outradius is a product design firm based in Newport, Rhode Island, USA.
At outradius we specialize in the design and management of entire product lines for our clients. We excel at design-for-manufacturing (DFM) to reduce cost of goods sold (COGS) by streamlining processes and finding creative ways to manufacture products. These efforts drive down costs and drive up profits for our clients.
Additionally, at outradius we keep a close relationship with content creators and media outlets, providing added marketing value to our clients through media exposure. Our projects have been highlighted on NBC, Discovery Channel, and National Public Radio among others.
The outradius design process is to design for function and then design for simplicity.
FUNCTION: additive designGet firsthand insight on the way a user interacts with a product. How can the product be improved? What new features can be added? Can a change in manufacturing technique or material improve the product?
SIMPLICITY: subtractive designWhat features are not needed? Where can we clean up the design to simplify future processes? How can we design to optimize manufacturing - saving time and materials, and ultimately cost?
what we do:
technical writing and graphics
autodesk fusion 360
adobe creative suite
managing director / mechanical engineerclimbs palm trees for coconuts
creative media directorfrequently runs red lights
project design engineershakes his head everyone else's shenanigans
outradius also has a talented pool of contractors specializing in mechanical design and engineering, graphic design, copywriting, and videography
at outradius, we leverage our strategic relationships with contract manufacturers, machine shops, patent agents, marketing agencies, and media outlets for the benefit of our clients.
online portfolio of projects
AutoLock product line design and management
marine hardware, product line management, yacht design, finite element analysis, design for manufacturing, graphic design, technical writing
adobe creative suite
Inventor Eric Hall of Hall Spars invented and patented the AutoLock: an automatic halyard lock not requiring a trip-line. Halyard locks hold hoisted sails up on the mast to remove tension from the halyard, halving the amount of compression on a sailboat mast. When the team at outradius took over the product line management, the first generation AutoLock designs were costly to manufacture, heavy, and the product line was disorganized.
The outradius team used knowledge of CNC machining and finite element analysis to improve the four designs of the first generation AutoLocks for manufacturing and weight savings. This focus on design for manufacturing resulted in an average of 33 percent cost and weight savings across the product line. A line of lighter high performance titanium AutoLocks was also added to the Hall Spars product offering. The first generation AutoLock designs had four different sizes. A fifth 10 MT Safe Working Load AutoLock was added for superyachts.
The first generation AutoLocks offered poor support without proper customer manuals, and never moved past their original disorganized R&D part numbering system. Graphic designers at outradius worked with drawings from the mechanical design staff to make customer manuals and technical sales materials across the product line of AutoLocks. Additionally, an intuitive product numbering and organizational system was generated to help the Hall Spars staff.
BESS dairy calf feeding system
veterinary device, mechanical engineering, finite element analysis, injection moulding, elastomer design, blow moulding, product line management
Dairy calf feeding systems are wasteful, antiquated, and are non-ergonomic. The chief complaints are: the low use life of nipples (discarded after less than one month) due to the nipple tip splitting apart, non-ergonomic fit of current bottle designs in the hands of the farm workers, and frequent breakages and damages of the top selling industry milk bucket.
Using feedback from local and international farms, outradius and CoTran developed concepts for a new dairy bottle, nipple, and bucket system. A proprietary valve system for the nipple was patented, eliminating stress risers and giving longer life to the nipple. Parts of the nipple were studied with finite element analysis to perfect their performance characteristics. The milk bottle was designed to have a proprietary ergonomic bottle shape for three different bottle volumes. A milk bucket was developed which can be used with the industry leading milk bucket holders. The new bucket is more durable, nests with its handle for shipping, easier to hang, and easier to measure volume than the industry leading bucket. Ancillary products such as a bottle holder and bottle cleaning system were also designed to round-out the product line.
Production is ongoing and we at outradius are eagerly awaiting for the upcoming Bess product line release.
Hand Made Prosthetics
mechanical wrist unit and distal lock design
medical device, mechanical engineering, finite element analysis, 3d printing, cnc machining
autodesk fusion 360
adobe creative suite
Inventor Braden Leonard, a former firefighter, lost his right hand and almost lost his life to flesh eating bacteria. After trying and breaking a couple of different mechanical prosthetic devices available on the market, Leonard decided to make his own and started a prosthetic device company: Hand Made Prosthetics. He had three major issues with mechanical wrist and pin-lock design: free rotation under load, strength, and transmission of pronation and supination (twist) from his arm to the prosthetic device.
