Empowering entrepreneurs along the journey to achieving their ambitions.

Bars.Grips.Rings.

Since 4c was founded, we have been working with entrepreneurs. David White of BGR Training is one of the latest through our doors, with a unique approach to the fitness trend of suspension trainers – which has only grown in popularity as more people have begun exercising at home.

Used by gym-goers, athletes and online fitness classes, current suspension trainers are complex to set up and have a limited variation of exercises due to their fixed grips. David wanted to create a retractable webbing system that would allow for easy setup, and supply it with different attachments to create variety in the type of exercise without being off-putting to new users. This truly makes the BGR a portable gym, allowing people to workout in outdoor parks, or enabling athletes to exercise whilst travelling.

What We Did

David came to us with a drive and ambition to enter the fitness market and a low-fidelity prototype that didn’t quite match his vision. We suggested he went through our Innovation Review, where we were able to provide expertise early on to help David get a better understanding of the journey ahead of him. The review delved into the market and capability gaps, as well as kickstarting his business plan and visualising a roadmap to developing the suspension trainer. As David is an entrepreneur working on his first venture, we split the development into bite-sized projects to help him navigate the funding process, and used Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) to enable communication with investors.

Capabilities Used

  • Design engineering
  • Road-mapping
  • Brainstorming
  • User centred design
  • Industrial design
  • Model making
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Computer Aided Design
  • Product testing
  • Assembly development
  • Manufacturing review
discover our capabilities

Following on from our Innovation Review, the project was split into five stages:

Stage 1
We looked to develop the webbing mechanism, producing multiple prototypes to test different ways of achieving a secure locking system on the retracting suspension trainer, taking the design to TRL 3. This would act as an initial user focused feasibility, providing mechanical engineering direction and allowing David to demonstrate the concept to different stakeholders.

Stage 2
With the mechanism decided, aesthetics and ergonomics were introduced in this industrial design stage. This ensured we did not stray too far from the end goal when diving deeper into the engineering, and provided David material to communicate his vision. This prototype was hand finished in our workshop and touched up occasionally between pitches, so it was looking its best when David came to demonstrate it in a presentation to stakeholders or investors.

Stage 3
The third stage involved further refinement to the engineering to bring the product up to TRL 5, with multiple rounds of prototyping and FEA analysis carried out to develop the strongest and most robust design. In-house testing on our test rig allowed us to take our prototypes to their literal breaking point. At this point, we were providing David with additional direction around IP and considerations for the remainder of the development journey.

Stage 4
With an eye on manufacturing and assembly, we changed the structure so that it would begin to tie Stage 2 and Stage 3 together. A proof of concept prototype was produced at the end of stage 4, taking the design to TRL 6 with a breaking force including the standard safety factor for exercise equipment. At this point we were able to provide rough costs for David to begin planning how he would fund the manufacturing and first batch.

Stage 5
In the final stage, the design was refined for manufacture and brought to a production ready level (TRL 7) with a much more refined bill of materials, technical drawings for manufacturing and an initial sourcing exercise which enabled us to test some manufactured components. These prototypes were then finished to enable the final level of communication with David’s Kickstarter launch.

Value Generated

One of the biggest values 4c was able to bring to the project was a level of empathy to the entrepreneur’s journey, having launched our own product in recent years and experienced launching products on Kickstarter. This allowed us to provide additional start-up support and links to manufacturers that are tried and tested. We were also on hand to provide additional business support and material as and when we could to help David secure funding.

With a project of this size, we utilised the capabilities of our entire team, from industrial design to manufacturing engineering. Enabled by our in-house workshop, we carried out testing to breaking points over half a ton, with 25 prototypes tested and 10 different assembly processes trialled to provide confidence to both David and his key stakeholders.

As David gears up to launch, we will keep this case study updated on his success! David’s Kickstarter video can be seen below:

"4c have been on hand every step of the way with an empathetic and understanding approach to my project. Each member of staff has a willingness to get involved and to help in any capacity that they can all in a bid to deliver the best possible product and outcome - 4c are far more than a just a product design company!"

David White - CEO, BGR (Bars.Grips.Rings.)
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