1500 Words, Level 5 Field

The Internet of Things

As a BSc Product Designer, the field group ‘The Internet of Places’ seemed relevant to my subject area, this could be a positive thing although a part of me wished that I had been put into a field group which was a little more obscure to my subject area so that I could explore something new.

I worked in a group with two Erasmus students, Richard from Austria and Natalia from Slovakia. Working in a group of people from all different nationalities was interesting, they informed me on how University and home culture was different in their country in comparison to Britain. Although, we were all Product Designers, therefore I didn’t receive the benefit of working in interdisciplinary groups like people in other field groups did. I feel like the field groups need to be divided up more equally between subject area, otherwise, it defeats the point of field.

We had many useful workshops and lectures that widened my knowledge and understanding of this field. Ingrid Murphy a Maker and Ceramists held a Lecture on Augmented reality. We were taught that augmented reality enables us to overlay digital content onto physical artifacts, Ingrid has frequently animated her Ceramic work by adding QR codes. Using technology to animate stationary objects is something that could be applicable to my subject area.

1

Paul Granjon a Fine Artist held an interesting lecture on ‘Fine Art Robots’, focusing on the Co-evolution of humans and machines. He had designed robots that blurred the boundaries between humans and machines by creating them to have life like qualities such as the ability to excrete, mate, desire attention, and sleep. Some of the projects he had conducted in the past had left me feeling peculiar, although, technology causing people to react, is technology that intrigues me.

2

Dennis Flynn the head of electronics taught the class about Arduino and how we could use them in our projects, I already knew about Arduino from the Product Design BSc lectures with Aidan Taylor but it was useful for our group because one of my group member’s studies BA Product Design and had never heard of Arduino before.

As a group, we began by brainstorming ideas. We came up with a variety of possibilities, for example; bins that could detect materials and respond positively when the correct material is put into them and responds negatively when the incorrect material is put inside.

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After weighing up the positives and negatives we decided to continue research on a ‘finding device’. Our idea was that the owner would have a wristband, and this wristband would be connected to numerous items that are frequently lost by the owner. If the owner had lost their keys, they would select this item on the wristband and then by using RSSI, the closer the owner got to the lost keys the redder the screen would become, and the further away from the keys the bluer the screen would become. We managed to prototype this idea using an HC-05 Bluetooth datasheet, an Arduino, a battery, a breadboard and wires and the correct coding. This project was helpful in encouraging me to practice my Arduino skills, as they are not perfect but with help from Aidan Taylor, we finished with a successful working prototype.

4

Bringing The Outdoors in

I was excited to begin the ‘Bringing the Outdoors in’ module as it sounded completely different to my previous field project. I could clearly see how I could benefit from the module as is was based on design development and human-centered design which is essential in product designer. We were told that you must first gather inspiration, and then use that inspiration to begin ideation, and then implement the ideas in order to solve the issue. We were on the lookout for inspiration on the Storey Arms trip. Whilst Caving and Orienteering there were many health and safety issues which could be implicated, such as;

  • Strong water current
  • Rising water levels
  • Domino effect when people fall
  • Unstable walking surfaces
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Temperature shock
  • limited visibility
  • Fitness
  • Restrictive clothing
  • Large heights
  • Low ceilings
  • Rocky surfaces (more of an issue when needed to crawl)
  • Tight gaps
  • Navigation

5

Clara held a first aid workshop on the Tuesday after the trip, I am not first aid trained so it was essential in order for me to be educated on what’s already out there. She also went through the stages you would have to go through in certain emergencies, and when it is necessary to contact emergency services.

6

Following this me and my partner, Sam, did some quick idea generation, finishing with 100 ideas that answer the brief in some way. Next following session we narrowed down these ideas to five, after doing some market research and intense consideration, these ideas were;

  • An easy access food pouch
  • A slim head torch
  • LED bread crumbs
  • Anxiety helper
  • Friends App

We sketched up each of these ideas and decided on a final design which we could them prototype, test and develop. Once these prototypes were completed we took them back to the Brecon Beacons and immersed them in a natural environment, and got people to interact with the prototypes whilst asking them questions and receiving feedback which we recorded. This was very useful and gave us information for use in further development.

On the following Thursday, we took our prototypes into PEL, using panoramic images that were taken on the two trips as the background setting. We also took a trip to Taff Trail and gathered leaves, stones, and sticks to make the environment more realistic since it enhanced the participants, touch, smell, sound, and sight. We also played background sound which helped significantly.

