This Pull Drill project, done by Stephanie Lewis while studying Industrial Design at Georgia Tech, demonstrates both outside-of-the-box thinking and the importance of conducting thorough research. Oftentimes, as Lewis learned, interviews with subjects may not yield any valuable information; but persistently shadowing them can uncover problems in need of solving.
"I wanted to do something for the construction industry, so I set off bouncing around to various construction sites in Atlanta. I asked questions about problems with current tools to workers coming off site, but, at first, I got a lot of 'can't think of anything.' But I kept asking, and eventually I ended up asking a Superintendent who invited me onsite. I went to safety training at 7am with all the other new workers, and got to observe and ask questions to workers on the jobsite. I learned so much being immersed this way, which eventually led to the development of the Pull Drill."
"The Pull Drill is designed to attach DensGlass* to the outside of a building, while the worker is on the inside. This not only improves safety by minimizing the need to lean outside the building and repeat awkward repetitive motions with a standard drill, but also allows workers to get DensGlass up faster, meaning electrical and internals can be installed sooner, saving time & cost on the project as a whole."
*(Note: DensGlass, despite the name, is actually exterior sheathing. The idea is that the worker can attach the edges of a sheet at an under-construction building's rough openings.)
Lewis has since graduated and, having "discovered my passion for design research, as well as the power tool & construction industry," now works as a design researcher for Techtronic, the parent company of the Ryobi & Ridgid power tool brands. Well done!
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