The idea to make a unique aftermarket steering wheel debuted a while ago, in the year 2017. Since then i've slowly started working on making it a reality by sketching some design ideas, looking for manufacturers and working on packaging. Having a full time job and other life responsabilities resulted in slow progress, but we all have to start somewhere.
DEEP MESH WHEEL
After choosing a design from my sketches, it was time for the next step, 3D modeling. Thanks to my background as an Industrial Designer, I was able to translate my sketch into a 3D object and bring the wheel one step closer to reality. That allowed me to make a few renderings, technical drawings and other necessary files to provide to the manufacturer.
IT DIDN'T GO AS PLANNED
It was a challenge to find a manufacturer that would work on a custom design in small quantities , but after a while I found one willing to work with me. I have been working with them on the quality of the wheel and after a few prototypes I was finally satisfied and eager to start manufacturing the final product. After a deposit the necessary tooling was made to start production. From that point on I was certain that we're on the final stretch and that all was going as planned but I was wrong. The manufacturer kept moving the timeline and surprising me with new delays. Although I understood that some delays will inevitably happen, after more than a year of waiting and no progress it was very discouraging. And then, the Covid situation began and only made the situation worse.
FAST FORWARD TO CURRENT TIMES
IT'S BEEN A LONG RIDE
During Covid I learned a new skill and started offering steering wheels reupholstery services while searching for a new manufacturer. After a long search I have managed to find a manufacturer in Italy, where as we know most quality steering wheels are made. I ordered a few samples of the products they had in stock to be able to examine them and evaluate the quality of the work. I was very happy with what they sent and next step was to make a prototype with my design. I did a few tweaks to the design and sent necessary files to Italy. A couple weeks later I received this beautiful wheel for approval with amazing quality which gave me assurance of being able to deliver a great product to fellow enthusiasts.
Along with a quality product you also need nice packaging so I've spent some time ideating on the design of the box. After a couple variations I have come up with this look, featuring RoadDefined color scheme( Orange/ Purple) and schematic drawings of the steering wheel. The box might go through a few small final adjustements but I think we're looking good so far.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
The production of the first batch of wheels is ready to begin once I get a few pre-orders rolling in. Manufacturing is estimated to take 3 months. The plan is to make a run of 50 pieces with the following specs : black Italian leather with beautiful texture, black stitching, black 12 o'clock marker, black spokes, 65mm dish, 350mm diameter.
The horn buttons are made with the logo on the front and RoadDefined stamped on the back. Pretty much everything is sorted out and we are ready to get rolling. Can't wait to see fellow car enthusiasts rocking RoadDefined wheels inside their beloved friends on wheels.