We had a mixed reaction from the people we immersed in the environment without prototypes. Some seemed to take it as a joke, some seemed too uncomfortable to get an accurate from but others seemed interesting by the concept and gave us some useful feedback.

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We developed out prototypes using the feedback collected from the trip and PEL and then got a different group of people to test them in PEL for the second time. Once we had gathered this feedback we implemented it for the last time before the final presentation.

 8

Field Summary

From participating in ‘The Internet of Things’ I have developed my knowledge of coding and electronics as well as learned how bridges can be formed between physical and digital domains using augmented reality and the Internet of Things. This has made me aware that technology can be used in a creative and exploratory way, whereas before I thought of the technology as something that gives an object a purposeful function. Lectures I attended during ‘The Internet of Things’ made me aware of how augmented reality can make objects such as sculptures come to life to add emotion or educational purposes, and also how robots can be given life like traits such as mating, eating, and excretion to test boundaries between man and technology.

The Major thing I have gained from ‘Bringing the Outdoors in’ was learning about the Human Design Process, I will be using this next year in my third-year projects as is it such an efficient way of designing. It had encouraged me not to be lazy with my product testing and to travel to places where my product can be most effectively tested. It has also made me aware of resources available at University such as PEL (which I would have been too scared to have used before this project), although I am unsure of the accuracy of the results you gain from PEL after using it myself, but it is a more immersing way of testing rather than approaching someone who is just sat at their desk at Uni.

Field has been a partially positive experience, although problems have been encountered. I felt on numerous occasions that my input was ignored by certain group members, possibly due to myself being somewhat younger (or due to being female which I hope was not the case). I had to fight for my voice to be acknowledged because at times I became concerned that the work I would be presenting would not be my work at all, and therefore I would feel no accomplishment. I feel like some people need to learn the meaning of ‘group work’, as some were treating field as their own personal project. I also feel like my lack of denied involvement restricted my learning massively.

I was working with Product Designers in both field modules, therefore this limited the about of new knowledge I could have potentially gained from field, which I could have applied to my specialist subject area in the future. I feel to avoid this happening, field should be more organised with how many people from each subject area goes into each field group, and each sub-group should be divided between each subject area by the topic leader. I also feel that both modules were very Product Design related, this has improved my skills within Product Design, although restricted me to learning anything new.

Line Tracking Robot: PDP

We began the project by listing the components we deemed essential. One of the main components being two IR sensors which function using Digital Pins, allowing us to observe when they were ‘HIGH’ or ‘LOW’ using the digital read function on the serial monitor. For us to test the IR sensors we had to write our first code:

 int leftSensor = 7;
int rightSensor = 8;

void setup() {
Serial.begin(9600);
pinMode(leftSensor, INPUT);
pinMode(rightSensor, INPUT);
}

void loop() {
int sensorValL = digitalRead(leftSensor);
int sensorValR = digitalRead(rightSensor);
Serial.println(sensorValL);
Serial.println(sensorValR);
delay(1);
}

IR Sensors

We discovered from this test that the IR sensors must be 20mm from the floor to work at their best.

We chose to include a free moving wheel at the front of the racer, this uses less energy than a servo operated wheel and is light weight. L298N motor controller was also used, as it is easy to control the speed (which is controlled using Pulse Width Modulation pins on the Arduino) and direction (each motor is connected to an additional two digital pins that control the direction through simple LOW / HIGH code combinations). A 9v battery will be used to power the Arduino through the motor controller. The motor controller is necessary because one motor will not consume much current, but can’t move a large mass whereas as two motors can move a large mass but will consume a large current. 

1

Before we could test how effective these components were, we needed a working code. I was proud that we wrote our code ourselves, with research we figured out the issues and we both learnt from the experience.

 

//motor controls
//left motor
int enableA = 10;
int in1 = 9;
int in2 = 8;

//right motor
int enableB = 5;
int in3 = 7;
int in4 = 6;

//sensor pins

int leftSensor = 4;
int rightSensor = 3;

void setup() {
Serial.begin(9600);
pinMode(enableA, OUTPUT);
pinMode(enableB, OUTPUT);
pinMode(in1, OUTPUT);
pinMode(in2, OUTPUT);
pinMode(in3, OUTPUT);
pinMode(leftSensor, INPUT);
pinMode(rightSensor, INPUT);

