The innovative dynamx™ control valves regulate energy flow to bring the right amount of energy to the right place at the precise time. Water supply (warm and cold) is continually adjusted to maintain the preferred comfort level in each room. Energy is conserved in this way, by using only the necessary amount of water. Consumption and energy performance can also be tracked by room or floor, and alarms can be automatically triggered in the event of a problem.
Common design language
As is ease-of-use for both installer and operator, the design is also a breakthrough in the industry. The blue ripples on the surface reflect the function of both water and energy waves. Attention is drawn to the utilitarian value more than to the logo, although its sleek and clean design is still refreshing to the technical world.
ModularityThe product line includes a motor and sensor unit, to be used independently or in combination with one another. Both are modular so they may be configured in function of application: with or without built-in displays, the input of additional external sensors, or wireless communication to read the field data. The dynamx valve is available in different flow ranges in order to enable optimal sizing. Our dynamx valves are designed to accurately control the flow through each consumer. All dynamx valves can be integrated smoothly into each Building Management Systems or they can also be implemented as stand-alone devices.
We also designed dxLink™, an associated application that greatly simplifies installation and maintenance. It allows remote commissioning and/or re-commissioning for the Dynamx-units. Thereby the commissioning of the Dynamx-unit does not require intervention on site, but can be executed in a central site/location.
Modularity with the least possible number of injection molded parts and to be linked to standard purchasing parts (such as engines and a large variety of valves). Cost saving is a very important theme since contracts very often come through public procurement.
Increased productivity in the laboratoryTerumo BCT wanted to update their T-Seal Tube Sealing Device with an emphasis on usability and efficiency. The new unit needed to take up as little work surface as possible and be quickly interconnected with multiple devices when needing to seal off numerous inline blood samples. This partnership led to a device that not only met these criteria but also boosted productivity in the lab environment and increased sales for Terumo BCT.
Our user-centered approach quickly helped us understand how the technician works in a busy lab and where the challenges lay trough the workflow.
A more intuitive and compact seal unitA folding spacing leg can be used to place multiple sealing units next to each other at precise intervals to create different samples. Sizing down the T-SEAL II device allows closer placement for more sealed units, using up less workspace. Data and power can be shared between the units trough cable connections. This ensures that the sealing only happens at the optimum moment, limiting the risk of having a bad seal.
An Anaesthesia device is a crucial device in an operation room. Its design needs to be functional, easy to use and – most importantly – reliable in all circumstances. Medec wanted to develop their new anaesthesia device and consulted Achilles Design to guide them through the development process.
We started our design project by analysing the actual usage patterns of the device. Various observations, stakeholder interviews and user scenario explorations therefore resulted in a system design that optimally fulfilled the user needs. Multiple loops of design, prototyping, testing and optimisation led to a functional, affordable, and aesthetic device design.
Getting insights in the process flows of anaesthesiaIn order to start the design process, we first needed to get a solid and thorough understanding of the various stakeholder needs, predominantly the needs of the user itself. Being required to analyse, specify, develop, and evaluate the usability of this medical device in accordance with the ISO62366 standard, we focused on designing the product based on actual user feedback.
Hands-on design approachWe mobilised all the creative ability of our engineers and designers and then combined the best ideas into a series of design concepts. From the overall product layout to different functional subsystems such as the valves, our engineers generated multiple functional prototypes that were intensely tested with respect to durability and reliability.
Defining every bolt and nutExtensive experience with multiple manufacturing techniques and assembly principles enabled us to develop a robust and reliable device, while keeping the cost of ownership to a strict minimum. We detailed and designed all mechanical parts for serial production. In close co-operation with the Medec team, we verified that all parts and (sub)systems would fulfil the required quality standards.
Stackable sleeping cells that resemble a beehiveAiming at providing festival visitors with a unique experience relating to their overnight stay, the social enterprises Compaan and Labeur imagined a concept of a stackable sleeping cell that resembled a beehive. They decided to join forces with Achilles Design after being selected for an innovation subsidy. The design team of Achilles Design then then began a full year of development, prototyping and testing to develop “The Honeycomb Hotel”.
Imagining and designing the honeycomb hotelThe design project kicked off by interviewing focus groups of festival visitors. Achilles Design then translated their expectations, needs and wishes into accommodation concepts. After consulting a vast number of stakeholders, including those responsible for safety regulation, we were able to work out an attractive accommodation concept that was both pleasant and compliant with the required safety and regulation standards for festivals
Trading your tent for more safety and comfortFestival visitors are increasingly interested in trading their tent for a more comfortable and safer accommodation. B-AND-BEE offers a mobile, modular and stackable system, thereby delivering a unique user experience.
