The Krimelte Sealant Applicator Challenge was one of our most successful at GrabCAD. With such a large variety of unique designs, Krimelte's design problem was resolved. I had a chat with one of our jurors from Krimelte, Meelis Klimov, to talk about the challenge.
Krimelte Sealants and GrabCAD are both Estonian companies. And in a small country like Estonia, its only natural that each teams up with one another. But the attraction wasn’t all about proximity but more shared interest - Krimelte had a design problem, we had the design solution. As Meelis says, the idea came from fellow colleague Jaan Puusang, who had the vision of new type of pump driven sealant gun but no way to realize it. Krimelte didn't have the resources to go through with developing something in-house, so they decided to run a design competition with GrabCAD.
More minds to bear on the problem meant Krimelte could make an informed choice about which design solution was best. Meelis commented, “If the vision is not 100% clear, you can get surprising results from people with a different point of view.” Krimelte’s problem was simple yet the solution was complex. Applying sealants was a messy task for the average consumer. Often tape, slow and careful hands were needed to apply it correctly, a problem that discouraged everyday people from using Krimelte’s products.
And Meelis was positively surprised by the response the challenge received. The comments page was absolutely vibrant. Engineers were sharing CAD models of the cartridge and the handle system as well as making suggestions of how to improve each other’s work. A common problem was a lack of related CAD files – quickly resolved by Kaspar by filling the community in with the proper specs. There were a number of designs that didn’t follow the guidelines, usually because users didn’t understand the exact purpose of the challenge and the fact that some sort of pumping mechanism was needed. The Krimelte Sealant Design Challenge, like many others, demonstrated how important it is for clients to provide as much information as possible and their expectations and for GrabCAD to provide them to users in an easy-to-read manner and format.
Yet being willfully experimental can be rewarding for both the designer and the client. The challenge called for a Peristaltic Pump, yet the 2nd and 4th prize did not incorporate one, instead calling for a rotary and screw pump respectively. The first prize was given to Leonardo Alves of Recife, Brazil for his submission, "Adhesive Applicator of Low Viscosity". This design used a single large rotating wheel to push the fluid out, negating the need for a complex belt system. The greatest part in our opinion? A clear explanation of how his design worked and its inherent advantages. It won in spite of not being 'perfect'. The lesson for users? A great design that follows the rules and has avenues for improvement by the client.
Leonardo may want to know that his design is being made right now for testing. If all goes well, mass production may not be far off. For GrabCAD, its amazing how a simple design challenge managed to connect a Brazilian mechanical engineer and an Estonian Sealant company to create great work. Word is that Krimelte might carry out another design challenge with GrabCAD – about what, we aren’t sure. But since the last competition we’ve gained 100,000 more members so Krimelte is going to be guaranteed more entries and better submissions.
Adhesive applicator of Low Viscosity by Leonardo Alves. Krimelte gave this 1st prize with qualifications, “If you redesign the angle of the hose and add 1-2 working heads to the pump, it will be perfect.”