}

void loop() {
int leftSensorValue = digitalRead(leftSensor);
int rightSensorValue = digitalRead(rightSensor);
boolean leftSenDetect = digitalRead(leftSensor);
boolean rightSenDetect = digitalRead(rightSensor);

//testing sensor values and distance required from ground

Serial.print(“left sensor = “);
Serial.println(leftSensorValue);

Serial.print(“right sensor = “);
Serial.println(rightSensorValue);

//false is if surface is DARK!
//true is if surface is LIGHT!

if (leftSenDetect == true && rightSenDetect == true) {
//left motor direction
digitalWrite(in1, LOW);
digitalWrite(in2, HIGH);

//left motor speed
analogWrite(enableA,200);

//right motor direction
digitalWrite(in3, LOW);
digitalWrite(in4, HIGH);

//right motor speed
analogWrite(enableB, 200);
}

else if (leftSenDetect == false && rightSenDetect == true) {

// keep left motor going
digitalWrite(in1, LOW);
digitalWrite(in2, HIGH);

//left motor speed

analogWrite(enableA, 75);

// stop right motor
digitalWrite(in3, LOW);
digitalWrite(in4, LOW

delay(550);

analogWrite(enableB, 100);

}

else if (leftSenDetect == true && rightSenDetect == false) {
// stop left motor
digitalWrite(in1, LOW);
digitalWrite(in2, LOW);

analogWrite(enableA, 100);

// keep right motor going
digitalWrite(in3, LOW);
digitalWrite(in4, LOW);

delay(550);

analogWrite(enableB, 75);

}

}

 We made our first model out of 6mm MDF board, it was simply just a rectangle on wheels but it allowed us to test what we needed it and then learn from that and then develop it. We attached the components to the 140mm by 70mm piece of MDF using BlueTrack, as it attached them temporarily making it quick to disassemble and reassemble which was creating for testing. We tested this model on a simple track, we realized after the first test that changes to our code were necessary, such as adding a delay to the ‘else if’ statements, giving the Racer more time to correct itself. After this we created a more complex track, after changing the code again so that the delay was set at 500 milliseconds and altering the positioning of the IR sensors it followed the line on this track.

We also noticed that the wheels that were laser cut from 6mm MDF lacked traction, causing wheel spin. We solved this by attaching elastic bands. We experimented with two different wheel sizes after this, one set had a 40mm diameter and the other 60mm. We calculated the speed of these wheels using Speed = Distance/Time. The 40mm wheels completed the track 2-meter straight track in 0.13 meters per second, and the 60mm did the track in0.22 meters per second. This result proved that the larger the feel the faster the Racer since it covers more ground per rotation. We then tested acceleration using the formula acceleration=velocity/time taken. The 40mm Wheels had an acceleration of 0.0244 m/s2, whereas the 60mm Wheels had an acceleration of 0.0086 m/s2. Finally, we calculated the force required for each size (Force = Mass X Acceleration). The mass of the Racer was 250g giving the 40mm wheels a force of 0.0061N, and the 60mm wheels a force of 0.00215 N. The larger wheel increased acceleration meaning less force is needed, increasing the efficiency of the Racer. Therefore we chose to use larger wheels in the final model.

2

For our second model, we used 3mm Plywood, because of it being a less dense material and 3mm thinner it would make the Racer lighter. We also added a switch, and used 80mm diameter wheels, added supports on the outer side of the wheels to keep them straight, and an extra level so that there would be more space for the components and an underside to hide and organize the mess of the wires. This extra layer would be supported by a Warren Girder Bridge arrangement, as it is effective and light weight.

Due to changes in the Racer, the code needed altering. Delays were reduced due to larger wheels, one wheel turns in the opposite direction to achieve sharper turns, and we set the motors to 220 on the PWM pins when neither of the sensors are detecting the black lines which really helped in producing a noticeable improvement in speed.

//left motor controls
int enableA = 10;
int in1 = 9;
int in2 = 8;

//right motor
int enableB = 5;
int in3 = 7;
int in4 = 6;

//sensor pins

int leftSensor = 4;
int rightSensor = 3;

void setup() {
Serial.begin(9600);
pinMode(enableA, OUTPUT);
pinMode(enableB, OUTPUT);
pinMode(in1, OUTPUT);
pinMode(in2, OUTPUT);
pinMode(in3, OUTPUT);
pinMode(leftSensor, INPUT);
pinMode(rightSensor, INPUT);

