Dtcoursework14th Feb2011 5


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Dtcoursework14th Feb2011 5

  1. 1. ‘Elevate’<br />A multi-functional piece of furniture with height adjustable surface.<br />Thomas Whitaker<br />7299<br />St Peters School, York<br />48395<br />A2 Level Design & Technology<br />
  2. 2. With increasing standards in mobile technology and the now mass ownership of laptops, the desire to work on the move and at home has drastically increased. However with the rapid advancements in technology, products designed to integrate the user and their technology have lagged behind. I have noticed that when at home it is difficult to find a location that is both comfortable and enjoyable to ‘live’ in while still facilitating working easily. The laptop has neglected the need for office space. Young professionals who cannot, or need not buy office space may prefer to purchase an all-in-one working environment cum living space. It is therefore my intention to investigate whether a product of some description is needed in this area.<br />For the product to be a success, it must be marketable and as such must conform to the views of others, and not just mine. I have come to the judgment that the target market for this project will be young professionals, living in small apartments/flats who require office space, but perhaps cannot afford the additional floor space needed. It is therefore necessary to incorporate the work space into an existing living space. I realise that this target market is very ‘targeted’, however this does allow me to focus on their needs and requests. To enable me to meet their demands I must first conduct some research within the target market into what they would require from such a product.<br />A common problem I and others have met is holding a laptop on the knees. This can result in both sore legs, and ultimately long term damage to the laptop due to overheating. It is therefore imperative that my product has some method for holding the laptop above the user.<br />Currently on the market there are several different angles of approach towards the problem. These solutions include the “lapdawg” an add-on laptop and book holder which is adjustable, and allows the user to operate in a number of their own furnishings. Another product is Four design’s Four Works chair/workspace.<br />In my design I think it will be necessary to consider the size of the overall product, whether it is specified to left/right handed or if ambidexterity is required and whether it should incorporate some storage space. This should also be accompanied with a research project into any additional features it should possess. <br />Having now spoken to a few friends and family, a simple tray-like system for holding a laptop would suffice, however they do find it hard to write when sat on the sofa. The most common solution to this problem was an old magazine, however this still proved troublesome. While completing a few initial sketches I tried to write on a piece of paper on a magazine, and constantly found my pencil slipping, and digging in to the surface. Generally being right handed I was writing on the armrest on the right, therefore some form of writing area on the right hand size may be useful. However this does neglect around 20% of the population who favour their left hand. To create a product that can be used by all, would be far more marketable and would result in a product that sells better.<br />I have also identified another area of possible development. Most hotels now incorporate a free WIFI service, however this is generally localised to the lobby or reception area. Typical furniture for these areas is sofas/armchairs and coffee tables. This does however make it very difficult to operate laptops and work from a suitable height. A product should allow the user to work at a comfortable height, rather than hunching down over a lowered surface.<br />I believe this will be a good project as it will allow me to use a number of materials, while still utilising some of my key skills in wood work. It will however challenge me to use new manufacturing techniques, and this will hopefully allow me to demonstrate an ability to adapt my current skill set. I hope to create a product which is both useful, attractive and ultimately eradicates the problem I have identified.<br />Starting Points<br />
  3. 3. Design Brief: <br />To design and manufacture a product, that enables the user (1) to work (2) comfortably from the sitting position (3).<br />(1) One user aged 15+ who prefers a contemporary style.<br />(2) Both be able to write on paper, up to A3 size, and use a laptop computer from the surface.<br />(3) Sat on a regular sofa, Average sizes to be found.<br />Research Plan: <br />Product analysis: A brief analysis of current products on the market. Their qualities, and short comings should be assessed. I hope to gain some initial ideas regarding possible features, styling and what to avoid.<br />Anthropometric, Ergonomic and environmental: I intend to research the sizes of average humans, to allow easy interaction with the product. The ergonomic factors considered will also allow me to style my product suitably. The environmental research will allow me to design a suitable product that is as material efficient as possible.<br />Mechanism: I will investigate possible mechanisms, from those already existing on the market, and a couple of initial ideas I already have.<br />Mood Board: I will create a mood board of possible styling and features which appeal to me, and my target market(yet to be defined). This will hopefully allow me to create a design that increases the success of the product.<br />The Product<br />
