Fanaway – Rectable Blade Ceiling Fan.
In early 2004, inventor Joe Villella approached us for an evaluation of his idea. We signed a Confidentially Agreement and he presented his initial sketches of a retractable blade fan.
A rough 3D model of the idea was produced to evaluate the design and superimposed onto photographs for presentation.
To prove the concept would work, a synchronised retraction mechanism was devised and a mockup was built using an existing ceiling fan motor. This allowed us to evaluate the function of the mechanism and refine the design for the next stage.
The idea was presented to potential investors, with a fully functional prototype. This included laser cut gears, bent acrylic blades and a floro-ring light fitting. This prototype appeared on The New Inventors Show in 2005 and won that episodes People’s Choice award.
We then assisted in presenting the concept to the directors of Beacon Lighting. They backed the design and we proceeded with the design A rigorous process of design and development was then conducted together with Joe, Beacon Lighting and various service providers.
This process included:
Sourcing a suitable electric motor
Aerodynamic blade design
Engineering of mechanisms
Specification of parts and material
Testing in a wind tunnel
Production of engineering drawings
Production of patent drawings
Liaison with manufacturers
Fanaway was launched in 2008 in 60 Beacon Lighting stores around Australia. Since then Fanaway has enjoyed overwhelming success and is now sold in ten countries around the world, including 1500 Lowes Department stores all over the US and online.