Leonard partnered with outradius to design two parts to the Hand Made prosthetic device system: the TwistWrist wrist unit, and TwistLock distal locking mechanism (pat. pending). The TwistWrist uses a proprietary adapter and bearing system to provide free rotation under all load cases, even off-axis load (while still providing a rotation lock). The TwistLock distal locking mechanism was designed by outradius use a non-circular pin to transmit the arm’s pronation and supination to the prosthetic device. The prosthetic device end was designed by outradius, while Leonard and Hand Made team developed a vacuum forming technique for transmitting torsional load custom for each amputee. The TwistWrist and TwistLock were designed using finite element analysis to ensure appropriate safe working loads for human tensile and torque loads per the NASA Human Performance Capabilities.
outradius is producing a feature film, also called Hand Made, on Braden and the Autodesk BUILD Space and the community of people helping him build his prosthetic device. His story has been seen and heard by thousands on 60 Minutes, Discovery Channel Canada, National Public Radio, and Mashable among others.
polymer cannula design
medical device, surgical tooling, mechanical engineering, injection moulding, insert moulding , 3d-printing
autodesk fusion 360
Medical device company Lenoss Medical has developed a proprietary spinal tooling and implant system. One procedure involves a polymer implant. Lenoss needed a simple design for surgeons and patients to use standard polymer implants with the proprietary Lenoss spinal tooling.
Lenoss contracted outradius to design a system which mates an industry standard polymer injection system with the design of the Lenoss tooling. The team at outradius designed a simple friction fitting and polymer cannula system using the snap-on attachment method already built into the Lenoss tooling system. The polymer cannula tube handle was a challenge as it uses a special thread to connect it to the industry-standard polymer systems. The initial SLA 3d printed prototype thread worked perfectly.
Note: A member of the outradius team was invited by Lenoss to a cadaver lab. We witnessed three top spinal surgeons use the Lenoss system. Their feedback on the Lenoss system, including the polymer method, was positive. The team at outradius eagerly awaits the Lenoss clinical trial.
modular sprung dance floor system
furniture, structural engineering, composites, elastomer design
The idea of FiberSprung began when inventor Spencer Gavin Hering’s mother lost her wood-sprung dance floor to a fire sprinkler system malfunction. Reinforcing the idea, hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria destroyed a plethora of dance floors in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico in the summer and fall of 2017. Widely considered to be the top dance floors in the world, wood-sprung floors are expensive permanent installations, have a high risk for damage, and lose their spring characteristics after 10-15 years of use. These factors highlight the need to innovate wooden sprung floors.
Hering, a professional ballet dancer and dance floor builder, partnered with outradius to design a modular sprung dance floor system using a fiberglass subfloor (pat. pending). Composites such as fiberglass can be used as high tech waterproof replacements for wood. The dimensional and performance stability of fiberglass provides better quality control than wood at a fraction of the weight. Using structural engineering, the outradius team matched the performance characteristics of the latticed wooden members in a wooden sprung floor with a fiberglass lattice. A proprietary elastomer fitting method was developed which allows the fiberglass lattice to be modular and the floor to be stored on pallets; an impossible feature for a wood-sprung floor. The FiberSprung dance floor has a lifetime guarantee with potential to be the top dance floor on the market.
We at outradius are excited for FiberSprung's first full-size dance floor, with production scheduled soon.
imaging head unit design and prototype
medical device, mechanical engineering, 3d printing
Medical sensing company scinovia corporation successfully prototyped the inside components of their imaging head unit on a prototyping breadboard the size of a coffee table. The company acquired a stock prototype cart, arm, and head for the first application of their blood flow sensor: open heart surgery. The challenge was to fit all of the components of their sensing equipment from the breadboard and into the canister shaped head unit.
Scinovia hired outradius to design an internal frame fitting all of the components of the head unit into the stock canister. The internal frame was designed to be 3d printed. Threaded nuts were press-fit into the 3d print to hold each component in place, and the dimensional tolerancing of the 3d print was satisfactory to keep all of the precise locations required of the hardware within the imaging head unit. The head unit is now on display for potential customers and investors at Scinovia's office in Raleigh, NC.