Prototyping and testing
Wooden prototypesPrototypes were used throughout the whole design process. From early verification in carboard to full-scale, fully functional wooden B-AND-BEE’S.
A modular moss panel that removes PM from the airBESIX Group, the largest Belgian multidisciplinary construction group, joins the battle against air pollution in urban environments. Academic research indicates a high potential for natural moss to remove PM (particulate matter) from polluted air. BESIX Group contacted Achilles to work out a solution that takes advantage of this promising natural phenomenon. A modular system consisting of active panels was conceived which can be installed on wall next to congested roads, tunnel exits, construction sites,…
After testing a variety of irrigation and ventilation principles, Achilles Design created the system layout, designed the product and engineered the complete system. For a pilot project, several panel modules were assembled in-house and installed at a construction site in Leiden.
Creating the optimal climate for the moss.Only if the moss is kept in good shape, its full air-filtering potential can be unlocked. Elaborate experimenting and testing identified the optimal substrate, irrigation and ventilation. During this process Achilles Design converted the academic knowledge into a practical biosystem solution.
Building a system around the mossThe overall system architecture has a major impact, not only regarding the product cost but also with respect to performance, the ease of maintenance, modularity, durability, etc. That’s why we systematically considered different approaches of subsystem decentralization, component layouts and materialization.
Bringing ideas to a real life situation.Quite early in the development, we had the opportunity to build an actual first pilot project in Leiden. The short timeframe forced us to make quick decisions and immediately bring ideas to reality, combining off-the-shelf solutions with a first production batch.
Natural moss with IoT technologyThe moss wall is packed with sensors to monitor all relevant parameters: the humidity of the moss, the PM concentration of incoming (= polluted) and outgoing (= filtered) air, temperature, etc. Through an online platform, we were able to manage irrigation and ventilation regimes and monitor the effect on the performance of the moss wall.
The hyposafe SubQ technology allows to monitor your brain activity continuously. The challenge is to create a product that is only minimally obstructive as it has to be worn continuously. When designing the external device we had to make sure that the product is as invisible as possible, yet still able to interact with the user, especially when an alarm occurs. Being used 24 hours, the reliability of the product is of extreme importance.
Slink designThe product consists of a tiny implant and an external communication device that is connected with the implant through an inductive coil. The final design of the external device is a highly miniaturized flat product that can be magnetically fixed below the patient’s clothes. The magnet has a circle shape allowing the patient to blindly find their way to the button positioned on the inside of his shirt. The optimized magnet will ensure a strong fixation allowing the user to be very active, perform sport etc. An auditory and visual alarm is given in case of a nearing hypoglycemia.
Engineered for productionAchilles Design took the lead in all mechanical design & engineering, while Zenso was responsible for the design of the external communication device and designed all the electronics, firmware and PC-based software from feasibility phase up to design and production. Focus on superior quality and reliability was key to achieve the Uneeg quality requirements.
We transformed the client’s early specifications into a concept design through sketches, CAD, and early mock-ups, thereby translating the specific safety eyewear requirements into a light and comfortable design. During the whole process, we challenged every design idea against the end user’s needs as well as production requirements.
World's first 3D printed safety glassesThe challenge was to design a product that combines lightweight comfort with high-tech performance, and to enable efficient larger-volume production. 3D-printing was chosen as the production method of the main body for these exact reasons. Our design allowed Iristick to go to market 8-12 months earlier than with traditional injection molded parts.
Eddy MerckxEvery sport has its legends, but cycling has a living legend: Eddy Merckx, the most successful cyclist of all time, is the top authority on human powered speed. For several years, Eddy Merckx cycles maintained a strategic design partnership with Achilles Design to guarantee a unique design language throughout their entire bicycle range.
Power under control.Eddy Merckx Cycles wants to offer high quality bicycles for demanding racing cyclists. New models all have to fit a distinctive design identity, defined by technical requirements such as stiffness, compliance, geometries and UCI regulations. Complex surface modelling allows us to achieve a good tension between stiffness, stability and safety; technical features like cable integration, seat post clamps, and hardware mounts – all combined in an attractive design.
Experience Eddy's racing spiritAll model names are linked to 1 of the 525 victories in Eddy’s incredible career. Each frame is developed around unique characteristics. The graphics should embrace the industrial design. Blending Eddy’s true racing spirit and future market expectations results into a differentiating appearance of each and every bike.
