Product design, light design, prototyping, graphic design
Politecnico di Milano
Neptune is a smart buoyancy compensator device (BCD), designed to reduce the risk of accidents due to an ascent from a too fast dive. The BCD is a tool used by divers to adjust their buoyancy during the dive, it is, therefore, an indispensable tool, as it allows it to descend or rise in altitude thanks to the introduction or emission of air from the jacket.
There were several phases during the BCD analysis, which can be divided into the analysis of the product history, benchmark, analysis of the state of the art and analysis of use by the user. This led me, also thanks to the collaboration with instructors and experts, to the identification of various problems related to the diving world and in particular to the BCD. I participated in several dives, where I could try the different techniques and procedures used by divers.
The difficulty in giving the alarm in solitary diving situations
Freedive swimmers are more at risk of barotrauma
The difficulty in maintaining a vertical position during the emergence
Even in pair divers accidents occur
The difficulty of the novice students in handling the BCD
The project is focused on the development of a buoyancy compensator device, trying to find solutions to some limitations of this instrument, mainly related to usability and comfort of use, intervening principally on the way in which this relates to the user.
Neptune is a two-tube BCD, independently controlled by a system of intelligent valves connected to the main tank. It is designed to help the diver in the emergence and to improve the experience during the dive phase.
During the dive phase, the rear air pocket will be used, giving the diver more freedom of movement and thus increasing pleasure during the dive. Thanks to the intelligent valves Neptune will also be able to stop a climb too fast or to bring the diver to a neutral set-up without difficulty. An ascent too fast would, in fact, lead the diver to various problems that could even lead to death.
In the emerging phase, the system will guarantee the diver a vertical position, essential in case of emergency or loss of the senses. With the two separate air chambers, you can act differently in the emergence and in the immersion phase. In fact, in the emergencing phase, in addition to the back part, the lower chamber will also be inflated, giving the diver a considerable vertical momentum. During the dive phase, however, by deflating the lower part, the diver will naturally be led to hold a horizontal position.
The prototyping of this instrument has been long and complicated and has also required the implementation of 3D printing. The part of the air cham - bers is made using a Cordura like nylon fabric, cut and sewn by hand using paper patterns and filled with polyurethane foam, to simulate the air pressure in the BCD. The shoulder straps are made of EVA padding and covered in a Naylon fabric. The rigid parts such as the cylinder holder and the adjustable backrest have been mo - delled with the use of special software and then obtained through 3D prin - ting.