TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding torches are used for precise welding of aluminum and other metals. This redesign of the TIG welding torch aims to solve many of the issues TIG welders encounter when using traditional torches. The project took fourteen weeks and involved research into the profession of welding, interviews with welders, conceptual development, ergonomic testing, form development and modeling of a looks-like prototype.
Identified issues to be solved with design:
- Common round handle difficult to grip, spins in hand requiring increased pressure
- Foot pedal used to control arc requires user to stand with weight on one foot
- Electrode must be changed often and is time consuming
- Torches with thumb controls difficult to use while welding
- Flexible torch head angle is often changed accidentally when bumped
- Heavy stiff hose hinders precise manipulation of the torch needed for TIG welding
- More ergonomic, flat handle shape prevents the torch from rotating in the hand.
- Intuitive arc control dial located on the torch compatible with various hand grip styles.
- Fast disassemble of head using quick release buttons.
- Finger operated controls because the thumb is important in gripping the handle
- Adjustable, locking head angles at 85, 65, and 55 degrees.
-Ball-joint hose connection to facilitate small precise movements.
Ergonomic testing of handle sizes and shapes.
Preliminary design CAD model incorporating all features. The handle is flat to prevent the torch from twisting in the user’s hand due to the heavy hose often twisting.The ball joint hose connection has enough movement to ease fine manipulation of the torch required for TIG welding.The Arc control dial can be finger or thumb operated from the top or bottom of the torch making many different grip style possible. The arc dial lock prevents accidental adjustment when putting the torch down. The head angle adjustment can also be locked.
Final aesthetic model. Colours, materials and textures were chosen for their functionality as well as to give the appearance of a rugged yet precise tool. The model was constructed from wood, 3-D printed parts, and sculpted using Detroit-wax. The model also features a functioning incremental dial.
Technical drawings include an exploded view, part drawing of the left injection molded handle, and a cross section of the assembly.