This summer, with support from the Autodesk Foundation and Lenovo, we recruited a student design team to develop an alpha prototype of our Otter Newborn Warmer. Malory Johnson, Industrial Design Fellow, joined DtM from the Columbus College of Art & Design. Karan Chaitanya Mudgal, Industrial Design Fellow, joined DtM from NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Kristine Chen, Mechanical Engineering Design Fellow, is a recent graduate of Stanford University. To support the team on the research end, we also recruited Kristen Moulton, Clinical Fellow, a second-year medical school student who had previously worked as a Research Coordinator for the NIH.
The summer design sprint started with a couple weeks of orientation at the DtM studio in Salem. This included a review of the project context and background, the product requirements and specifications and the existing CAD models and physical design concepts. The team then hit the road for a series of expert interviews, both at local neonatal intensive care units and with local manufacturers.
The team then dove into concept brainstorming, some hand-sketching and lots of CAD modeling in Fusion 360. In July, the team moved to the new Autodesk BUILD Space in South Boston for alpha prototype fabrication and testing. The Autodesk BUILD Space team were superlative hosts.
After a series of late nights and endless hours sawing, sanding and soldering, the team finished the Otter alpha prototype. It’s a huge step forward for our newborn warmer program. We’re excited to continue Otter development this Fall with a student design-for-manufacture team at Olin College, and to begin field-testing the device overseas later this year.
Student design team lead Malory Johnson, who moonlights as a video producer, put together the fantastic two-minute speed-run through the summer design print.