The BBC’s popular series, The Apprentice, returned to people’s screens a few weeks ago which sees several aspiring business-people taking part in a range of different tasks to try and win a business deal with legendary entrepreneur, Lord Alan Sugar.
One of the show’s most important elements is the design task, which puts the candidates’ creative abilities to the test to create and launch a new product.
This year for the challenge product design company Innovative Design were chosen to help the teams complete the challenge and got to sink their teeth into helping design and produce the products for the episode.
In the programme, which aired last week, the candidates were challenged to create a children’s electronic toothbrush and accompanying interactive app, aimed at encouraging them to brush their teeth.
James Mclnerny, co-managing director at Innovative Design, said: “We wanted to ensure that the task was simple enough to complete in the tiny amount of design time we had, and the producers wanted to push the boundaries of previous series and pull off something incredible.
“We put together a multi-skilled team to handle the concept sketching, brush design, electronics and app development, character creation and packaging elements of the task and each team needed different designers so in the end it took quite a few of us.”
Innovative Design created an internal chassis to mount the electronics on, which sat on the outside of the product case and despite the brushes only being prototypes, everything fitted the size of a normal toothbrush.
The designers also wanted the brushes to have a range of colours and be strong, so used a Stratasys J850 Prime Polyjet 3D Printer to design the cases.
But James explained that overtime it was a struggle to get the products finished and printed on time as there was only one printer which led to them teaming up with Laser Lines to complete the task, printing the prototypes overnight at their secure facility in Branbury.
James added: “Having the Laser Lines’ bureau facility was a godsend and absolutely critical to getting the part out quickly and back to us ready for filming the next day. The team was amazingly knowledgeable, helpful, responsive and came back to us ASAP – something that we really appreciated.”
Greg Keech, Applications Engineer at Laser Lines, said: “The Stratasys J850 Prime is a fantastic device for designers in the consumer goods, electronics and automotive sectors as it enables you to get through the prototype stages faster, more efficiently and cheaper.
“The build took a lot of organising between ourselves and Innovative Design, as we had to follow the live recording of the show. Thankfully, we have the J850 in the bureau for situations where a tight turnaround is needed, its speed and efficiency are amazing, and it was great to be able to help and to be a part of such a high-profile, live production.
“In our opinion, it was the J850 Prime rather than the toothbrushes or Lord Sugar that stole the show!”
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