We at outradius are excited to see where the blood flow sensing technology is headed. We anticipate revolutionary accomplishments from Scinovia’s technology and are looking forward to more complex and rewarding design projects from them.
hardware design and specifications for the Atlantic 70F yacht
marine hardware, mechanical engineering, yacht design, finite element analysis, structural engineering
Goetz Composites was the boatbuilder for the 70 foot carbon fiber biplane catamaran, Saphira. Goetz contracted outradius to specify the deck hardware for the build, and to design any custom mechanical parts and assemblies required by the build. In addition, outradius was also contracted to design composite spars for the electrical sensor equipment, and a movable davit system for the dinghy.
Using the load inputs from the sail and spar manufacturers and 3d models of the deck plan of the boat, the outradius team calculated the loads required for each piece of sailing hardware for the yacht based on the maximum possible loads on the running rigging. Using these loads and a baseline factor of safety, the team specified as many production pieces of hardware to be installed on the boat. In some areas such as lines exiting the mast and entering the daggerboard trunks, the team at outradius designed custom aluminum and stainless steel sheave boxes and ferrules, optimizing their designs using finite element analysis. From prior catamaran sailing experience and input from the owner, the hardware design globally defined the ergonomics of how the yacht is to be sailed.
Additionally, outradius worked with the Goetz electrical contractors to design carbon fiber spars on the aft portion of the boat used for holding electronics. These spars were integrated into a life-boat style davit system. The lifeboat davit and chock system was designed to be built out of of composites using structural engineering to ensure the strength of the components within the system.
For more information: https://www.chriswhitedesigns.com/atlantic-70f
s/y Rambler 88
custom titanium hydraulic cylinder end-fitting
marine hardware, mechanical engineering
In the push for the 2018 Newport - Bermuda Race, the maxi race yacht Rambler 88 decided to change their headsail configuration. This required a new hydraulic cylinder installation, with a customized end-fitting. This decision was made 4 weeks before the race.
Using 2d drawings for comparable end-fittings, outradius designed a custom titanium end fitting in 3d for a hydraulic cylinder for the yacht. With such a tight timeline, outradius turned around the design for the project in one day. The drawings were sent to a machine shop and the yacht had the manufactured part in hand within two weeks, leaving ample time for installation.
Note: outradius would like to congratulate Rambler 88 for winning line honours (1st boat to finish) at the 2018 Newport - Bermuda Race!
outradius is partnering with Rocco Films and andrea.media to produce the film Hand: Made.
The day before Braden Leonard lost his right hand to flesh-eating bacteria, he was an outdoor enthusiast, a veteran fireman and a dedicated member of his local Rhode Island community. It was on a regular trip mountain biking when he was thrown from his bike, hit a tree and ended up with a thorn in his hand. He chalked it up to a rough day on the trails and headed home.
But what initially seemed like a small accident landed Braden in a medically induced coma in a matter of hours. The thorn had infected his bloodstream with necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating bacteria), which was doing quick work of shutting his body down. He was given a 30% chance of survival. If they amputated his hand, it might stem the infection, but there were no promises.
Luckily, Braden beat the odds and woke up a week later. He lost his right hand, his job and his sense of normalcy, but he had his life.
At this point in the story, many amputees adapt their life to include their prosthetic, but Braden insisted on finding something that would fit his active lifestyle. He couldn’t find one, so he built one himself.
This is the story of how a mountain-biking fireman took on the entire prosthetics industry—one-handed. His do-it-yourself design has the potential to revolutionize how amputees move. And this summer, he’s taking his prototype and a motorcycle on a cross-country, on-and-off-road trip in an ultimate test of product endurance. Along the way, he’ll team up with adaptive athletes who are redefining what it means to be doers and makers.
other media coverage for outradius projects
Hand Made Prosthetics
Megyn Kelly: Today
26 July 2018
Hand Made Prosthetics
Discovery Channel Canada:
25 April 2018
Hand Made Prosthetics
The Bartholomewtown podcast
19 Jun 2018
Triangle Business Journal
25 Jan 2016
Let's make rad stuff together! Please e-mail us regarding any potential partnerships.
We are actively looking for potential sponsors for the film Hand Made.