Bat Detector Holder – First Working Prototype.

Being a protect I have been worked on between other paid work, the Bat Detector holder has taken some time to reach the first functional prototype stage. The device will now be put in to the hands of my friend to test in field.

The use case required was to solve a specific issue for ecologists working in field. i.e. one of simple not having three hands. A Bat Detector is an expensive piece of equipment which an ecologist uses when surveying bat populations; reading the data on the screen and recording it into a clipboard. But with the detector, the clipboard and a pen this all becomes somewhat of a juggling act.

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The functionality of the design enables the user to secure the detector to the board, while extending it above and in front of the clipboard, so to be able to take readings and record notes. The arms of the holder use built in pulleys, and so, when the arm is unfolded upwards for use the detector stays flat facing the users. When not in use the arm can be folded back down storing the detector flat onto the board for safe keeping.

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The bat detector holder has been prototyped primarily utilising my in-house 3D printer via drawing parts on Solidworks, with the exception of pulley system, made from 3D printer parts of 4 timing pulleys, 2 belts and a 5mm metal rod cut to size.

Since the former post regarding the bat detectors holders product development I have finally added the cradle for the detector to sit in. The required details of design of this part has been a little difficult to determine, as I have not been able to handle the detector itself, and so have had to work off provided measurements and images. I therefore I have designed the cradle in such a way the foam inserts that hold it in place can be cut and adjusted for best secure fit. The cradle is attached via a clip designed to both secretly clip onto the detector arms and also detachable to be clipped onto the users belt if so required. This clip is attached to the cradle via Velcro, so allowing for the cradle to be swapped out, if a newer model of detector comes into use. Also, this allows the device to be easily adapted for other kinds of surveying equipment for any given field.

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Being that this is the first functional working prototype, and there are already some iterations I intent to make, such as adjustments to the arms so the making it easier for the user to write on the board. The final angle of the extension may be slightly adjusted, and the whole thing would finally be redesigned for a better aesthetic look. These iterations, plus any other recommendations, will occur once the users as tried the device.

If you have a project you would like to see happen and are interested in contracting me for any prototyping work please get in touch via contact page, or call me on 07869 275799.

If you are also interested in 3D printing please see my blog and also my shop for 3D printers and accessories.