UPPAbaby MESA Lightweight
Skills Used: Industrial Design, User Research, Form Development, Visual Branding, 3D Printing, SolidWorks, SketchBook Pro, Photoshop, Keyshot
The MESA Lightweight is UPPAbaby's lightest car seat weighing just under six pounds. For this project I was the lead industrial designer working directly with an internal core team consisting of key stakeholders in sales, mechanical engineering, quality engineering, product marketing, project management, crash performance and outside engineering contractors to develop the project from storyboard to final tooling model for manufacturing.
Required Product Features
The project scope required the MESA Lightweight to have specific features to be compatible with current UPPAbaby products and to be competitive to other lightweight car seats on the market all while staying under six pounds. It was my task to meet all the guidelines in the design brief and to ideate different solutions to meet the project scope.
Product Compatibility: The MESA Lightweight needed to be compatible with the existing UPPAbaby MESA base.
Lightweight Handle: A newly designed lightweight handle needed to be designed to reduce weight and to visually separate the MESA Lightweight from other products.
European Belt Routing: To improve safety and performance the carrier shell needed to have European belt routing.
2-in-1 Release Mechanism: To reduce weight from the car seat the stroller and base release mechanism were built into one handle.
Set-Up Process Storyboard
I created a storyboard and mapped out the set-up process to identify each step the user would go through. I presented the storyboard to sales, product marketing, engineering, design and functional managers during the first milestone meeting.
Use Case Scenarios Storyboard
In addition to mapping out the set-up process of the car seat I also storyboarded the the use case scenarios to identify the different environments the car seat would be used in. This allowed the core team to identify if the car seat met all the required features for the best user experience.
The simulation and engineering team developed the baseline geometry of the carrier shell before handing it off to design. The engineering teams optimized the shell shape for best weight savings and crash performance. It was my responsibility to incorporate the functional components and to develop the aesthetics of the shell.
SolidWorks was used early into the design process, this allowed us to quickly to develop a design direction and to hand it over to the crash simulation team to ensure it was a strong design. In order to make a robust and highly editable feature tree in SolidWorks, I broke each component into a separate body and folder to allow me to easily roll back into the feature tree and make design changes without affecting other parts of the carrier shell.
I developed a series of form variants in SolidWorks to present to the design team that incorporated weight saving solutions and aesthetic detailing the match the UPPAbaby visual brand language.
Carry Handle Exploration
I worked with the simulation team to explore different handle materials and production methods to develop the lightest and strongest handle design.
Form & Part Exploration
Sketching and CAD underlays were used to explore different form and part directions to quickly illustrate different design options. These sketches were shown to the internal design group before implementing the final design in SolidWorks.
Carry Handle Rotation Mechanism
In order to reduce weight a new handle rotation mechanism was designed to lower part count and weight. I worked with the design engineers to help develop the mechanism.
Mechanical & Weight Saving Refinement
Industrial Design Prototype 01
An industrial design prototype was made for the second milestone meeting to present to the core team. I created the CAD for the carrier shell, foam, handle hubs, canopy and belt hooks. The engineering team implemented their components and gearing into the handle hub.