Exhibition Experience & Contribution

3.0 Exhibition

IMG_1772

I volunteered for the position of space team leader because I thought that my Sketchup skills would help move concept ideas into developed ideas with proper scale measurements. Development of ideas within within a small group of us had shown that actual space was the biggest constraint within a specification we had written.

The space team was essential and very useful for sharing ideas, overcoming design problems, and they were constantly dropping everything to give me a hand when ever I needed their help!

I ended up taking on a lot of the CAD work myself, but with the space team always on ready to give me hand with any other task I could delegate, and give me a hand with the machinery. The main reason I took on most of the CAD work independently was because it was easier and quicker. I was the only person that knew how to use Sketchup, ArtCam Pro (software for writing CNC files) and the CNC machine itself. And because the process of Sketchup to CorelDraw to ArtCam to CNC machining was not step by step and required constant movement between each other, it would have taken too long for several individuals learn the software, and communicate and collaborate quickly between them.
I underestimated how much work this was, and spent a lot more time than planned.

Having a management role was interesting. I didn’t want to have to motivate people to help, so I just let the people that wanted to help, help. The role entailed a lot more responsibility than I predicted, but I enjoyed taking that on, it turned into something to be proud of.

Towards the end, as people became more focused on their own projects me and Lawrence ended up taking on most of the work and planning, because we knew it just wouldn’t get done in time otherwise. Towards the very end their was a huge amount of help from everyone, very pleased!

Specifically:

– Helped in idea / concept ideation & development

– Managed the space team

– Did the CADing and virtual prototyping of initial ideas on Sketchup (& renders for communication)

– Sourced and ordered most of the parts needed

– Wrote the ongoing budget plans for the construction

– Designed the 2d profiles ready for CNC manufacture

– Designed all the CNC files on ArtCam Pro ready for CNC

– Setup and operated all the CNC manufacturing

– Co-ordinated manufacture and order of materials with Martijn

– Planned, and organised all the necessary jobs needed for completion of construction

– Helped and organised construction

– initiating, organising, CADing, and CNC engraving of the of the signature plaque

– Helped clear the space

– Collaborating with architecture about exhibition layout

If it were to do it again, I would delegate more work to others and give myself more time to work on my own uni work. However I am grateful as I have learnt a lot from this role, both in terms of skills (software and hardware), and how a design process works more realistically (with deadlines, budgets, challenges, responsibility), and it has given me a lot to be proud of and given me more confidence in starting a career in design.

Development

3.0 Field

The initial concept was to combine leisure and comfort. Motion with fun. I imagined a large 360 rocking chair with a huge comfy bean bag in as somewhere to start.

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Using CAD to make a bowl like shape to host a bean bag, then using 123D Make and the CNC machine to make a slot together shape I was able to prototype an idea for people to test.

The problem was that you cannot get a smooth rock in all axis with a slot together shape, it requires a complete structure like a metallic bowl, that would have to manufactured out of metal or plastic, meaning high tooling costs. So I looked at making a simpler rocking motion from a frame that would be cheaper to manufacture, and weigh less.

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After CADing up some ideas, that would be realistic to manufacture, I reviewed them and found that they would not be structurally strong enough, not provide a fluid rocking motion, and could potentially damage hard flooring, so I then concentrated on just forward and back motion

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Office Cradle

After some developing an idea on CAD, I wanted to test the ergonomics with a physical body. So, very crudely, I got some friends to get comfortable!
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I decided that the ergonomics would need more development, but it would be best to do so once I had the frame built, then I could adjust a seat according.
So using the CNC I manufactured a flat profile jig on an 8×4 and used a pipe bender and 30mm x 2mm wall thickness steel tubing (the optimum combination of strength, weight and size) to build the frame (consisting of 3 different parts)

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Once I was happy with it, I welded it together.

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Originally I had planned to cover the frame in a canvas for support and then a thick quilt for comfort, but explored alternative solutions that could celebrate the frames weightless aesthetic and chose to use parachord to create the seat, as another shaped steel tube could be used to create a more accurate base to the seat. Above was a rough prototype using parachord so I could test different seat locations to find the most comfortable position.

