Inspiration for new products can come from all different types of experience. Inventor, Karen Cholerton had her idea spark when she was cleaning out the grooves on her Ifor Williams horse trailer. She was amazed that she couldn’t find an equestrian trailer tool online. So, feeling frustrated she started sketching. Her idea evolved as she began to think about the task in hand – to do the job properly she’d need both a rake and a brush. So why not combine the two? She started sketching her idea and soon realised she could create a multi-tool but needed help to make it a reality. That’s when she met with Simple Design Works to discuss her idea.
BroomRaker | Multi-purpose tool
The importance of prototyping
We explored Karen’s idea through conceptual design to determine what it should do, behave and look like for users. The tool had the potential to be used by anyone so it needed to be lightweight and comfortable. Of course it also needed to rake effectively therefore creating a sample to test was absolutely essential. Physical prototyping allowed us to fully test the product in context so we could assess its functionality and durability, as well as test different aspects of the design throughout the development stage. These aided us in defining details such as the ergonomics of the handle and tooth spacing therefore helping to thoroughly refine the concept and produce CAD for prototyping purposes.
The detail is in the design
The teeth on the head were designed to fit the grooves of an Ifor Williams trailer, allowing the user to remove any trapped dirt from the flooring. Once the dirt is loosened, then you simply flip the brush and sweep up the mess. Its multi-tool credentials were expanded further so that the materials allowed it to withstand breaking up and spreading shaving bales as well as clean stables. When testing the first prototype, Karen discovered that it was so much more than an equestrian tool but also worked well in the garden too. Its versatility is how it got its name. A broom, a rake – BroomRaker!
Karen went on to pitch BroomRaker on Channel 4’s Buy It Now For Christmas where inventors showcase their products to an audience of typical consumers. It’s now a firm fixture in country stores across the UK as well as the BroomRaker website.