Designing A Hook for a Wetsuit Hanger
The obvious way to for a wetsuit hanger to be suspended would have been via a carabiner. During the design process there was deliberation whether to make a new mould for a plastic hook or use the tried and tested method of using a carabiner. In the end we invested in a mould, this is how the decision was made and a brief description of the design process.
Most of the design refinements had been made to the hanger part of the c-monsta but the method of suspending it had not been confirmed. The obvious way was to do what others had done before and use a carabiner.
The good things about using carabiners are that; they lock onto poles or lines really well, they are strong, they are cheap, customers are familiar with them and you can buy them in all sizes and shapes. Carabiners are tried and tested.
The downsides of using carabiners are that; we don’t know where or how they are made and at what human and environmental cost, they can scratch surfaces and the jaw width is restrictive.
It had taken a lot of time, money and expertise to get the c-monsta wetsuit hanger to the point where it was ready for manufacture and the idea of designing another component was not, at the time, anyone's idea of fun, but for the above reasons it was decided that it would be a worthwhile exercise.
This was the first attempt:
The concerns for this hook were its strength, aesthetic and that it might swing off a line in a high wind.
Some very clever people have worked out the strongest shape to make a hook and applied that design for lifting and pulling – the crane hook. It was decided that the redesign would roughly follow the contours of a crane hook.
The benefits of this design are that it has optimal strength, minimal volume, an open jaw that allows it to be hung from as wide a variety of places as possible, a shape that prevents it falling off a line in high winds, the aesthetic matches the rest of the hanger and, because it is made of plastic, it is less likely to scratch surfaces. The other significant factor is that we can be confident that the hook is made from recycled plastic and that everyone in the supply chain is given a fair deal.
It was a significant outlay but by doing this we can remain confident about the whos, wheres, whats, whys and whens of the c-monsta business model and responsibly manufacture the wetsuit hanger.