ERICA LEWIS

a safe and versatile 3-D printed bag

Project Theft-Proof Bag

Role Interaction design, Prototyping

Summary After several friends had personal belongings stolen from their backpacks at music festivals, I wanted to create a bag that would be theft-proof and versatile for festival goers. I made a cardboard prototype and a 3-D printed prototype to safely secure essentials (wallet, phone, etc.), provide easy access to a water bottle on the outside of the bag, and allow for versatility in functionality depending on the user's environment. This was a personal project that I worked on intermittently from 2016-2017.

user wearing bag on his side with water bottle user wearing bag on his side without water bottle user wearing bag as a backpack

The bag being worn in different ways. Photos taken by Daniel Nguyen.

Versatile and Safe I found that versatility and protection of personal belongings were important themes to the users. The bag may be worn as a backpack or as a clutch. It has a section where a water bottle can be easily accessed on the outside. However, the main compartment rests against the user's body when worn, and can only be accessed by the user.

sketches and storyboarding

Sketches and ideas for how the bag should be worn as well as storyboarding to think about the bag used in different contexts.

Sketching and Storyboarding I sketched and storyboarded different scenarios of use including a festival goer being able to access his or her water bottle easily, but keeping personal belongings safe in packed concert crowds.

front view of cardboard bag
side view of cardboard bag open
opening cardboard bag

The cardboard prototype is covered in fabric and half of the bag closes with a single magnet.

Cardboard and 3-D Printed Prototypes I created an initial cardboard prototype. The cardboard prototype helped gather user feedback, but was not the ideal material to represent a realistic user scenario. I learned that users wanted to be able to open the bag more in order to fit their belongings, so I decided to allow the flap to open completely in the next iteration.

angled image of 3-D printed bag side view of 3-D printed bag

CAD Drawings of 3-D printed bag using SketchUp.

3-D printed bag with water bottle 3-D printed bag open
angled image of 3-D printed bag side view of 3-D printed bag

3-D printed prototype. Used SketchUp and printed in PLA. Photos taken by Daniel Nguyen.

Future Iterations While making this I ran into some issues including hinges being too small and getting clogged with super glue. Therefore, I used moleskin and magnets to connect the back flap to the bag. In future iterations I would continue to redesign the doors for the back so that they close more securely. This project helped me to strengthen my physical prototyping skills.