Paul Schrems and Nick Turnbull began their collaboration as Turtle Cell (“Untangling your life since 2012”) based on Paul’s idea to create an iPhone case with a retractable mechanism for headphone cords. In November 2011, the pair won the 1000 Picthes Innovations prize at the University, and with the $1000 in prize money began creating prototypes of their designs made in SolidWorks. Then, using 3D printers, they printed and assembled over a dozen prototypes. Being able to physically put together the cases helped the pair figure out what worked and didn’t, and how the design would actually look and feel.
To create the best product, Schrems and Turnbull consulted with a design firm, potential customers, and phone retail distributers in area. They have made dozens of designs, improving the design and reducing parts with each version. They were able to cut the number of distinct parts down by more than half, and the number of fasteners by 90% so that the cost of material and labor also decreases. Their patent is now pending, and the pair hopes to be in business by 2013. The ability to produce physical models was integral to their success, says Turnbull: “We wouldn’t be where we are without it.”
To read more about their work, check out their website: http://www.turtlecell.com/
By Josephine Keenan