}
void loop() {
int leftSensorValue = digitalRead(leftSensor);
int rightSensorValue = digitalRead(rightSensor);
boolean leftSenDetect = digitalRead(leftSensor);
boolean rightSenDetect = digitalRead(rightSensor);

//testing sensor values

Serial.print(“left sensor”);
Serial.println(leftSensorValue);

Serial.print(“right sensor”);
Serial.println(rightSensorValue);

// false is dark surface
//true is light surface

if (leftSenDetect == true && rightSenDetect == true) {
//left motor direction
digitalWrite(in1, LOW);
digitalWrite(in2, HIGH);

analogWrite(enableA, 220);

// right motor

digitalWrite(in3, LOW);
digitalWrite(in4, HIGH);

analogWrite(enableB, 220);
}

else if (leftSenDetect == false && rightSenDetect == true) {

// left motor opposite way
digitalWrite(in3, HIGH);
digitalWrite(in4, LOW);

analogWrite(enableA, 50);
//right motor speed
digitalWrite(in1, LOW);
digitalWrite(in2, HIGH);

analogWrite(enableB, 70);

delay(350);

}
else if (leftSenDetect == true && rightSenDetect == false) {
// left motor speed
digitalWrite(in3, LOW);
digitalWrite(in4, HIGH);

analogWrite(enableA, 70);

// right motor opposite way

digitalWrite(in1, HIGH);
digitalWrite(in2, LOW);

analogWrite(enableB, 50);

delay(350);

}
}

The speed of this Racer was 0.11 meters per second faster than the previous racer. The acceleration increased by 0.0464 m/s2. And with a weight of 350 grams an additional 0.0171 N of force was required.

20170324_125218

We chose to return to MDF for the final model because the Plywood warped. But we chose to include slots on the top layer for cable management and a slot for the switch to sit into.

We designed a place for the Egg to sit, we decided to take the name ‘Dream Ender’ and create ‘Dream Ender II’. We went with the theme of this name creating a Devil seat for the egg, and engraved the seat and wheels with this name.

We purchased an Arduino Nano, since they would take up less space and be lighter in comparison to a regular sized Arduino. But it drained all power for the motors, we are unsure if this was due to them being so cheap, or if the soldering caused it damage. But because of this we had to return to the original Arduino, and we were unable to shed a potentially significant amount of weight.

This time it weighed around 325 grams, we expected this due to the extra weight of the egg support and the use of MDF. Surprisingly, the speed was reduced slightly by 0.02 meters per second. We believe this could be due to one of the wheels not being completely straight, to help fix this we added pieces of plywood for support and stability. The acceleration decrease by 0.006-meter m/s2. And due to the lighter weight, it took 0.003325 N less force to move the Racer and the cost of a slightly reduced speed, therefore there was no real increase in efficiency.

20170330_175307 1

20170330_175230

20170330_175237

We tested this Racer on a simple track and completed it flawlessly. Therefore, we created the most complex track we had yet, with very sharp turns. Unfortunately, the racer did not always make these turns so we reduced the speed and delays out of fear that it may stray from the track on the day of the race. We also added code that would make the Racer stop when both sensors were above the black tape.

Line Tracking Robot Racer- The final model

We reviewed the second model together ready to plan for our final Racer!

The first thing we noticed was that using Plywood for the body was not as successful as we had hoped, this material is prone to warping, and when this happens it will cut inaccurately in the laser cutter and disfigure the final shape, so we decided to return to MDF.

Secondly, we needed to fully arrange the wires this time so that they are neatly organised making it more aesthetically pleasing and understandable. We wish to achieve this by cutting slots into the top MDF layer, for the wires to be pulled through. We also chose to solder down some wires for more reliable contact.

We also cut a section out of the top MDF layer for the Switch to slot into, this made huge improvement to the aesthetic and ease of use for the switch.

And finally we designed a place for the Egg to sit, we decided to take the name from the elastic band racer ‘Dream Ender’ and create ‘Dream Ender II’. We went with the theme of this name creating a Devil seat for the egg, and engraved the seat and wheels with this name.

We purchased a few Arduino Nanos, since they would take up less space and be lighter in comparison to a regular sized Arduino, but for some reason they drained all power for the motors, we are unsure if this was due to them being so cheap, or if the soldering caused them damage. Because of this we had to return back to the orginal Arduino therefore were unable to shed a potentially significant amount of weight. This time it weighed around 325 grams, we expected this due to the extra weight of the egg support and the use of MDF.

20170330_165739

Speed:

We returned back to the 2 meter track for the final time, sett the PWM (pulse width modulation) pins to 255 to calculate the speed.

