Design For Manufacturing - DFM Course 13 - Waterproofing

Next up in the Design for Manufacturing course, Bill Drislane (VP of Manufacturing and Engineering) is going to talk about waterproofing and sealing. A lot of clients have come to Dragon Innovation with a wrist mounted widget gadget and they all wanted it to be waterproofed. The entrepreneurs at least wanted the gadget to be waterproofed for showering but a few wanted customers to be able to swim with it.

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Waterproofing is harder than most people would imagine. The Dragon team was able to get the Pebble watch waterproofed to 5 atmospheres and it was a lot of work. Pebble has about five buttons that operate their pushers so there is a stainless steel shaft that has to slide through a seal. Those are always the hardest to seal especially if you're operating the button in the water as it might drive water through the seal.

You also have other issues like controls across the boundary, charging contacts that have to be waterproofed, and joints within the different parts of the housing. For something like the Pebble watch, you have the crystal to the top housing and then the top housing to the main housing for the battery contact and so on. It's a very demanding process.

You can watch the full lecture and view the accompanying slides below:

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