Springfree Trampoline Model

Maker and role
Keith Alexander, Designer
Production date
See full details

Object detail

Accession number
Production period
Small scale model of Springfree Trampoline made from wooden kebab sticks and hand-sewn fabric mat.

The model has a thick, circular, wooden base with a small hole in the centre for which the model can be attached to the carry case. The kebab sticks are placed on an angle around the edge of the base, following a groove etched into the surface. A white piece of fabric with black seams forms the mat. A small, spare piece of plastic tubing is attached to the base with a piece of clear cellotape.

The model is transported in customised black plastic pot and saucer which has been re-purposed for the object with slits on the each side and has a central screw hole in the button to attached to the model inside. The pot has drainage holes and raised star-shaped design. The model can be attached to the case with a small screw and washer.
Brief History
This model of the Springfree trampoline, developed by Dr Keith Alexander at the University of Canterbury, demonstrates the process of innovation, here prototyping. The Springfree trampoline is a New Zealand innovation born from Dr Alexander's desire to provide a safe trampoline experience for his children. He set out, with his mechanical engineering expertise, to examine and address the key injury causing features of trampolines - the frame, springs and ease of falling off.
The model, made by Dr Alexander in late 1997, shows how his innovative solution moves the standard metal frame, traditionally attached to the mat by metal springs at the same level, down to well below the mat. Here the metal frame is out of reach from jumpers above for a safer jumping experience. The standard horizontal metal springs are replaced with rods with spring inherent in the material and set at an angle. The kebab sticks in the model became fibreglass-reinforced plastic rods in the final product. The first full size trampoline was built by February 1998.
thewarehouse / 34CM SAUCER BLK [...] MADE IN NEW ZEALAND Supplier
30 LTR 40 CM POT / FREEPHONE / 0800768728 I.W.P Embossed
Credit Line
Keith Alexander. 1997. Springfree Trampoline Model, 2020.15. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).


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