Clip makes all the right connections

Plastic clips, especially those destined for the low cost end of the market shoulder bags and rucsacks, have a distinctly limited working life

Problem: , invariably failing by fatigue at a particularly critical moment. Inherent weaknesses can be found in both the hooks with press-in tongues and the trident shapes that insert into flat sleeves. However, strengthening the component parts tends to result in designs requiring excessive finger pressure to release.
Solution: Product designer Andy Southern has come up with a cylindrical clip which consists of two identical mating parts and seems to be a considerable improvement. The S-Clasp mates to form a barrel shaped connection with a diagonal divide. There is no central cantilever to break or align and the half round shape allows intuitive connection. And the rounded barb is protected by the barrel when mated.
A single component type for both ends should reduce moulding costs, with Mr Southern claiming that his design is more ergonomic than male/female types, looks better, is easier to work, and will be at least as strong when in use.
The concept arose from a project undertaken while Mr Southern was a student at the Royal College of Art, which subsequently backed it commercially by underwriting the cost of the patent application. Rapid prototypes made by stereolithography have demonstrated the principle of operation.
Applications: Although intended primarily for bags, the basic design principles, including the use of identical halves and the strength provided achieved by the diagonal split, give this new design of clip a wide range of possible applications. TS
Any Southern

Tom Shelley

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