As spick and span as we’d like to appear, the good folks of DEVELOP3D are a slovenly bunch; living in flea-ridden bedsits behind Kings Cross rail station and eating out of bins.
This life of squalor meant that we’d have no use for this week’s Prime Cuts product when it came to testing it in the flesh – the AEG Electrolux Nimble vacuum cleaner – but we found a person willing to give it a go. My Mother.
AEG’s first upright cleaner was duly shipped off to the furthest reaches of humanity known to mankind – West Cumbria – where life is much simpler and the people don’t find themselves bedding down on a filthy mattress with a pack of feral cats in the evening.
Designed as a high-end cleaning tool, lighter than the other bag-less upright cleaners currently on the market, it followed AEG’s consumer insight surveys that revealed consumers want a vacuum that is easy to push, pull, move around and under furniture and is easy to transport.
Although not a natural fit for the target consumer ‘Monica’, my Mam (Barbara, incidentally) seems distinctly impressed with its performance – especially the ‘swiveling head’ movement and the LED headlight, so much so that we got in touch with AEG Electrolux’s designers to find out some more about their ability to delight northern housewives.
The Nimble is exactly as the name would suggest – 12kg of relentless suction that can weave around obstacles more smoothly than a skidding oil-tanker – but the 30 person design team at Electrolux went further than that by adding sturdy build quality, some nifty add-on bits, and a colour range straight from the pages of Good Housekeeping (armed with her model in a fetching cassis colour scheme, you can only smile when you imagine Barbara whiling away the hours using the 3-in-1 Versatool nozzle to vacuum the stairs carpet in a sprightly manner).
Utilising their sketching knowhow and swift ability to render with Alias the design team promptly had the first iterations designed in Unigraphics before the serious work of prototype testing was introduced. Use of SLA models printed straight from the CAD data meant that a tangible model could be worked with early on in the process, before test vacuums were produced for 20 ‘Monicas’ to take home.
This user input that the models were worked upon to create the final product fitting the ‘Perfekt in form und funktion’ mantra of AEG.
I’m not sure that my mother’s grasp of German is particularly good, but even she can inform you that it’s a rather nice piece of kit.