TUT’s Industrial Design students win big

Four second-year students from the Tshwane University of Technology’s (TUT) Department of Industrial Design for the second consecutive year walked away as winners in the student industrial designers at the annual Association of Rotational Moulders of South Africa’s (ARMSA) design competition.
​Sponsored by SASOL’s Polymer Tech Centre, there are two categories in the competition. One for professional designers working in the rotational moulding industry, and one for student industrial designers.

This year’s student design challenge was to create a product that demonstrated an appreciation of the advantages of the rotational moulding process within the theme ‘pet and/or animal products’. The judges expected the students to identify a real-life problem based on the theme, by designing an original but also commercially-viable solution.

At the prize giving early in October, Wayne Wiid, ARMSA Chairperson, said the judges were extremely impressed with the students’ technical understanding and ability to design rotationally moulded products. Six semi-finalists were chosen from the 50 student entries.

Pierre Botha, received the first prize for his ‘bale saver’. He identified the rotting of bales of hay in the rain and not drying correctly as the problem. Pierre designed a rotationally moulded product that lifts and separates each bale a few centimetres from the ground and from each other in order to improve airflow. This prevents the bales from rotting. 

Pierre was fortunate to be this year’s winner as ARMSA decided to sponsor the tooling for a mould to manufacture the ‘bale saver’. In addition, ARMSA invited Pierre to exhibit his design at the 2018 ARMSA conference, attended by delegates from the plastics industry across South Africa. Hopefully the delegates will realise Pierre’s potential as a designer to the plastics industry of South Africa. 

Heinrich Olwage, received the second prize.  Heinrich identified the distribution of pellets to feed farm animals as the problem. Current methods of feeding animals are either too time consuming and labour intensive, or too expensive for the small to medium sized farmers. Heinrich’s design is a cheaper alternative to the current high-tech pellet distributors available in the market.

Isabella Mithilene, won the third prize. She made history when became the first female TUT student to be in the top three for the ARMSA student design competition. In equestrian sports, show jumpers struggle to find locally produced show jump fences that are multi-functional and lightweight. Isabella decided to investigate this challenge. Current solutions are either imported show jump fences, which are very expensive, or heavy homemade gum poles, which make height adjustment of the fences difficult and increases the risk of horse and rider accidents. 

Jethro Zeffertt received the fourth prize for identifying the need for transportation of piglets from one place to another in a local area. Jethro’s trolley design is light and easy to handle. 

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Willa de Ruyter on tel: 012 382 5352 or send an email to deruyterw@tut.ac.za.