Speed = Distance / Time

Speed = 2 / 6.31

Speed = 0.31 meters per second

Surprisingly, the speed was reduced slightly by 0.02 meters per second. We believe this could be due to one of the wheels not being completely straight, to help fix this we added pieces of plywood for support and stability.

Acceleration=

Acceleration = 0.049 meter / square second {m/s2}

80mm Wheels Acceleration = 0.055 meter / square second {m/s2}

A decrease in 0.006 meter / square second {m/s2}

Force 

Looking at the force required to move the object.

Force = Mass X Acceleration

Force = 0.325 x 0.049

Force = 0.015925 N

Due to the lighter weight, it took 0.003325 N less force to move the Racer and the cost of a slightly reduced speed, therefore there was no real increase in efficiency.

We tested the Racer on our track after testing it on the 2 meters. It finished it flawlessly, so we chose to create a more complex track with sharp corners, as we were unsure on what we would be facing on the day. Unfortunately, the racer did not always make these sharp corners , so we reduced the speed and delays to be safe. We also coded the racer so that it was stop completely when both sensors faced the black tape (therefore will stop at the finish line).

If we were to do this again we would used more sensors, designed and made much more stable wheels, and a more pleasing aesthetic.

Line Tracking Robot Racer: The 2nd Model and testing

On this model, the Racer traveled in a straight line due to the wheel supports making it much easier to test. We used the 2 meter track previously used and timed it to gather the same data recorded from the last model (speed, acceleration and force).

Speed: We used the time it took for the Racer to finish the 2 meter track to calculate the speed, (the racer finished the track in 6 seconds).

Speed = Distance / Time

Speed = 2 / 6

Speed = 0.33 meters per second

An increased speed of  0.11 meters per second.

Acceleration: 

After calculating the change in velocity we worked out the acceleration. Acceleration had also improved.

 

80mm Wheels Acceleration = 0.055 meter / square second {m/s2}

An increase in acceleration by 0.0464 meter / square second {m/s2}

Force 

I order to calculate the force we reweighed the racer (including the egg this, as that will be included on the day of the race). The racer weight 350 grams, which is another 100 grams. Although we decreased the thickness of material and chose a less dense material, the amount of material to create the extra layer and structural support was added, so we expected an increase in weight overall.

20170324_122905

Force = mass X acceleration

Force = 0.35(kg) X  0.055 (m/s2)

Force = 0.01925 N

An additional 0.0171 N of force was required.

 

Changes in the code were required for the Racer to move most efficiently due to the change in the Racers body.

  • Delays could be reduced due to the wheels being larger.
  • One wheel now turns in the opposite direction in order to achieve sharper turns.
  •  We set the motors to 220 on the PWM (pulse width modulation) pins when neither of the sensors are detecting the black lines which really helped in producing a noticeable improvement in speed.
Fastest Code So Far

Here we have the best code yet, I feel we’re nearing the sweet spot in terms of speed and reliability.

//left motor controls
int enableA = 10;
int in1 = 9;
int in2 = 8;

//right motor
int enableB = 5;
int in3 = 7;
int in4 = 6;

//sensor pins

int leftSensor = 4;
int rightSensor = 3;

void setup() {
Serial.begin(9600);
pinMode(enableA, OUTPUT);
pinMode(enableB, OUTPUT);
pinMode(in1, OUTPUT);
pinMode(in2, OUTPUT);
pinMode(in3, OUTPUT);
pinMode(leftSensor, INPUT);
pinMode(rightSensor, INPUT);

}
void loop() {
int leftSensorValue = digitalRead(leftSensor);
int rightSensorValue = digitalRead(rightSensor);
boolean leftSenDetect = digitalRead(leftSensor);
boolean rightSenDetect = digitalRead(rightSensor);

//testing sensor values

Serial.print(“left sensor”);
Serial.println(leftSensorValue);

Serial.print(“right sensor”);
Serial.println(rightSensorValue);

// false is dark surface
//true is light surface

if (leftSenDetect == true && rightSenDetect == true) {
//left motor direction
digitalWrite(in1, LOW);
digitalWrite(in2, HIGH);

analogWrite(enableA, 220);

