Here at KalendarKards, we take pride in making “memory management” simple for our Karders and their caregivers. It is important to provide a way to stay on track throughout the day without it being overwhelming or confusing.
It Takes Work to Make it Look Easy
In this “behind the scenes” look at how we developed the KalendarKards Stadium, you’ll see how far we traveled to get from initial concept to final product. We are excited to share our inspiration, our vision, and ultimately, our final design.
There was significant time and effort invested to move from concept – to prototype – to plan – to production. Each step of the way was to make the experience of “Playing Their Day” as easy as possible for our Karders. We hope you enjoy the recap of our journey!
Stadium: Base of Operations
Many products have as a component, the central function that ties everything together. Although KalendarKards is based on… well… cards, it is the Stadium that facilitates the easy use of all those cards.
As the core of the KalendarKards Memory Support System, the Stadium must:
- hold the cards
- keep the cards organized
- allow easy card movement
- keep the cards in the same sequence for reuse each week
- store extra cards nearby for easy access to accommodate schedule changes
- keep the marker handy for personalization
That’s a tall order.
Enjoy the journey from “Koncept” to “KalendarKards!”
We knew from the beginning having cards organized by the day of the week was how we needed to proceed. That influenced our thinking not only in Stadium design, but in card design, card topics, and organization, too. In our initial prototype, we used what amounted to a tool box to organize our vision.
Larger, But Smaller
Card design evolved consistent with, and independent of, Stadium design. Here, we explored a way to have the cards readable in a horizontal format, rather than inserting them into the slots rotated. This required a much wider Stadium footprint, but it was our first step in getting the size down to what you see today.
Our Favorite Karder
You know LaDelle. We show her smiling face frequently. As you can see, she seems quite pleased with the horizontal format. Us? At this point, we clearly knew we need to get this design pared down to a much smaller footprint.
High School Drafting Class Pays Off
Remember high school Drafting class? For us, that was a LONG time ago, but seemed to help us get thoughts out of our heads and down on paper. A long time ago, and still a long way to go!
Reality is Setting In!
With a (VERY) rough hand drawn design, we enlisted a CAD (computer aided design) specialist to show us how it could look. We got extremely excited at this point! It was getting real! (And of course, we had an easy way to make requests for changes, much to the chagrin of the CAD engineer!)
Ready! Set! Just a minute…
Before expensive tooling was developed, we tested the design using a 3D-printed mold of just the front (lower) section of the Stadium. Our goal was to test the slot sizes, the slopes, the pen well depth, and the capacity for storing unused cards.
Note the preprinted time cards. Those were an early concept, before we moved to a blank card face for personalization. However, preprinted time cards are being developed as a custom deck for those who need more detailed scheduling! Watch for those soon!
We were very pleased with the 3D printed mold test and went ahead and had the production tooling produced. The mold to the left is milled out of a solid aluminum block. Very tiny holes are drilled in each card receptacle to introduce a vacuum into the manufacturing process. A continuous roll of plastic is fed across the top, heated, and sucked down onto the mold. The light green “negative” acts as a plunger to make sure the plastic finds its way into every corner. The rectangular cutter (lower right) mates to the template (upper left) to shear each Stadium cleanly away from the plastic roll.
Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder
The first 6-8 feet of plastic roll is “sacrificed” to tune the process. Plastic travel speed, mold mating speed and delay, vacuum pressure, and temperature all must be coordinated to create the perfect Stadium. The first few are a bit “rough” but we love all our children the same!
After a few adjustments, Stadiums exit the end of the machinery perfect every time!
You’ve seen the final product throughout our web site and in our brochure! This is our “fully loaded” shot, showing the KalendarKards Memory Support System Stadium in action.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our version of a trip down memory lane. It was an enjoyable process for us, because we knew the final product would be very helpful to many who need extra support.
Feel free to comment below, share with your friends, or simply ask us some questions about the process.