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PDP

Uncategorized

PDP

Difficulties and challenges

The first main challenge was picking a topic for my dissertation. Originally I had wanted to pick a more social topic such as planned obsolescence, something probably similar to a BA topic. However after initial research my scope and nature was unclear, confusing, and not technical enough. So after looking at some previous examples I decided to pick a more technical report. I initially did some research into ‘Moore’s law’, but after a few days I decided it was too scientific, and I would require a substantial understanding of electronics and physics. So after some more time I settled on touch screen technology because it related well to product design while also being technical enough for technical report

Another challenge was time restraints. As mentioned above, my start was slow and I was behind. Then as subject became more and imposing, I found myself struggling to manage time. To overcome this challenge I created a precise academic calendar so I could manage my time more effectively.

Sources was also a challenge. After much research I failed to find books on touch screen technologies. I think this is a mixture of two factors. Firstly, because the technology and information regarding it is so strongly industry led that the knowledge often kept from the public for competitive reasons, and because the technology is developing so fast that any book written would soon be out of dates a matter of 2-3 years. However, I had a lot of success in finding not only academic reports (especially in the interactive design side of the project), but technical reports published by authors that work for companies. This information was very useful, and against my initial precaution, very academic, unbiased and thorough. Information on newly developing technologies was understandably difficult to access, but still frustrating.

Another thing that stood out as something to learn from was the initial scope and nature. At the point that I submitted my proposal I had only an initial understanding of the topics I had mentioned. And as I was doing my thorough research it became clear that my breadth could possibly be too wide, not allowing me to going into much detail on each part. However I also think this was a good thing, as it expanded my knowledge into a range of topics as oppose to just one.

Strengths

In terms of strengths I think that the writing style came rather naturally. Writing in third person was an easy adjustment, but my existing knowledge of writing essays was very helpful.  Another strength I think the range of sources I used, making the information more balanced.

Learning outcomes

One skill I improved during this project was CNC manufacturing. I went through the inductions with Keith and managed to successfully create my smartphone prototype on my own using the CNC machines. The prototype came out successfully.

From the style of writing the report, and the extensive reading of sources for my research I have found that I can analyse information more effectively now. Similarly to reverse engineering, I can apply the way I writing my report to others, being able to clearly see the points and information they were trying to calculate. I have also learnt to analyse the credibility of sources more effectively. My skills Photoshop & InDesign have also improved during this project.

Another learning outcome from this project has been an increased work efficiency. So far the workload this term has been demanding and the time to do it restraining. This has made me far more efficient at producing work and increased my focus. I have been able to complete huge amounts of work being in the studio morning to midnight 7 almost every day of the week. When I sit down to work my focus is more than it’s ever been. I have also learnt to manage large amounts of better, making it into bite-sizable pieces at a time.

Positives

Initially I was not enthusiastic about my topic, however after much research I started to enjoy to new knowledge, knowing that I can understand better some of the devices I use in my day to day life. Research into braille devices and blind user aids for mobiles was also very insightful and has made me more aware of disabled users when designing in the future.

I also think that the topic is quite useful and relevant for my future as a product designer. Touch screen devices have become so popular in recent years, a staggering rise in growth, that knowing more about this industry may come in handy in future jobs.

In terms of the structure of the course, and the comparison between the Ba dissertation and BSc dissertation, I am glad that we did not spend the whole of second year constellation preparing. The electronics module was a useful learning experience, improving my CAD skills, greatly improving my rapid prototyping skills and the relationship between CAD & CAM. But I could have used some more emphasis on preparing for the technical report over the summer.

Frustrations

I think my biggest frustration has been communication. Starting so rapidly into the technical report I have often been unclear exactly what is expected from the report. Especially in the design project. Although the template and examples of previous versions was helpful to gauge, but some examples of maybe a 2:1 dissertation would have also been useful to gauge what exactly makes a 1st stand out from a 2:1.

Conclusion

Overall the project went well, although there were key challenges such as not fully understanding the nature of a technical report at times. However, I have learnt a lot from completing this project.

PDP

3.0 Technical Report, All, Uncategorized

Difficulties and challenges

The first main challenge was picking a topic for my dissertation. Originally I had wanted to pick a more social topic such as planned obsolescence, something probably similar to a BA topic. However after initial research my scope and nature was unclear, confusing, and not technical enough. So after looking at some previous examples I decided to pick a more technical report. I initially did some research into ‘Moore’s law’, but after a few days I decided it was too scientific, and I would require a substantial understanding of electronics and physics. So after some more time I settled on touch screen technology because it related well to product design while also being technical enough for technical report

Another challenge was time restraints. As mentioned above, my start was slow and I was behind. Then as subject became more and imposing, I found myself struggling to manage time. To overcome this challenge I created a precise academic calendar so I could manage my time more effectively.