Make styling proposals that actually work.Rapid prototyping of detailed CAD models is the perfect preparation for mold drawing and advanced composite lay-up technique. We translate functional and behavioral specifications into a manufacturable look and feel for the carbon, aluminum and steel frames of Eddy Merckx Cycles.
Applying graphics on a bicycle frame requires accurate shaping and dimensioning of decals or paint masks. We combine 3D models with hand on cutting and pasting to define attractive but feasible designs.
At the very core of Worldline is security and at the heart of their secure data flow sits Adyton: the Hardware Security Module or HSM. Adyton contains the software keys that are needed for decoding all kinds of encrypted information. Because this product contains very valuable information, high-end security is crucial. In this project, the challenge was to design a device that excels in security and performance (e.g. heat management) without any compromise.
Achilles defined the product architecture, followed by the mechanical design with the ideal match between protection, heat management and design for assembly. This project delivered a solution where technology, functionality, aesthetics and ease of use truly go hand-in-hand.
Protective layers keep intruders out, but the heat inside.To protect the product from being cooked inside its own skin, heat dispersion became one of the key factors in the design process. In the end, the inner module was so well secured, it was even impossible for the heat to escape. This specific topic required various design iterations, simulations and testing. An elaborate system of heat pipes, penetrating every protective layer proved to be the most feasible solution.
Form followed function. And vice versa.Technology and aesthetics went hand-in-hand in this project. The heat management defined the form and the form defined the component layout. The outer casing, entirely made out of milled aluminum, resulted in a high-end aesthetic, with a lot of respect for the quality of the material and attention to details.
Performance, aesthetics and production.Close collaboration with the suppliers allowed us to deliver a mature design that was optimized in both performance, aesthetics and efficiency in production. We optimized every component to ensure a smooth manufacturing and flawless assembly process.
Most people think of Virtual Reality (VR) as a tool that is great for gaming and immersive experiences. In this project, our client wanted to go even further, by using this tool to bring traffic education into Flanders’ classrooms. Aeroplane and Achilles joined forces to create VRkeer, a virtual traffic education game in which children encounter a series of traffic scenarios that contain vital safety lessons and directions. The game required a dedicated set of VR hardware that was easy to transport, setup in classrooms, and used by children.
Aeroplane (Achilles Design’s VR spin-off) was assigned with the creation of this virtual world and all of its characters, objects and challenges. They needed a dedicated controller to make the experience of riding your bicycle through a virtual word as authentic as possible. We designed a steering wheel that houses two Oculus Touch controllers and offers a manipulation similar to a bicycle handlebar.
The Interfaces VR uses vary wildly from game to game. These interfaces operate in all 3 dimensions, allowing for new and creative interaction designs. Unfortunately, these spatial interfaces are often confusing for first-time users. Since the VRkeer education sets will move from classroom to classroom, we had to shorten the users’ learning curve as much as possible.
To lower the learning curve, we designed a VR interface that works in only 2 dimensions. The interface and controller handlebar are designed around the natural rotation of a bicycle handlebar. The handlebar rolls on top of the table with 4 rollers, allowing it to rotate freely around its center. This makes the navigation and riding experience feel very authentic to cycling. Once children wear the VR goggles, they intuitively know what to do and start climbing up their learning curve.
“The true challenge was to translate the wishes of the customer into a feasible design in a really short period of time.”
Training the innocent looking SAM 225 Club into its new tougher looksIt had to have enough muscle to stand up against all weather conditions, be safe and secure, and still be able to deliver the messages of the sponsors. Together with padding specialists Coolen from Eindhoven, and thanks to Schelde Sports’s expertise and know-how, our design was detailed to perfection and quickly realized.
A portable competition basketball backstop unitThis basketball tower is fitted with the SAM (Spring Assisted Mechanism) system, a Pro Action 180° dunk ring, an anti-whip net and a full set protection padding for front, sides, backboard and neck. It’s completely freestanding thanks to the integrated extra counter-weights, no floor anchoring required. It’s ideal for indoor and outdoor events thanks to its extra thick and strong paddings with urban look. It can be moved by 1 person and positioned using the APF (Automatic Pedestal Feet) system.
Kipando believes that cycling is one of the key mobility solutions in a changing world of movement. Target is to increase the availability of bicycles through an electronic bike lock integrated with an online service that let bikers locate, and rent a bike. By focusing on the B2B market, the system had to incorporate several points of views from the various stakeholders.
