Ball Launcher Brief

This is the Design Brief for the Backyard Ball Launcher. It is text heavy and describes the points of research.

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Manufacturing, Technology & Process

Ideally the product must be constructed from 2 or 3 materials to reduce manufacturing complexity.

Manufacturing must be simple and completed with minimal tooling.

Parts must be manufactured so assembly can be completed by a maximum of 2 people.

The first edition outcome must comply with low number production machinery but have scope for mass manufacture tooling.

Single machine manufacturing complience will aid the speed at which the idea is legitimized. The parts can then be parametrically designed using those scaled vectors/extrusions.

The first design to be manufactured by a craftsman, will be similar to a mass consumed item but focused on functional proof of concept.

Individuality must be closely monitored; the hand crafted nature of the design should be a USP.


This concept should marry beautifully with the heritage and traditon of cricket. The game is fundamentaly reliant on the presence of wood alongside other natural materials – which when combined, paint the overall aesthetic of the game.

Mechanical and electronic bowling machines are loud and bulky tools that look out of place in a Cricket environment – despite meeting some of the users needs.

Operational noise levels should be managed.

The assembly of the product must not deter the user from wanting to use it. Current products require the movement and assembly of large structures that are immobile and hard to store.

Assembly, transportation and storage needs to be achieved by 1 person or child


Send/Catapault a Cricket ball/ Tennis ball on a parabolic trajecrory at least 22 yards (a chain).

Design outcome must cause the ball to travel at speeds equivelant to actual cricket bowling thus simulating real play enough to constitute relevant and merited batting practice.

The design should simulate different speeds and variations of cricket bowling e.g Fast, Medium, Slower Ball, Off Spin, Leg Spin Bowling.

The design should be compatible with both actual cricket nets and domestic play allowing for both young children and young adults to benefit from use.

The product must not be vulnerable to the rigor of shipping transit.

The design of the travel state of the concept must synchronise with the fully assembled version.

Materials must be kept at an absolute minimum; made preferably from plastic to keep cost low and manufacturing methods simple. Plastic is lightweight, durable outside, flexible and in keeping with the origins of the game.

The outcome must not be affected by the outside weather conditions e.g rain, wind or electrical storms; or conduct electricity.

Moving parts and release mechanisms must be mechanically straight forward. NO electrical or heavy complex mechanical components and as fewer components as possible. This is a simple cost effective outcome solving a simple problem, it must be undercut and out-perform other products in this market.

The moving/stress absorbing components of the design must perform at the same level throughout the products life. Time and use should not hinder performance levels

Health & Safety

The product is targeted for use by young children aged 9 and above, therefore the vulnerability of the user needs to be at the forefront of the design.

Minor injury such as bruising is synonymous with Cricket, particularly batting, as a projectile is being released at great speed towards the batsman. This must be accounted for.


The over all size of the product and packaging needs to be within the volumetric and actual weight parameters set by the courier (e.g under 2000g with Royal Mail Tracked or up to 30kg with Parcelforce) when flat packed; this is so it can be shipped.

Average weight of product is pre-determined by courier contract (volumetric weight = W + L x 2 + H). A less dense item generally occupies more space volume in comparison to its actual weight.

Standardising the price of shipping both internationally and domestically is crucial to margin.





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