For decades people have sought a way to reduce the interaction with germs and bacteria. Opportunities to contract a cold or other illness surround us. Vigilance is only half the battle. We can clean our homes, cars, and work space, but some areas are out of our control like doctor offices, gas stations, and many others. The key is to control and sterilize the common objects that are available for communal use.
Steven McDowell, a high school student, had an idea to curtail the spread of unwanted germs and bacteria. He identified the common items that are key vehicles for the transmission of these unwanted microorganisms. His vision was to develop an easy, cost-effective way to sterilize shared items to avoid the transmission of disease.
Steven’s Dad, Ken McDowell, brought his son’s idea to Solid Design Solutions (Solid) for help turning it into a commercial product.
The Solid Team worked to identify both the applicable UV light technology and the needs of the target users. The team then generated a wide variety of concepts for storing, dispensing, and presenting items, as well as a number of concepts addressing the size, shape, and appearance of the device.
Ken and the Solid Team assessed the strengths and weaknesses of the various concepts, and chose the most promising direction. Solid’s engineers developed the concept more completely and created a Proof of Principle model, proving in quick and inexpensive fashion that the basic mechanical, electronic, and software approach was feasible.
A Detailed Design Phase followed. Mechanical components were designed, electronic components were sourced, and an estimate for the cost of the final product was assembled. Our Industrial Design team ensured fidelity to the basic functional and appearance concepts while negotiating and approving changes as needed to accommodate engineering realities. We also generated a host of product brand names, and after one of those was selected, we worked with a graphic designer to refine the brand badging for the product.
At this point, a functional prototype has been created, using 3D printed prototype parts and custom fabricated metal components, together with many of the intended production electronic and mechanical components. This prototype has been in the field for many months generating market interest and investor support.
The resulting product is the UV Clens, an ultraviolet sterilizer. Placed in a doctor’s office, gas station, reservation desk, etc., common items can be inserted into the device and moments later arise sterile and ready for use. The powerful ultraviolet light used in the UV Clens is capable of killing up to 99% of pathogens in seconds preventing the spread of potentially dangerous diseases.