Being a start-up, Kipando needed a partner with a proven track record in designing smart products as well as bicycles. They therefore joined forces with Achilles to develop their service solution. We had to combine strategic service design with state-of-the-art product design, engineering and digital design. We were responsible for the development and total project management.
Small, smaller, smallestA major challenge in this project was to create a bike lock that can withstand brute force, and is still compact, lightweight and allow the bike to be safely locked. We came up with a patented mechanical solution that combines all requirements in a simple and reliable design and that can be easily attached on all standard bikes.
Functional prototypes to validate performancePrototyping is generally very essential in product design, but it was particularly in this project. Early in the design process, raw prototypes gain insights e.g. on how easy a specific shape would be applicable on different bike frames. Further detailing of the design results in more advanced prototypes that allow verification of functionality and extra performance requirements such as water tightness, durability, etc.
One system, one familyThe construction business becomes more complex every day and architectural designs often create challenging window applications. For sun protection systems, being able to respond to every building situation is the key. The challenge here was to create a custom solution for every need… with one system. That’s what Harol clients really want.
Achilles took care of the product design, prototyping, engineering and validation of the entire product portfolio of the VZ family. By creating two base products – each with distinctly different options – the number of combinations and various application possibilities became almost endless. A clear focus on modularity was crucial. But also the possibility to expand the basic set-up with different options was an important part of the development.
Easy to installObservations and interviews with trained installers helped us to define the most difficult, error-sensitive or time-consuming operations during the installation process. With that knowledge in mind, we designed a new product with a very straightforward installation process. All important technical components are easily accessible from the top of the product. This offers many advantages during installation and after-sales service. The prototypes that we produced in-house helped us to visualize and verify this new workflow. This led to getting the crucial feedback from technicians, installers, marketeers, etc. that made the design a success.
Virtual reality in the design processOur partner Aeroplane helped us experience the product in true size, in a representative environment. Thanks to VR, designers and product managers could easily switch between configurations, materials and colors in seconds. This would be impossible in real life, or with illustrations on paper. At the same time, VR offered unique opportunities to visualize the mechanics and interactions between the parts. This can become a very useful training tool for installers to quickly gather insights in the construction and possibilities of the system.
Thinking of the big picture, while designing the details.Designing a system is much more complicated than a single product. It requires a specific approach. The most difficult part is that every decision you make in the design on component level, can have an influence on the entire system. That's why it's crucial to keep the global picture with all its possibilities in mind, while you are working on the details. Good visualizations, 3D-CAD models and rapid prototypes can help to illustrate how all the different elements interact with each other. With a limited but intelligently balanced package of components, it's possible to build a complete range of products with a wide variety of dimensions and application situations.
When the design is finished, the real work begins.As you cannot verify everything in a 3D CAD model, a lot of effort went to real life verification. Multiple iterations of rapid prototypes, milled parts and first production batches were assembled to test, optimize and verify the design
Lighting candlesThe Marian pilgrimage site of Scherpenheuvel has existed for over 400 years and remains the most popular pilgrimage town in the Benelux. Many pilgrims light a candle for the Virgin Mary during their visit. This age-old popular devotion is flourishing once more despite the erosion in support the Catholic Church is currently facing. Visitors light a candle in remembrance, to ask a question, or to reflect on something. There is a human story behind every lit candle. The votive candle chapels symbolize the union with Mary. People are not alone in their joy, their worries or their grief.
Religious symbolismScherpenheuvel and the pilgrimage site in particular are permeated with "Marian symbolism". It is, as it were, a total work of art that emblematically shapes the symbolic vision of the Blessed Virgin. Urbanism, architecture, painting and sculpture each contribute to the project in their own way.
To design contemporary solutions for a historical siteThe pilgrimage site of Scherpenheuvel asked us to design new candle chapels to replace the old ones. A restoration of the old chapels was not an option since they had no historical value and, moreover, they were not part of a new overall vision for the revaluation of the Pilgrimage site. Our unique challenge was to re-interpret intimate historical design objectives and to revive them in a contemporary solution. Both the functional design of the chapel and the emotional experience of burning candles were central to this challenge.
Both their form and function are fully designed to provide 'a soothing encounter with Mary'The construction is clearly divided between areas used by pilgrims and areas used for maintenance and service. There is a strict division between both main functions (front end and back end), meaning that quick maintenance does not interfere with the intimate and unmediated experience of burning a candle. The chapel also has clear instructions for its use built into its design. Special day candles were developed for the chapel. Thanks to the Marian crown at the top, they are perfect for burning outside. The cardboard lids serve as intention cards and enable people to share their stories with Mary.
