Spacing large decorative panels accurately and consistently apart from each other is a common pain point for interior fit-out installers. Small inaccuracies in conventional fastening methods can lead to large variations in spacing over the length of a sheet. Fastmount, a long-term partner of Blender, identified this gap in the market and set out to provide a better solution.
The brief; to design a clip product which can hold a panel in place, yet allows a small degree of movement for finite positioning prior to being locked in place. The new product had to fit conventional framing systems commonly used in the industry, and be extremely simple for installers to use. The chosen framing systems to target were Aluminium T-slot, Galvanised steel rail, and timber.
Blender worked closely with Fastmount throughout the project starting with a concept ideation workshop. This was critical as it allowed the Blender team to extract professional industry insight from Fastmount and translate that into a concept direction for the subsequent stages of the project.
Because of the unique clip requirements and characteristics, the design process explored several variations of the original design through sketching and quick CAD sprints for prototyping, testing and analysis. The chosen direction was to utilise a 3 part assembly with a simple o-ring. The o-ring provided a simple and economical solution to create a surface for the male component to bite into and prevent further movement when engaged. The outer housing component is interchangeable to suit the desired framing system. This provided multiple SKU’s with minimal tooling investment and additional parts.
Working closely with Fastmount’s manufacturing partners, Blender was able to provide support and production files to enable tooling and manufacture. The product was released in April 2019 and is currently making waves in the industry, with a successful adoption rate in Europe.