Designing a new product isn’t necessarily as easy as it looks. There’s much more that goes into it than simply coming up with a design and sending it off to a machine shop. Or worse, finding a part in some catalog and just stamping your brand on it.
The journey to get to the R35V is a long one unfortunately. This is a design that started off as an investment casting design because the original design was complex and couldn’t be machined.
And then at some point, reality struck and said that we needed to put something out there that was machinable. So back to the drawing board.
When you’re delivering product to a global marketplace, you have to make lots of little decisions with the limited resources you have. Where do you make it? Who’s the customer, etc. Well, we made the decision that the Radial line of BOV’s that we’re going to be developing will be made in the USA. Designed, developed, and manufactured here in the USA. Until recently, the US hasn’t been very price competitive in low volume manufacturing. However, now comes in a new supplier for us here in San Diego. A firm run by Matt Bockman, a Master’s degree’d Mechanical Engineer specializing in Fluids and Dynamics turned machinist proprietor. As a designer, I have to say that I have a good appreciation working with a machinist that knows more than just how to cut metal and drill holes. And a guy coming out of my own Alma Matter UC San Diego, couldn’t be a bad guy either, right? And he’s a former gear head that used to have a turbo K24 in an Acura RSX. My goal is for him to be turbocharged again.
Design, is far from an easy thing. Evolving from this, to
this final product, took a little while. Never mind the math in figuring out how it should work, the aesthetics was the big roadblock to making it happen.
When you decide to take on the full line of manufacturing, QC, assembly and testing, the task starts to involve lots of moving pieces.
You actually need to build holders so that you can properly assemble these parts without scratching them up. And you need a proper way to torque them. Making the tools to assemble the parts actually took tons of time in design and refinement of that design. So, it was more than just getting on the bandsaw and putting some patterns together.
Do you every get obsessed with perfecting stuff and making sure you don’t nick and scratch up that piece that took forever to make? Well here’s a little tool we made so that we don’t scratch up the assemblies when putting the fasteners on.
Now on to the design. From the outside, it probably looks like we just recycled the part from the DV and SB series. However, this is a new version and redesign of the guts of that part. It involves less moving parts and less things that can potentially go wrong in manufacturing.
I’m pretty sure that there will be a few of the, “looks like part x.” But this design is quite different. This is our trademark tri-lobe design element that has been around since the SB BOV first launched. But as the designer, I can only say that this is probably my favorite view of the part. I just like the symmetry of it all. It took a while to get here, but I’m pretty pleased with the continuity of the design and how it fits into the family of product.