Marian symbolism and integrationThe pattern of the rear wall depicts a rosebush, the symbol of Mary, much like the arctic starflower and the private garden surrounding the Basilica. Thanks to the perforated rear wall, among others, the chapel fits in seamlessly with the private garden. The outer structure, made from weathering steel, refers to the ubiquitous ferrous sandstone on the site.
A modern and appealing drinking bottle that is fun to useKambukka hired us to develop trendy drinking solutions for people on the go that suit every occasion. By combining aesthetics with smart functionality, we helped them to realize a broad range of drinkware that fits everybody’s lifestyle and personality.
Together we stand strongerTo meet the needs of different kinds of consumers all around the world our product designers, branding experts and innovation consults had to work in close collaboration with the Kambukka management. Achilles Design accompanied the client in the whole process, from early sketches to industrial production.
A smart range of thermal and water bottlesWe like to introduce you to Etna, Olympus, Elton, Lagoon and Reno. All of them fully leakproof, available in fashionable colors and providing a smooth drinking experience thanks to the patent pending product features.
“Plug & Play” devices are hardly ever as simple to use as we think they should be. Dymo wanted to bring some truth back to this often touted feature and they chose Achilles to help them on their way. It was up to us to give their new Label Manager PNP a fresh new design, along with the Label Manager LM420P, LM160 and LM500TS.
In this project, the Achilles designers used their product design, engineering and styling skills to create the LabelManager product family. Functionality, ergonomics, technology and aesthetics go hand in hand in these award-winning designs.
Common Design Language
Good designs don’t fall out of the sky. They are built on strong brand foundation.Everyone can see that the Dymo LabelManagers are all part of the same family. That's not a coincidence. Every Dymo device is designed with their common design language in mind, which we have systematically documented. In this document, the core values are defined that describe the brand foundation, the actual 'DNA' of the company.
Guidelines that help designersThese brand values are translated in useful design guidelines about styling, CMF (Color, Material & Finish) but also about user interaction, ergonomics, etc. to define what makes a true Dymo product. Basically, they help the designers to make the right choices in function of the brand, through the entire design process.
Size matters. On your desk and in your hands.For a professional desktop device, it is important that the footprint is kept as small as possible. For handheld devices the size of the grip area has a huge impact on the ergonomics and user comfort.
Designing with real dimensionsTherefore, at first, we did not start drawing flashy sketches, but we developed the right component configuration in 3D. After all, they will define the actual size, grip area etc. and in the end, the usability of your product. Once we had that figured out, the actual shaping could start. We needed to find something intriguing and playful without going crazy.
Make styling proposals that actually work.Achilles was mainly responsible for the styling, but we also took care of the phase 1 engineering, in order to make sure that everything was feasible and producible. After all, a fun shape isn’t any fun if it can’t be made.
Blending usability with performanceXeikon developed a new digital label press that packs speed, versatility and quality like no other. Its top speed of 30 m/min makes the Xeikon CX3 the most productive 5-colour digital label press in its class. It is therefore, to some extent, a class of its own. This machine needed a top-class casing that reflects the state-of-the-art inside. That’s where Achilles came into the picture.
Achilles designed the casing and supporting frame of these machines. Through user-centered design, we gathered valuable insights to optimize the installation and workflow. We created a new look-and-feel that matches with the overall Xeikon style and engineered the casing and frame for mass production.
Changing the architecture of a device can save you installation time (and money).By designing a completely new frame and rethinking the installation scenario (with some sophisticated engineering) we substantially simplified the setup, requiring less fine-tuning in the field. Setting up the frame and casing can now be done almost twice as fast!
Integrated interface taken to the next level!Operators don’t sit at their desk all day. They walk around the production hall, performing numerous tasks. Therefore, we embedded the most crucial feedback elements (machine status and toner status) in the design so they are visible through the entire production hall.
A symbolic representation of the printing process.The characteristic color break on the Xeikon machines is more than cosmetic. The light grey color resembles unprinted paper, where the red color resembles toner/ink. So when you look at the machine, you actually "see" the color being applied to the medium.
Clearly a member of the family.Over the years we have helped Xeikon to create many breakthrough innovations. We’ve created machines that each have a strong personality but share a style that is unique in the market. Of course we were very proud to once again be their preferred partner in the development and design of this revolutionary machine.