Industrial Design for Black Mountain Picks

Black Mountain Picks is a company that makes guitar accessories based out of Vancouver, BC, Canada. I have been working with them for almost 2 years now and Cole McBride (the founder and owner) and myself have designed a variety of boutique guitar accessories which are produced and manufactured locally. Among these products are a variety of thumb picks with a spring loaded thumb ring that are designed to clamp firmly to your thumb. The major advantage of this is that people who have disabilities that prevent them from grasping a regular pick can use this with ease. It also allows the pick to fit any size thumb without having to providing different sizes. In the work we do we pride ourselves on finding innovative ways to design things to decrease material usage, keep supply chains tight and be as environmentally conscious as possible.

The design to the left is a slide ring that we created using the same mechanical innovation as the picks with the same intention. The slide ring also has extra metal on the backside increasing the weight and also the sustain of the slide ring allowing it to resonate notes for longer than other slide rings on the market. The processes used to create these products are; plastic injection molding which I have learned a lot about over my time with the company and CNC ma- chining which I have also become very familiar with. I am still working with Black Mountain and we are in the process of designing a variety of new products.

My design process at Black Mountain Picks varies depending on the project but for the thumb picks and slide ring included a mixture of sketching, 3D model- ing and 3D printed prototyping. Another very import- ant part of this process is user testing in which we get a variety of people of different skill levels to use the prototypes to understand what the users need and how they feel about the product.