In order to add strength and flexibility to multi-story and large format concrete construction projects, engineers embed cables within the concrete. After the concrete has had some time to set, technicians use pneumatic equipment to apply a specific amount of tension to each cable. This process is called post-tensioning. Large construction sites can have hundreds or even thousands of cables that each require different specifications for tensioning.
The traditional process took an average of 14 days. Field technicians needed to manually record the specification for each cable pull, note all the results and fax the results to an engineer for approval. They then needed to schedule a follow-up on the job site to re-tension all of the rejected cables. This process is an essential part of the foundation for floor construction and, as such, work is often stalled as project managers await engineering approval on all post-tensioning cables.
For months, the client had tried to create a functioning prototype for use in market to drive down the time associated with the standard process. The backend system communication and user experience (UX) were extremely complicated and the project was stalled. We deployed a diverse team with backgrounds in Experience Design (XD), engineering, ethnographic research, design and prototyping. Using Bottle Rocket’s in-house 3D printer, we were able to get working prototypes within one week and demo a field-ready prototype within four weeks. The solution is currently in beta field testing with a select set of test clients and the results to date have exceeded both our and the client’s expectations.
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