Sources was also a challenge. After much research I failed to find books on touch screen technologies. I think this is a mixture of two factors. Firstly, because the technology and information regarding it is so strongly industry led that the knowledge often kept from the public for competitive reasons, and because the technology is developing so fast that any book written would soon be out of dates a matter of 2-3 years. However, I had a lot of success in finding not only academic reports (especially in the interactive design side of the project), but technical reports published by authors that work for companies. This information was very useful, and against my initial precaution, very academic, unbiased and thorough. Information on newly developing technologies was understandably difficult to access, but still frustrating.

Another thing that stood out as something to learn from was the initial scope and nature. At the point that I submitted my proposal I had only an initial understanding of the topics I had mentioned. And as I was doing my thorough research it became clear that my breadth could possibly be too wide, not allowing me to going into much detail on each part. However I also think this was a good thing, as it expanded my knowledge into a range of topics as oppose to just one.

Strengths

In terms of strengths I think that the writing style came rather naturally. Writing in third person was an easy adjustment, but my existing knowledge of writing essays was very helpful.  Another strength I think the range of sources I used, making the information more balanced.

Learning outcomes

One skill I improved during this project was CNC manufacturing. I went through the inductions with Keith and managed to successfully create my smartphone prototype on my own using the CNC machines. The prototype came out successfully.

From the style of writing the report, and the extensive reading of sources for my research I have found that I can analyse information more effectively now. Similarly to reverse engineering, I can apply the way I writing my report to others, being able to clearly see the points and information they were trying to calculate. I have also learnt to analyse the credibility of sources more effectively. My skills Photoshop & InDesign have also improved during this project.

Another learning outcome from this project has been an increased work efficiency. So far the workload this term has been demanding and the time to do it restraining. This has made me far more efficient at producing work and increased my focus. I have been able to complete huge amounts of work being in the studio morning to midnight 7 almost every day of the week. When I sit down to work my focus is more than it’s ever been. I have also learnt to manage large amounts of better, making it into bite-sizable pieces at a time.

Positives

Initially I was not enthusiastic about my topic, however after much research I started to enjoy to new knowledge, knowing that I can understand better some of the devices I use in my day to day life. Research into braille devices and blind user aids for mobiles was also very insightful and has made me more aware of disabled users when designing in the future.

I also think that the topic is quite useful and relevant for my future as a product designer. Touch screen devices have become so popular in recent years, a staggering rise in growth, that knowing more about this industry may come in handy in future jobs.

In terms of the structure of the course, and the comparison between the Ba dissertation and BSc dissertation, I am glad that we did not spend the whole of second year constellation preparing. The electronics module was a useful learning experience, improving my CAD skills, greatly improving my rapid prototyping skills and the relationship between CAD & CAM. But I could have used some more emphasis on preparing for the technical report over the summer.

Frustrations

I think my biggest frustration has been communication. Starting so rapidly into the technical report I have often been unclear exactly what is expected from the report. Especially in the design project. Although the template and examples of previous versions was helpful to gauge, but some examples of maybe a 2:1 dissertation would have also been useful to gauge what exactly makes a 1st stand out from a 2:1.

Conclusion

Overall the project went well, although there were key challenges such as not fully understanding the nature of a technical report at times. However, I have learnt a lot from completing this project.

Researching Lions

2.0 Interactive Design, All
How do they hunt?
  • Naturally hunt at dusk, night or dawn, but will hunt when ever the advantageous opportunity arises.
  • The females do the majority of hunting.
  • Two main types of hunting:
    “Grandmothers footsteps” where they stalk in tall grass to get close, they a fast short sprint to catch the prey by surprise.
    Hide and wait” where they will hide and wait in a bush or something similar and when prey get near they will jump out and kill. The element of surprise is the key element in both types, usually after a good length of stalking.
  • They don’t hunt according to wind direction (don’t care about hiding there smell). Some factors are said to be because there prey are not very bright but there sight is very good, and therefore the lions care more about being visibly hidden than hiding their scent.
  • Lions sleep up to 21 hours a day, so hunting is the only exercise they get.
  • Lions usually go for medium sized prey, for example a zebra or wildebeest, also hunt smaller prey like antelope and warthog.
  • They hunt individually and in groups
  • They go for the neck and back, so obvious neck must be made on a model for the lions to identify.
  • They run at speeds up to 50mph in short bursts when hunting, so this must be taken into consideration with the size of the enclosure.

