Bath and Play: From Idea to Kickstarter

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Ottawa inventor Jay Conohan walked into the Design 1st office in January 2013 with a product idea and the enthusiasm to dive headfirst into the product development process. Now 10 months later, he has a working prototype, Kickstarter campaign and is preparing for the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas to showcase his product. Here’s a quick summary of Jay’s journey and how he re-invented toddler bath time.

The Product Idea

Like many inventors, Jay stumbled across the “Bath and Play” product idea by accident; literally, his son Ronyn fell in the bathtub while trying to standup. After an online search for a product that would allow Ronyn to safely stand and explore the bathtub came up empty Jay decided to invent one.

The first step was meeting with the Design 1st team and fleshing out possible design concepts, various concept sketches are shown below:

Detailed Design and Prototyping

After several design discussions with Jay, a product concept was chosen that met all the design requirements including:

  • Fit in any standard size bathtub
  • Foldable and light weight design for easy storage
  • Waterproof, durable and safe mate
  • Accommodate various accessories

The next step was building the finalized design concept and all its custom parts in Solidworks, a 3D CAD program. This step involved defining the geometry, features and function that would bring the product idea to life. Once complete, a fabricator was sourced to build a durable foam prototype using the 3D CAD files as shown below:

Kickstarter Campaign

With a working prototype, design files and pricing information on manufacturing costs, Jay was ready to start the next leg of his journey on Kickstarter. The goal of the Kickstarter Campaign was to raise $30K to offset the tooling costs in preparation for high volume and quality manufacturing – an expensive process. The Kickstarter campaign would also offer the opportunity for new parents to be the first to own a “Bath and Play” along with creative minds to design accessories for it.

Launched on September 30, the Kickstarter campaign got off to a great start reaching 20% of the funding goal with 20 Backers. To get look at how it all came together check-out Jay’s Kickstarter video below:


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