Five Flute

Section View: Issue #13

OneWheel recall, manufacturing webinar, DFMEA template, light pipe design

Section View - the best hardware newsletter on the internet

Welcome to Section View, a newsletter for curious engineers and hardware people. Brought to you with ❤️ by the Five Flute team.

Manufacturing Spotlight

For this month’s manufacturing spotlight I wanted to invite you all to a webinar that I’m doing with the folks at Jiga and Open BOM. We’ll be talking about how to collaborate with manufacturers more effectively as you move from early concept designs all the way to parts in hand. I’m excited for this one because the Jiga guys have a ton of practical experience in sourcing and vendor communications that hopefully everyone can learn from. I’ll be showing off how Five Flute can help you catch mistakes earlier in design as well as collaborate with your vendors for DFM reviews. The webinar will be heavily Q&A focused, so bring your best questions!

Sign up here!

Jiga Five Flute OpenBOM webinar

Failure Analysis

Last September, Future Motion recalled over 300,000 units of their OneWheel product line due to numerous injuries and even four rider deaths since 2019. If this reddit thread is anything to go by, it seems like injury is a foregone conclusion when you buy a OneWheel. Here’s more from the Consumer Product Safety Commission on the recall.

Onewheel recall

But what can we learn from this as design engineers?

In this case I think the first (and simplest) thing the folks at OneWheel could have done is to keep talking to their users. The very fact that there are reddit threads with dozens of folks talking about injuries they have received should have clued OneWheel product managers and engineers in to the risks associated with their products.

The second approach we’d recommend is to follow a rigorous failure analysis methodology. In last month’s Section View we looked at engineering safety critical systems (like aircraft autopilots), and we highlighted the importance of Failure Mode Effects Analysis. For those of you that do this kind of design work regularly, we went ahead and created a free Design FMEA template for excel that you can download here.

Five Flute Design FMEA template

Designer’s Corner

This is a bit of a niche design tip, but the Five Flute team has been talking about light pipes and diffuser designs this week on our internal Slack channel. Carson found a great video that shows how you can use multi-material FDM printing to create a seven segment display with very nice light diffusion. The details of the design are buried in this printer review video on the Clough42 youtube channel. Here’s a link directly to the good stuff at 14:12.

LIght piping design CAD detail

This led me down a rabbit hole of light piping design using 3D printing that you guys might also find useful. Formlabs and Fictiv both have good articles with helpful design tips for you consumer and medical product gurus out there.

In Case you Missed It

Last May I had an awesome chat with Sera Evcimen on the Builder Circle podcast. We had a really wide ranging and fun chat about all things hardware and product development. If you haven’t listened to the Builder Circle before, you should definitely check it out. She’s releasing season two episodes right now.

That’s it for this issue, thanks for reading and good luck with your hardware projects!

William Burke

William Burke

Five Flute Founder & CEO

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