‘Environmental enrichment activities’ are popular methods used by keepers to exercise lions in captivity, examples include: scent trails (spraying fox urine, cloves and herbs etc. onto rocks), logs, hessian sacking, cardboard, wood shavings, palm fronds, large heavy duty plastic balls.

Personally I observed lions playing like domestic cats, one treating a piece of hanging meat like a hanging ball of string. These enrichments are play based, and less engaging.

Thoughts on the product so far:

How will the lion identify the simulated prey as prey?
  • Using real meat is essential, they smell of the meat and the association built up over time are important factors.
  • 3D project to simulate a real prey? (carriages on top of cage follow and dummy?). Must be disposable as lions will destroy.
How to maximize mental and physical work out and keep the lions from getting bored?
  • The prey gets away once in a while to let the lions know they have to work for it. This makes it more of a challenge
  • The simulation can be reprogrammed or track the lions previous behaviour and constantly update to keep the challenge fresh every time?
  • Or maybe a zoo keeper or trainer controls it?
  • Make the hunt simulation last as long as a real hunt?
  • Make it the only feeding time. Eliminate provided food so the lions don’t get lazy, or angry?
  • The hunt would require team work?
How will it work?
  • Underground carriage system for the dummy to follow? This could be very difficult while trying to replicate a natural environment for the lions.
  • Hang from ceiling on carriage, when prey caught, the dummy falls off? (the lion needs to be able to be grounded to simulate the real thing effectively)
  • 3D projector on same upper carriages that the prey hangs from, like laser cutter carriage system?
  • Meat prey inside a perforated shell in a shape for the 3D projector to project effectively onto? This would make it smell and look like the real thing. If the shell was made from a cardboard or molded compressed paper, it could be torn open by the lion and the meat would be inside for feasting.
  • Could the hunting simulation take place in a separate habitat, so that other predators at other times could use it too? Or will lions only hunt in there own territory. This would encourage investment if more animals were to benefit.
  • With the lions reaching high speeds during the hunt, the hunting enclosure needs to be large, or maybe circular so it can facilitate the long distances needed for the lions to sprint.
  • Different disposable dummies for different animal projection? Could add enrichment with varying animals to hunt.
How will the dummy work?

There is no knowing how realistic the prey needs to be until product it is tested. Because the animals are born in captivity, they don’t know real hunting, but like domesticated animals, it still comes naturally to them and like for example a Jack Russell, they will chase a ball naturally because it is similar to chasing a small animal, or like cats that will try and grab a moving feather because to them it is so similar to catching a mouse. The dummy doesn’t have to be so realistic, but close enough for the lions to engage with it. A wild animal might not chase, but one born in captivity grown up with Hessian sacks and plastic balls for entertainment are likely to.

Technical ideas:
  • Projecting into smoke (unhealthy and less realistic, also eliminates essential need for a physical dummy for lions to catch)
  • Projecting onto disposable dummy (It will be torn apart by the lions)
  • A robotic dummy could move and act like an animal grazing for example, but isn’t so disposable.
  • The dummy could not be projected at all, just look similar to an animal, or maybe not even that would be necessary, maybe they would hunt a recognizable high contrast shape? Or maybe they just simply need to catch there hanging piece of meat?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcIDQSn26fw
  • 3D projection, like 2D projection requires virtually no surrounding light that could interfere and reduce contrast of the projected image. This rules out outdoor hunting in daylight for the simulation, which rules out visitors watching, but lions usually hunt at night so this could be an advantage for the lions but maybe not visitors.
  • Could follow a laser, when they catch it, food could be released (proved to be inconsistent at engaging big cats).
  • An obstacle course? A bit like a carrot on a string, they would have to run through a fixed or unfixed (fixed being like a treadmill) obstacle course that would challenge and engage them mentally and physically. After a while they would catch the food. This obstacle course could be electronic and programmed to learn each lion and update to constantly challenge them and change.
  • Whack a mole, dance mat puzzle games? Food released on achievement. Dummies popping up out of holes, after a certain amount are ‘whacked’ food released? How long does it last though?
  • Hide and seek? Hiding the meal and letting the lions discover it? Maybe not that physically and mentally demanding, and with limited space to hide and lions with good senses of smell, probably too easy.

