materials, textures, and colors through many iterations of the design and engineering. Sometimes one small change in a tolerance would take us back to the drawing board for a texture we chose. Once Frogger signed off on the final part drawings and we began receiving final plastic parts, we knew the product would be a success with their customers. It looked just as good as it functioned and that was everyone's goal.