It has been over a year since we launched the first Waterproof Keyboard and Mouse designed for flexible, dynamic workplaces that could benefit from an easy-to-clean and maintainable workstation. These innovative products have already gained a fair amount of traction and landed in numerous workplaces. In this stage, we have collected valuable feedback, which has served as a foundation for our ongoing efforts to develop a potential second version of this product. And that was when we met Sébastien.
From 3D printing to waterproof mouse
Sébastien started his summer job at Alt in June 2023 and was assigned to specifically focus on the development of the latest version of Alt Waterproof Mouse. Sébastien was already familiar with Alt before he started here, as he previously worked for a sister company of Alt named FEPshop. His specialty lies in product development, and he has a lot of experience with 3D printing.
The general guidelines that Sébastien received from Alt were: ‘Can the design of the Waterproof mouse be enhanced without compromising its essential features, ensuring both the waterproof feature and the hygienic aspect?’
As a starting point, Sébastien had to analyze the previous version of the Waterproof Mouse. ‘A lot of innovative ideas could be implemented in the design and shape of the mouse to improve the interaction between the user and the device. It needs to not only be practical but also feel comfortable and be more aesthetically pleasing,’ says Sébastien.
Sébastien proceeded with making a few technical design iterations of the structure of the mouse. One of the main ideas was to divide the main structure of the mouse into three separate parts. These parts should be easily removable, making it easier for the user to clean the mouse rigorously. A lot of dirt could build up inside the mouse, so it is important that every surface could be cleaned.
However, the main question concerning this structure was: How could this idea be realized in a way that follows the manufacturer’s guidelines? ‘The manufacturer needs to be able to produce these components individually, including the electronic parts. Not everything is feasible, unfortunately,’ explained Sébastien.
Another challenge also emerged while developing the prototype: How can you find the right balance between creating a comfortable, aesthetically pleasing design while adhering to the principles of a waterproof design that prevents the accumulation of unnecessary germs? Examples of these constraints are mostly met in the details of the mouse. ‘This makes it difficult to make the design stand out from its competitors, but it’s a fun challenge to tackle,’ he said.
From idea to prototype
In just two months, Sébastien has succeeded in creating a prototype ready to be taken to manufacturers. ‘The design sprint is complete, and right now, Alt should take a step back from the design phase and prepare for production,’ says Sébastien. Most of the design questions have been answered; now come the questions about costs, materials, manufacturing, electronics, etc.
‘I had a lot of fun during my time at Alt and learned a great deal about using CAD software. I became proficient in technical designs and created prototypes daily,’ says Sébastien as he is reflecting on his time at Alt. Thanks to Sébastien, Alt is ready to take the next step in creating the Alt Waterproof Mouse 2.0 I’d say 3D printing.