Will the lions react to a simulated prey?
  • Wild animals would see the simulation as a poor replica, but animals bred in captivity would see them as closer, having not experienced a real gazelle for example. However, from talking to a zoo keeper, lions in captivity are likely to engage, whether it is hunting or play. These questions are hard to ask without talking to a lion behavioural expert, but even so maybe the lions could be trained and taught to hunt for the simulated prey. I’m sure if they got hungry enough they would chase for there food.
How is the hunt initiated?
  • At a set time for the animals to follow a pattern and anticipate?
  • Will the simulation happen in the same enclosure?
  • Will they be find the entrance of the prey?
    • The meat could be camouflaged and then at a random point the projection could be applied and the hunt started. This would stop the lions from figuring out the entrance of the prey? But they would still smell the meat.
    • Maybe multiple entrances for the prey to enter?
Will visitors be able to see?
  • The lions hunt usually at night, dusk or dawn. However, this is only for advantages in the wild. The trainers at Bristol zoo said they could be fed any time of the day in captivity, and that they don’t follow any feeding patterns. So this could work, and be done during the day for people to watch but:
    • The viewing must be discrete, the lions will not hunt with to many people viewing.
    • The attraction will support funds to the zoo, which supports wildlife conservation.

A Zoo Trip & A New Project Brief

2.0 Interactive Design, All
Notes from Zoo trip:
  • Animals don’t need big cages, because they don’t need large environments to scan for food.
  • Animals take what is easiest for them, if they can get food without hunting then they will.
  • Live animals for hunting doesn’t happen on principle. If they did then maybe live rabbits or goats would be fed to snakes and lions. Society sees it as cruel because the death is inhumane, and the animal has no chance of escape. Animals don’t always kill straight away, so horrible for people to watch. (gap for interactive design)
  • Normally animals would spend most of there time hunting, so without in captivity, games and training keeps the brain active and body fit instead. The hunting isn’t whats important, its the brain and physical exercise.(gap for interactive design)
  • Training animals means administering medical help is easier, however, large dangerous animals get less because of safety dangers with trainers. (gap for interactive design)
  • Environments that are closer to reality for animals keeps them mentally and physically more healthy.(gap for interactive design)
  • A lot of zoo’s don’t have a lot of money, so less money can be spent on training, research and improving habitats. USA have more money so can train animals more, and habitats can be bigger and more luxurious.
  • Animals in captivity are often better there because they can’t survive in wild because they were born in captivity, and it if they were in the wild it puts more pressure and contest of resources for same animals in area. Not enough ‘wild’ space.
  • Enriching an animals life can be simple and small, but very effective. They don’t need endless plains of Savannah, a walk round the zoo and seeing another animal for example can do the same, or different interactions with trainers and keepers. This can be more enrich than the wild. They don’t need hard survival and predator escapes for enrichment, they can have other enrichment. (gap for interactive design)
Practical first ideas:
  • Hunting simulation.
  • Interactive training and games for dangerous animals, that can’t have human trainers etc.
  • Interactive training and games for any animal.
  • Training for making medical administrations easier.
  • Interactive environments to improve mental and physical health of animal.
  • Interactive environments or other design to enrich animal lives.

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Formal Brief 
Produce a computer interaction artifact and/or system for use by animals.
Your output must relate to your discipline. It must also have a computing element to it and the main focus of your approach should be on designing the interface between the user and the computer.
Personal Brief
Context  – Wild animals spend up to 80% of their time hunting. Animals in captivity do not. The hunting is important because the animals exert physical and mental exercise that is important to their well being. So what do the animals in captivity do instead? Where zoo keeper and trainers can, they will train animals, teaching them to perform tricks and other activities. This is beneficial in several ways:
  1. It provides important mental and physical exercise in substitute for hunting.
  2. It makes medical care easier for trainers to administrate 
  3. It provides entertainment which encourages more visitors to the zoo, creating more money and awareness for wildlife conservation.
However, larger more dangerous animals cannot be trained for fear of safety of the trainers. This means that without mental or physical exercise, these animals can become lazy and unhappy.
note – animals do not need to hunt, what they need is the physical and mental exercise involved. All animals are opportunists and will choose food provided over hunting, they do this because they are naturally wired to conserve energy where ever possible because they will never know when they might need it. There is no need to feel sorry for animals in captivity that can’t hunt.
Brief  – Design an interactive system that increases physical and mental exercise for animals in captivity that currently lack it. 

