Case study: High density foam tablet holder

TFS were prepared to listen to my hopes and correlate these with what was actually achievable, both in terms of quality and within budget.

Aaron Bennett

The client

Aaron Bennett is a web developer and product designer.

The challenge

Aaron recognised a problem with using tablets such as iPads. If you’re sitting down, it’s difficult to position and hold the tablet comfortably while touching the screen. As a furniture designer, Aaron could see that trying to lean an expensive device against legs or furniture could result in slippage and damage. Surely there was a simple solution…

And the concept of the Padprop was born.

Aaron developed a prototype by cutting a flat foam kneeling pad – the kind often used by gardeners – with a knife. He created a shape which fitted around both sides of the tablet, with a wider section at the rear. Further iterations led Aaron to the best profile, and he realised that this really was a solution to the problem of tablet comfort and slippage.

The next challenge was to find a manufacturer with a suitable skill set in finding and working the best materials for the job.

 

The next challenge was to find a manufacturer with a suitable skill set in finding and working the best materials for the job.

 

Our solution

Aaron searched for an appropriate partner and got in touch with us to explore how we might work together to develop his invention. It quickly became clear to Aaron that we would not only be able to help him with defining the best materials, but we could source and produce the Padprop as well – offering end-to-end support.

Our experience in polyurethane and polyethylene foams, learned since our inception in 1989, has helped us become market leaders in the European foam industry. Combined with the many different conversion processes at our disposal, we were quickly able to recommend the most suitable grade of high-density foam required to make the Padprop.

“Technical Foam Services quickly understood exactly what I was looking for and invested a considerable amount of their time and energy into my project,” says Aaron.

 

How it worked

From the outset, Aaron had a retail price in mind, and all our development work focused on ensuring we remained within the unit budget. The entire development process took less than three months, by which time full-scale prototypes were available for market evaluation.

As well as the developing and manufacturing of the product itself, we were also able to design the Padprop’s packaging – including shelf-ready packaging, bags, artwork, bar-coding and shipping cartons.

 

Technical Foam Services quickly understood exactly what I was looking for and invested a considerable amount of their time and energy into my project.

Aaron Bennett
 

The results

Padprop was launched at the Gadget Show Exhibition at the NEC in Spring 2012. With a retail price of £14.99, Aaron’s new product quickly became a must-have for many tablet owners. Fantastic reviews from MacWorld, Essential Mac and Expert iPad vindicated Aaron’s belief that Padprop was indeed a great solution to a common problem. Since then, the Padprop has gone on to be stocked by major retailers, such as Marks & Spencer.

“Technical Foam Services clearly have really good knowledge of the global foam industry,” says Aaron. “They were prepared to listen to my hopes and correlate these with what was actually achievable, both in terms of quality and within budget. I would certainly recommend them for product development within the foam industry.”

 

Get in touch today to discuss your project. 

Fantastic reviews

from MacWorld, Essential Mac and Expert iPad

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