// right motor

digitalWrite(in3, LOW);
digitalWrite(in4, HIGH);

analogWrite(enableB, 220);
}

else if (leftSenDetect == false && rightSenDetect == true) {

// left motor opposite way
digitalWrite(in3, HIGH);
digitalWrite(in4, LOW);

analogWrite(enableA, 50);
//right motor speed
digitalWrite(in1, LOW);
digitalWrite(in2, HIGH);

analogWrite(enableB, 70);

delay(350);

}
else if (leftSenDetect == true && rightSenDetect == false) {
// left motor speed
digitalWrite(in3, LOW);
digitalWrite(in4, HIGH);

analogWrite(enableA, 70);

// right motor opposite way

digitalWrite(in1, HIGH);
digitalWrite(in2, LOW);

analogWrite(enableB, 50);

delay(350);

}
}

Line Tracking Robot Racer: What we learnt from our first model

Having tested a Sketch model with and without the egg (as the added mass of the egg would obviously effect the force), we were provided with a new and useful set of information that we could apply to our next model and iteration of code in order to make it better.

The first and most obvious thing to us that needed to be changed from the first model was the material, and the thickness of the material used in the main body. Instead of 6mm MDF we have chosen to test 6mm Ply, this is because we want to make the Racer lighter increasing its speed, and MDF is a very dense material.

Another issue we found with our Racer was that was that it was difficult to turn the Racer on and off as we would have to remove wires in order to do so. So we would like to add an on/off switch to provide easier operation.

As discussed in previous blog posts we discovered that the larger the wheel, the faster the car, therefore we have decided to increase the diameter by another 20mm in diameter (80mm), we have purchased gears that we will use if the increased wheel size does not speed up the car as fast as we would like. The only issue we had with the 60mm wheels on the last model was that they were not travelling straight. When testing the Racer on a straight 2m track with a code telling the Racer to dive forward, the Racer began to drive to the left, so next time we will add supports on the outer side of the wheel,

Our previous Racer last wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing thing, mainly due to the mess of wires, therefore in this iteration we want to try and increase cable management. One way in which we wish to try and achieve this is by adding another layer onto the Racer for components to be secured to, having this will allow us to hide the wires on the lower layer. On the lower layer we plan to secure the two motors at the near end, the top layer will sit on top of this, therefore the motors will also at as a a support. Although, support was still needed for the front end of the Racer, we discussed possible solutions and decided that the Warren Girder Bridge arrangement seemed the best solution as it is supportive and a lightweight efficient solution, so we shall trial this out using 3mm Plywood for the panels.

warren1

 

CAD/CAM, The Drill Project: Product Design Brief

After evaluating the new ‘Drill’ brief, I decided to design a drill for ‘Design Students’. My decision making behind choosing this target market was due to the fact that I can relate to this group directly.

Brief:

Your brief is to design a new 18v cordless drill to be manufactured by SPC. The new design must be styled to appeal to one of the following target markets: design students, DIY hobbyists, enthusiast hobbyists (prosumers) or professional trades people. Your new design may be aligned with an existing brand or you may create your own.

Your design must:

  • be appropriately styled (i.e. aesthetically pleasing and desirable)
  • be functionally credible
  • be ethically and socially responsible
  • consider the 4R’s
  • be developed using the CAD-CAMM product development process.

In addition, in order to reduce development costs, you should re-use the existing trigger switch, motor, chuck and gearbox. . All other components must be designed to appeal to the chosen target market. This includes a new heavy duty 18v battery pack which must accommodate 10 standard lithium ion 18650 rechargeable cells.

Client:

‘The Sustainable Products Company’ (SPC) is a [fictional] company based in Mid Wales. The company believes strongly in socially responsible design and specialises in the manufacture of ethical and sustainable consumer products that are marketed under a wide range of brand names. Their factory is powered by renewable sources (including solar collectors, a wind farm and a hydro-electric facility) and has the following manufacturing facilitates:

  •  Injection Moulding of recycled polymers
  • Sand Casting & Die Casting of recycled Aluminium
  • CNC Punch Pressing of sheet Aluminium and Steel (plus general sheet metal fabrication)
  • CNC Turning of Aluminium and Steel
  • CNC Milling of Aluminium and Steel
  • CNC Routing of Wood (plus general wood fabrication)

The company’s market USP is the redesign and manufacture of consumer products to make them as sustainable as possible. This typically involves the application of the “4R’s”.

1) Reduce the quantity of materials used and source from renewable sources wherever possible.

2) Re-use materials or components wherever possible.

3) Recycle all scrap materials that cannot be re-used.

4) Repair-ability. Increase the useful life of the product using Design for Repair (DfR)