An Explanation

2.0 Arduino Crane, All

From the specification given, here is my explanation justifying the design of our model crane.

Key points from the specification:

  • The system should make effective and efficient use of materials to provide good strength/weight characteristics and to withstand stresses during operation.
  • The system should have an effective power transmission system.
  • The system should be efficient in performance.

Good strength/weight ratio:

1. Cut-outs save on material cost

2. Cut-outs save on material weight

– this make the horizontal arm and other moving components easier to move under force.

3. Shape of the cut-out:

– The distance from the inner cut-out to the edge is uniform for all to make strength equal all over. This is because the structure is only as strong as its weakest point.
– Inside corners are weak and break easily, so they have all been replaced with curved circular corners for better strength.

untitled.214

Withstand stress during operation:

1. For strength, every component is attached at several points with snap fittings to part of a cuboid:

– The cuboid structure means twisting and linear motion is better absorbed
– There is less room for movement, meaning that the gear setup is more accurate during operation.
– There is more contact area and points with snap fittings, spreading the stress so that each individual joint takes less stress and force.
– The strength of each snap fitting is a lot more strong than other methods like glue for example many forces.

Prototype 3.227

2. Snap Fittings

– Snap fittings also meant a more accurate joining method, there is too much inaccuracy in gluing for example.
– In a laser cutter the laser actually has a diameter which means a cutting width. However this changes depending on the power, frequency and speed settings which change depending on material and thickness, so to find the best snap fitting, we prototyped a range of test pieces using one fixed male part and many female parts with different lengths.
– We found that reducing the female length by 0.2mm each side, 0.4mm overall gave the strongest snap fitting.
– Snap fittings also meant that prototypes could be assembled and dissembled easily.

IMG_0070untitled.233 snapfittings

 

 


 

Effective power transmission system:

1. Uses a 5 to 6 gear set-up to transform the low torque, high speed electric motor, to higher torque and lower speed for use.

– The higher torque is needed to overcome the resistance in the cog setup and weight of moving components.
– The lower speed is needed be able to control the crane effectively, and is also necessary to get higher torque.

 

2. Motor Cog

– The cog attached to the motor is very small. This is because the motor has a very low torque and a smaller cog requires a lower torque to turn the next cog.

3. ‘Spacers’

– To get the horizontal cog distancing accurate we used ‘spacers’. Made from 3mm like the cogs were used.

gear box gear box unexploded5

 

4. Teeth Distancing

– To the the cog teeth distancing accurate. Prototypes were produced to test the teeth at different distances to find the optimum distance with the least resistance and friction, but also with the best strength to stop teeth jumping under stress. Several distances were made, changing by 0.25mm to get a very accurate result.

IMG_0049

More visible on the right prototype, but we put holes with varying distances from each other and tested each to find the best

5. Softer Teeth

– During prototyping, we found under close inspection that sharp teeth on both the small and larger cogs was causing a poor contact, so produced prototypes of both the smaller and larger cog with softer teeth and tested them with sharp opposites. We found that softer teeth on the small cog with sharp teeth on the larger cog was the most effective.

6. 75% reduction

– To save on material, and to reduce the weight of the gear setup to reduce torque, we shrank the whole gear setup by 50%. This proved to small, the quality of the teeth produced by the laser cut were too poor at that scale. So we tried 75% and found that it the quality was up to scratch while the weight and material was reduced substantially.

IMG_0051

7. Spokes

– Spoke like cutaways from the center of the cogs reduces weight to reduce torque, while keeping each wheel structurally strong.

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8. ‘Joiners’

– The reduce tilt on the gears positioned on the axle, we designed ‘joiners’. They incorporate 4 small rods of steel to connect the smaller and larger cog together to form one whole cog. The joiner is the smaller piece sandwiched between the two cog, without any teeth.
The result is a very solid cog now with a 9mm horizontal thickness which means a wider contact with the axle to reduce tilt.
– This design also meant that for the very long gear that moves along a shaft on the main horizontal arm (that is made up of 118 small cogs), the positioning of them together would be extremely accurate minimizing the likely-hood of it catching on the drive cog below.

