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Domestic Equipment-Home > Lawnmowers

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Prototype part for Victa lawnmower, 2002 - 2003
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Images: 01 02

Object statement
Mulching plug prototype, for Victa lawnmower, plastic / wood, designed by BlueSky Creative and Victa Lawncare, Mascot, New South Wales, Australia, 2002-2003
This prototype part was designed by BlueSky Creative in partnership with Victa Lawncare Pty Ltd in 2002-2003. It was one of a number of prototypes of the mulching plug for the new range of Victa lawnmowers launched in 2003. The new range included the 'Razor' and 'Tornado' mowers, which shared the same basic chassis design.

The design process for this part of the mower was typical of contemporary products designed in Australia. 3D computer design was used to develop the part, and a foam model was made by hand. Prototypes were then made using rapid prototyping technology.

This prototype is an example of one common rapid prototyping technique, selective laser sintering (SLS). Developed in the 1980s, rapid prototyping enables designers to quickly test their ideas in three dimensions and refine their ideas before they are presented to the tool maker or manufacturer. Selective laser sintering builds plastic parts or objects a layer at a time by tracing a laser beam on the surface of a bed of powdered thermoplastic. Heat from the laser melts the powder and bonds it together to form a layer of the object. The entire bed of powder is moved down one layer thickness and a new layer of powder is spread over the surface. The laser is then applied again to create the next layer. This process is repeated until the entire object is fabricated. After the object is fully formed the excess powder is simply brushed away, and some final manual finishing may be carried out.

The new range of Victa lawnmowers represents a contemporary redesign of an iconic Australian product. By redesigning its mower range Victa aimed to reinvigorate its image as an innovative company leading the lawncare industry.
The mulching plug is necessary for the mower to mulch the cut grass, which is then pushed back into the ground.

This prototype part was designed by BlueSky Creative in partnership with Victa Lawncare Pty Ltd in 2002-2003. It was one of a number of prototypes made of the mulching plug for the new range of Victa lawnmowers launched in 2003. The new range included the 'Razor' and 'Tornado' mowers which were based on the same basic chasis design. The design team included: Mark Armstrong, Henri Spaile, Attila Bertok from BlueSky Creative and Paul Tonitto, Dominic Tamas, Patrick Doyle from Victa Lawncare. Development of the design concept began in April 2002.

The design process for this part of the mower utilised 3D computer design. A foam model was hand-made followed by prototypes made using rapid prototyping technology. This prototype was made using selective laser sintering. Selective Laser Sintering builds plastic parts or objects a layer at a time by tracing a laser beam on the surface of a tightly compacted bed of powdered thermoplastic material. Heat from the laser melts the powder and bonds it together to form a layer of the object. The entire bed of powder is moved down one layer thickness and a new layer of powder spread over the surface. The laser is then applied again to create the next layer. This process is repeated until the entire object is fabricated. After the object is fully formed the excess powder is simply brushed away and some final manual finishing may be carried out.
This mulching plug was lent to the Museum for display in the exhibition 'Sydney designers unplugged: people, process, product' from 6 Aug - 9 October 2005.

The new 'Razor' lawnmower was the first domestic product to be released in a major redesign of Victa's products. It represents a contemporary redesign of an iconic Australian product. By redesigning its mower range Victa aimed to reinvigorate its image as an innovative company leading in the lawncare industry.

The new design features an improved cutting system and a more ergonomic handle. Enhanced handling and a larger cutting diameter reduce the time and effort required by users when mowing. The mower has been designed to improve the efficiency of manufacture and assembly. The 'Razor' mower has been said to set new benchmarks for mower design, receiving an Australian Design Award in 2004 and praise from within the industry. With its unique styling this product represents a new look and marketing opportunity for a significant Australian manufacturing company.

BlueSky Creative, the company that made headlines when it was selected to design the Sydney 2000 Olympic torch, was founded by Mark Armstrong in 1984. The group consists of industrial, graphic and environmental designers with offices in Sydney and Melbourne.

The 12 designers in the Sydney studio create products for local and international companies including Victa, Sunbeam, Electrolux, and Philips, Mark's former employer and part-owner of BlueSky until 2003. Recently the group worked with a Chinese motorcycle manufacturer on a new scooter design.

 This text content licensed under CC BY-NC.

Description
Mulching plug prototype, for Victa lawnmower, plastic / wood, designed by BlueSky Creative and Victa Lawncare, Mascot, New South Wales, Australia, 2002-2003

Bone coloured rectangular block with projecting triangle. Two of the corners are wooden. The plastic part is made from nylon using selective laser sintering, a rapid prototyping technique. It has been annotated in black ink and hand-modified using putty. The annotations are comments on design specifications.

Designed: BlueSky Creative; Sydney; 2002 - 2003

Designed: Victa Lawncare Pty Ltd; Sydney; 2002 - 2003


Used: Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences; Sydney; 2005
Marks
No marks
2006/32/1
Production date
2002 - 2003
Height
170 mm
Width
320 mm
Depth
290 mm

 This text content licensed under CC BY-SA.
Acquisition credit line
Gift of BlueSky Creative, 2006
Subjects
+ Australian product design
+ Gardening
Short persistent URL
Concise link back to this object: http://from.ph/357768
Cite this object in Wikipedia
Copy and paste this wiki-markup:

{{cite web |url=http://from.ph/357768 |title=Prototype part for Victa lawnmower |author=Powerhouse Museum |accessdate=2 September 2014 |publisher=Powerhouse Museum, Australia}}


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