Archive for the ‘Extension (KS4/5)’ Category

For ED320 it was absolutely vital that I obtained and used all the data available to me to assess sizing the space saving unit and ensuring it was stable, durable and functional.  I endeavored to in depth research on ergonomics and anthropometrics by obtaining as many books as I could on human sizing, designing for humans, and designing for humans in the office.  It was by looking across all the data that I was able to compare averages, view sizes that were considered universally sound and obtain recommended sizings from everything from knee clearance to the correct height of the backrest to support the lower back so as not to cause discomfort.  With estimations on what you think are  the correct sizings it can lead to all manner of problems when you think that something like the leg itself is split into around 5 sections that need monitoring in order to produce a height that is not going to cause discomfort.  Measurements need to be accurately cumulated for things like foot space, calf height, knee clearance, back of the thigh length and hip width as these are all factors that trans-duce to forming a comfortable seating position.  It underlines the importance of not only gathering the data but using the findings to come up with solutions that will be beneficial for anybody wishing to use your item.  At the start of the year we were warned against making chairs and in all honesty had I not accumulated the data prior to manufacturing the unit then it could have been a bit of a car crash.  I had an idea of what I thought would be appropriate measurements, so much so that in my initial designs I actually detailed the measurements in annotation.  However it was not until I did the in-depth research that  I realised how wide of the mark these guestimations were.  Add to that a desk also included within the design and you realise the lengths of accuracy you need to go to as to not producing a product that can actually lead to causing pain in the future by not correctly supporting the back or leading to users arching their spine to lean over and actually be able to practically use the product.  Designing for humans is certainly not an easy area to judge because as a species we are growing in height average all the time so I feel that it is important that the data used is not only detailed but also up to date.


In an ever changing more technologically minded society it is of no suprise that we are already engineering functional systems on a molecular level.  This is otherwise known as nanotechnology.  It can cover both current work and concepts that are altogether more advanced. Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary science that looks at how we can manipulate matter at the molecular and atomic level. To do this, we must work on the nanoscale.

Truly revolutionary nanotechnology products, materials and applications, such as nanorobotics, are years in the future some say only a few years yet others believe it will be longer.  What that shows me is not if such technology will happen but when. What qualifies as “nanotechnology” today is basic research and development that is happening in laboratories all over the world. “Nanotechnology” products that are on the market today are mostly gradually improved products using revolutionary nanotechnology where some form of nanotechnology enabled material (such as carbon nanotubes, nanocomposite structures or nanoparticles of a particular substance) or nanotechnology process (e.g. nanopatterning or quantum dots for medical imaging) is used in the manufacturing process. In their ongoing quest to improve existing products by creating smaller components and better performance materials, all at a lower cost, the number of companies that will manufacture “nanoproducts” (by this definition) will grow very fast and soon make up the majority of all companies across many industries. Evolutionary nanotechnology should therefore be viewed as a process that gradually will affect most companies and industries.

Manufacturing methods:

Forming- Liquid state, plastic state, solid state

Cutting- Sheet cutting, chip forming, nonchip forming, flame/laser

Joining- Solder/braze, weld, adhesive, mechanical

Finishing- formed, abrasive/cut, coatings

Metal can be cast in liquid state where it is heated above melt temperature, then pored or injected into a mold, or as a powder in the fluid state.  Casting is an efficient way to get metal where it is required usually eliminating the need for machining or assembly.  New castings processes are in fluid state forming.  In squeeze forming or thixomolding, magnesium is heated to near melt temperature, it is then squeezed into a mold under high pressure.  In metal injection molding, metal powder is mixed with a binder, then heated and injected into a mold.

Metal cutting:  In nonchip forming, chemical/electrical, chemical, mechanical and/or thermal processes are used to cut metal.  Sheet metal punching or shearing is important in industrial design especially in office products and equipment design.  Punching is done by a CNC sheet metal machining center with limited contouring and forming abilities, these machines are extremely accurate and fast and perform rapid tool changes.  Nonchip forming cutting machining includes lathe turning, mills, grinding, broach drilling and boring.

Metal joining can be done through thermo joining such as welding and soldering, adhesives and mechanical methods such as screws, bolts, nuts, studs, inserts which are all threaded.  Special purpose methods such as, stamped spring steel, quick operating, stud clips, wire twist and plastic.  Also there are non threaded methods such as rivets, pins, retaining rings and washers.

Finishings and coatings

Finishings and coatings are important because appearance is one of the prime responsibilities of an industrial designer.  Appearance, form and finish are determining aspects of a product.  Appearance can play a deciding factor in the success or failure of a product in both the consumer market and the industrial market.  While the finish is a key aspect of appearance, the protective and functional aspects of the finish are equally important.  The options available will have to be chosen through the same sort of cost benefit analysis is utilized in all design decisions.  All aspects of finish must be considered including cost, compatibility, colour, gloss, texture and durability.  The final choice should not be made after the product has been designed.  The finish is one of the factors that must be taken into account when a decision is made to begin the design process.

Appearance finishing and coatings

Formed textures – molded textures, rolled textures, woven screen

Cut textures and abrasive finishing

Machined patterns- milled textures, perforated finishes and expanded patterns.                                                                                                                     Abrasive finishing- finishing operations, deburring, wire brush,grinding fluids.

Protective and decorative coatings –

Interim – conversion, and anodic.   Durable – organic, inorganic.  Permanent – hot dip, mechanical plating, electroplating, electroless plating, vacuum metalizing, sputtering and flame spraying                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Plastics

Liquid state thermoset forming

Part forming- Casting, foam molding, contact molding, spray-up process, reaction injection molding, transfer molding, compression molding, reinforced plastic molding, injection molding

Stock sheet and shape forming- Extrusion, pultrusion, laminating

Thermoplastic forming liquid state

Part forming- Casting/potting, rotational molding, compression molding, transfer molding, injection molding

Stock sheet/shape forming – extrusion, calendering, pultrusion

Joining plastics

Chemical bond- Adhesives, solvent

Welding – Friction- ultrasonic, spin,vibration.

Applied heat – Hot plate, induction, stake/swedge.

Mechanical – Displacement – snap fit, pop on.

Molded – Threads, interlock, press fit

Fasteners – Rivets, screws, inserts