Joiners

9. Axle Resistance

– To get the cogs spinning as smoothly as possible, we needed to reduce as much resistance and friction as possible. Since many of the cogs shared an axle, they would have to spin on the axle. We also made the axle able to spin to reduce resistance overall in the cogs spinning even more.

10. Gear Box

– Since many transmissions would need to be used, it would be more efficient to concentrate on creating one accurate gear system and apply it to each motor. So we designed a gear box that used space efficiently, using only 2-3 axles and standard parts.

gear box

11. Customizable

– We made it possible to add or remove gear cogs, so that even with the final prototype we could change and alter the transmission ratio without having to redesign and re manufacture components.

5 gears

12. Standard Parts

– Standard parts were made for not just the gear box but all the components where there were needs for multiples of them. This made designing a lot easier, but more importantly it will make assembly, replacement, repairing, and redesigning a lot more efficient as easier.

table of partlist

13. Material

– We used acrylic so that we could use the laser cutter for consistent and high quality components. 3mm sheet acrylic was optimum, 6mm and 5mm produced to much resistance as there was too much contact resulting in too much friction. 3mm also reduced weight and material cost, improving cost and performance.
– Acrylic is also very smooth and very hard making it a good material where the teeth interact with each other.


 

Efficient in performance:

Prototype 3.227 Prototype 3.226 Prototype 3.218 Prototype 3.222 Prototype 3.225

Efficient in performance:

1. Balance

– The large, wide and heavy base
– Counter weight on horizontal arm for better average balance
– Use of rollers on the horizontal arm keep it well in place with a low friction/resistance solution
– The design is lightweight to keep unbalanced forces minimal
– Appropriate centre of gravity:
   (1) Heaviest parts, transmission and motors have been designed to be as low and central as possible
   (2) The whole design has be very extensively designed to be as compact and as low as possible above the base area

2. Bearings

– The use of ball bearings in a ‘lazy susan’ reduces friction and resistance considerably. This reduces the torque needed to turn the base, making it suitable for the low torque motor used.

3. Costs

– Cheap materials
– Few materials making sourcing more efficient.
– Easy assembly with snap fit joints, standard parts and flat pack design (could be similar to hobby model plane construction). Barely any tools needed for assembly
– Theoretically, in mass production, flat pack packaging lowers cost with more efficient transportation.
– Choice of acrylic means cut-outs that reduce weight on design can be recycled, reducing cost.
– All acrylic used can be cut from only 2 cycles on university laser cutter. Efficient manufacture means cheaper manufacture.

4. Materials

– 3mm acrylic chosen for:

(1) Its compatibility with the laser cutter to produce high quality and consistent results.
(2) Cheap
(3) Hard, smooth, and strong, meaning suitable for gear cogs, snap fittings, structure.
(4) Lightweight, meaning good for balance, strength and performance.
(5) Structurally uniform on all axis, whereas wood grains effect strength in certain directions.
(6) Recyclable (cut-outs that reduce weight on design can be recycled)

– 3.18mm steel chosen for:

(1) Strength and rigidity as an axle
(2) Durable
(3) Smooth, meaning easier to combine with acrylic for cogs.
(4) Cheap

– Marbles chosen for:

(1) ‘Lazy susan’ bearings
(2) Cheap
(3) Easily sourced
(4) Use of only 3 materials makes the design more simple, easy to replicate elsewhere, faster to locate materials.

5. Direct Drive

– One of our earliest concerns in the design process when we applied knowledge and principles of existing cranes to the brief was the use of a cable. It is not necessary with the brief given:
(1) We don’t need the large vertical distance as we only need to lift the matchsticks very far from the ground.
(2) With limited time to complete the challenge, the thought of a hook swinging around on some string sounded to wasteful.

So we designed a direct drive system at the end to eliminate the wobbly hook, and give more control to the operator.

6. Designing for the Brief 

– To make the design as efficient as possible, we scrapped lots of the traditional crane components and methods in favor of better ideas that were more suitable for the brief given. Our outcome meant using simple straight arms powered directly from the transmission. Compared to the traditional crane this method:
(1) Reduced components
(2) Reduced friction/resistance
(3) Reduced materials
(4) Reduced weight
(5) Improved ease of operation
(6) Improved accuracy
(7) Improved balance and lowered center of gravity