Design Intent: Personalization
The laboratory bench is the hub of scientific research and activity, much like the kitchen in a family’s home. However, unlike in the kitchen, laboratory appliances and tools have not continually evolved to make tasks more efficient and enjoyable. The Lab has stayed the same with many generic accessories.
Our team wanted to focus on designing for the lab bench and give researchers some highly considered and flexible choices. The first product they challenged was the ubiquitous tube rack – which we renamed the “TubeLounge”. The future line will be under the “Plastic Rat” Brand, appealing to younger researchers.
We researched how the racks were being used among our many life science clients. Researchers loved being included as part of the development team. We started to understand about typical tube sizes, early set-up and organization, need to have everything readily at hand.
Researchers can also be very aware of everything that relates to a particular series of experiments, so there was a need for personalization.
As usual, we also wanted the product to recede when in use, so the researcher can focus completely on the task in hand and maintain flow. The rack is a highly functional accessory which can be organized and expanded.
We used one of our contract manufacturers in China to develop the tooling, and organized the assembly, ultrasonic welding and packaging locally in California.