Wiring Harness News WHN Sept-Oct 2020 WHN Sep-Oct 2020 - Page 42

42 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020 Wiring Harness News INDUSTRIAL INFO-TAINMENT Strain-Relief: Design Tips for Durability and Aesthetic Appeal Continued from page 40 ____________ Aesthetic Considerations With every great design, form follows function, but follows so closely the two are nearly inseparable. Think beyond minimum bend radius and strength of materials to how this will look and feel to the person using this cable every day. Some designs need classic industrial chic, and metal springs become an obvious choice. For others, sleek minimalism is the order, and solid strain relief wins. The multi-directional segmentation can fit with a playful, funky look (Fig. 5). Don’t be afraid to get more creative, experimenting with different sizes or even totally out-of-box designs, like the designer of the Snakables cables (full disclosure: I worked on the design of Snakables). For consumer products, this can be a chance to really stand out. Manufacturing Considerations Your design is almost complete. But before you put down your pencil and get ready for a chorus of “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere,” think about how your beautiful new design will be made. The options are simple: molded or slide-on. Molded designs incorporate the strain relief directly into plug design, creating a robust unit. While this is attractive and can be very effective, it might require expensive 2-shot molding, and so is best for designs which will be produced in high quantitie. Figure 6. Slide-on designs, as seen in the Logitech mouse, are a low-cost alternative Figure 5. Snakable cables are a playful, but very effective solution Slide-on designs are simpler, and can interface with existing plug designs (Fig. 6) . Many designs are available as off the shelf parts, and so are a great option for new products where your company is not ready to commit to custom tooling. _____________ Continued on page 44