Lumafield is a Cambridge,MA based startup that is using their X-ray computed tomography platform to make CT scanning intuitive and fast for designers and engineers.
I worked closely with the cofounders of Lumafield to create the industrial design for their first product, the Neptune CT Scanner. Lumafield approached me with an engineering prototype already built, weighing nearly as much as a car. The manufacturing process for the lead enclosure was still in development and needed to remain simple to meet the launch deadline. As the core users would be new to this technology, interactions needed to be incredibly intuitive.
I developed a design strategy that took inspiration from key tenets of furniture and graphic design. I kept the machine form simple, reducing manufacturing R&D time, while employing techniques used in the grid system to develop the proportions and layout of the product. I leveraged elements common in furniture design to create an empty space below the primary form and to separate the machine from the stand. This created a form that felt at home in both a design studio and a manufacturing facility.
A combination of lighting strategy, handle color and a considered HMI layout led to an approachable interface that leverages user’s mental models of how x-rays move through the part to be inspected.
I used a combination of 1:16 scale models, full size foam core prototypes and Augmented Reality prototyping in Gravity Sketch to develop the design. Scale models from matboard were incredibly useful in exploring multiple direction and lighting techniques.
The touchscreen element of the HMI was prototyped at scale with interactions prototyped using Origami Studio. This allowed me to experience the interface and how it felt on the machine of this scale, without needing a working version from Lumafield.