In the underwater realms, divers prefer small items rather than large ones. Innovative Scuba Concepts, Inc., designed its Mini-Quest™ to fit in a buoyancy compensator jacket pocket – nearly 40% smaller than its original Quest™ model. The compact size was challenging for the product designers.
The Quest™ product line offers divers a way to communicate their depth, air remaining, or other various topics. “It is like a high-tech underwater Magna Doodle,” said engineering manager Debbie Miller. It features a magnetic stylus for writing messages on a magnetic surface and a magnetic eraser-bar to clear the surface. For diving applications, however, it must be designed to very tight tolerances and be able to withstand pressures common to most diving depths.
The high-energy magnets used are manufactured to +/- 0.01 in. of the print dimensions. Plastalloy magnets from Electrodyne adhere to these tight tolerances and keep size and weight down. Common “fridge magnets,” for example, are two to three times thicker, and weigh at least twice as much as the Plastalloy for a given size.
High energy magnets are anisotropic, so both sides are equally strong. In the case of the Quest™ redesign, a stronger attraction translates to bolder writing on the Quest™ surface – so that divers’ messages stay crisp and legible despite the surroundings. Equally important, though, the writing was completely erased when the eraser bar (containing Plastalloy magnetic material) passed over the message. Complete erasure of the magnetic slate ensures that there is no ghosting of images or writing to confuse divers.
Electrodyne Company Inc.,