How might we develop a new product for a brand with a funcitonal prototype?


CalorDec 100  


Handheld non-contact infrared Thermometer


Partner: Educational Project

Duration: 4 weeks

Designed with: guided by programme director Thomas Degn


Calordec100 is a handheld non-contact infrared Thermometer which main use is to monitor and imaging probes in laboratories. It's seamless integrated in the handheld series of Zeiss and has the same design language as the VisuScout100. CalorDec100 is a infrared thermometer combined with an imaging device. It is part of a connected system and the taken pictures will be sent to the computer software and can be reviewed later. This project was produced during the the product analysis course and is meant to be a brand extension for Zeiss. This project does not reflect the intentions of Zeiss and is an educational project.

Calordec_title_Elias Pfuner



Analyzing the brand


ZEISS is  an international leader in the fields of optics and optoelectronics.

ZEISS has been contributing to technological progress for 170 years – with solutions for the semiconductor, automotive and mechanical engineering industries, biomedical research and medical technology, as well as eyeglass lenses, camera and cine lenses, binoculars and planetariums.


Precision, reliability and clarity are the Zeiss brand values.

These brand values incorporate what each product should reflect to the user. Their newest product is the Zeiss Visuscout100 was the main inspiration for this product. Both the Calordec100 and the Visuscout100 are handheld devices.


Final Design  


17 hours from paper to design freeze


It took 17 hours from the first idea and ideation phase till the overall shape as set and fixed. After this the product was completely modeled in Solidworks for rapid prototyping and then refined for rendering in Rhinoceros. The main body is a white shell which wraps around the black grip area. The interaction parts are set in Zeiss blue for indication.

final design

Interaction parts are held in Zeiss blue. The label for CE and production information is hidden behind the battery cover. 

explosion view mechanical details

The different parts were modeled in Solidworks for rapid prototyping with injection molding production methods in the back of the head.


Imaging software  


A full system approach


The approach behind Carlodec100 was a full system approach. This means that after taking a measurement the image gets send to the Zeiss provided computer software. The laboratory worker can than inspect the visual appearance of the probe and the heatmap. This is a crucial step because they can save time without destroying the probe. Is the probe to long held in room temperature it can either be getting to cold or hot and therefore destroyed.

Interface Calordec100 - elias thaddäus pfuner

Visual feedback

The screen shows the user when the measurement is done and how warm/hot the probe was. A inverted interface provides high contrast and allows the user better readability. 

optical system calordec100 - Elias Thaddäus Pfuner

Optical System

At the bottom of Calordec100 is the optical system with lens and IR Sensor. The bottom is shaped asymmetrically so the user can place the product in the stand only in one direction.  

imaging software

Zeiss CalorDec 100  


Using the ergonomics of an electronic laboratory pipette


process insights

Process insights

making a product from scratch


01 - Analyzing an existing product

The first step was to analyze an existing product which was placed in the cheaper product segment. The product was deassembled and than each component analyzed concerning the production method and function. The electronics were kept functional so they can be harvested later in the process for a functional prototype. 

packaged existing product


Disassembly - destroying is always easier.


02 - Ideating

After disassembling an analyzing the exisiting product it was time to ideate. First, ideaion around the package and how to place the components happend. Four different component placements directions were considered. This was than transformed in underlays and used for Pen and Paper sketching. To refine the concept, side views were generated in Photoshop. After the sketching phase quick foam mockups were made to test the idea before going into CAD.


Testing foam models with real components.

Ideating around the package.

Foam prototyping during the form and ergonomic exploration.


03 - Bring it to life

The next step as to go from sketch and foam model to get a more defined form. This happened in Solidworks to learn more about the software and focus on parametric modeling. During this episode different models were milled out of PU foam to test out the shape in 3D. This was important to find flaws in the form and ergonomic.

prototype finished model

04 - Final Prototype

The last step was to turn the final model into a functional prototype. For this step, the same components were used as from the existing model. Slight modifications happened due to design and ergonomic changes. The button had to be resoldered and also some cables needed to be extended. All the parts were 3D printed, except the stand was milled out of PU foam, and than painted. The assembly went great and all the parts fitted perfectly.

In the end the whole product was held together as planned with snap hooks and screws.


3D print - cleaning of parts with water pressure - laser cutting the screenglas.


Checking the fitting of components and snap hooks.

3D print before painting

Parts after sanding and priming, right before painting.

3d print after painting

Different parts directly after painting.

soldering electronics

Rearranging components - solder time.

Assembly of the prototype after painting - snap hooks and 4 screws nothing more.

final prototype ergonomic
final prototype

Final Prototype