  4. 4. The lapdawg is quickly becoming the market forerunner in laptop workspaces. The versatility of the product allows it to operate in many different situations. The design features a three section leg, with a unique locking feature between each leg. These can be straightened to allow use from a chair or folded back on themselves to enable desk use. The product also lets the user work from sofas, chairs and beds. The product has also developed since it has been on the market, the addition of elastics to hold books in place, and cooling fans to aid laptop cooling have kept the product progressing.<br />However I have noticed several drawbacks with this product. When altering the angle of the legs, two hands are required per side, and this means the surface will be uneven for a period of time, and thus items will have to be removed before altering the size. The product also supports itself around the user, so when moving, the whole product must be lifted off and placed somewhere else, which can be incredibly hard when sat on a low chair sofa. The product obviously has finger trapping points which could pose a risk when children and the elderly are using the product.<br />This product is far more substantial than the others I have looked at. The surface is initially a table, but then slides open to reveal a leather lined storage compartment. It’s primary function is to increase storage in a room, however the sliding surface could be used to either increase the working space in a small room, or enable the user to work from a sofa, and have the work surface move out to meet them.<br />The primary function of added storage, is frankly not achieved. The additional space provided is minimal, and for the extra cost and work involved in making the surface slide is far greater than the added gains. The product does however provide me with ideas of a sliding surface, extra storage, and the white resin finish is particularly appealing to me. <br />This product is more suited to working in bed or on a sofa/large chair. The product, unlike others is made from wood which gives it a certain appeal that cannot be recreated in metals and plastic. Similarly to the lapdawg the work surface angle is adjustable, and the whole product can be folded away between uses, allowing for easy storage/ transportation. As well as a slanted surface, a flat section is available allowing for notes to be made easily. Additional storage is also available in the form of a draw. <br />Although similar in many ways, this product does not allow use on tables or on smaller chairs like the lapdawg does. The product does however require the user to lift the product, and any items on it to move away from the area. <br />This coffee table is somewhat a cross between the portable work surfaces, and the full table above. As the surface is below knee height in its retracted state, it must lift up and out to allow the user to get in and work.<br />Product Analysis<br />
  5. 5. Ideally, the surface would have a indented handle, as shown below. However this would affect the aesthetics of the product and diverge from the sleek stylish effect created by the rest of the product. The corners however, should be rounded to prevent harm, and enable the user to interact with the unit more easily. The drop down leg, will be hard to move, when sat under the surface, so it should be able to be pushed through by the user’s foot.<br />As the product uses high quantities of imported wood, it is very important that waste is minimised, as well as any other environmental concerns. One of these pressures is transport. If the unit was to be transported with legs attached, it would take up a vast amount of space. However, if the legs could be folded away, or removed then the amount of transport needed could be reduced vastly. Since it is not feasible to have a folding leg, they should be removable and should fit into the frame. This does however create problems. The most crucial problem is the rigidity of the frame, if the legs were simply removed the only thing holding it together would be the glue on the mitre joints. So instead I have decided to add a bracket support made of metal that will reinforce the corner joints, see below.<br />From this information, there are several human dimensions that are particular valuable to my projects development. I have identified the following as most important. L – this represents the floor to knee height. This will be the minimum extended height of the bottom of the surface. If it is below this, people will not be able to sit under it. (24.8” = 630mm)<br />J-K is depth of the average lower leg. The surface should extend out by at least 1.5x this size. (27.6-23.1= 4.5” this means the extension >11.4mm). The breadth of the human hand is also key, for the slot to enable easy opening of the surface. Although not quoted on this table. I have found this dimension to be 23mm at max, therefore the slot should be able to comfortably accommodate this size.<br />The above design does provide the necessary rigidity, but may interfere with the mechanism. In order that rigidity is conserved, and not hinder the inner workings I have opted for a triangular plate which will be sunk in flush with the sides and the tops of the legs.<br />Since the product maybe used on both carpet and hard flooring, it is important that no part of the mechanism will scratch, or pull at the flooring. I have therefore decided that it is necessary to add a metal plate on the base of the legs. This will stop the moving metal mechanism in the leg scraping directly on the floor. This will also tie in with the theme, of a partially metal surface, and the metal dowels holding the legs on.<br />Picture of top plate<br />Anthropometric, Ergonomic and Environmental<br />Research<br />
  6. 6. While researching possible locking mechanisms, to hold the main surface in place, I noticed that the school chairs folded away, and featured a very secure device to hold them when opened. I decided to research this further, firstly by photographing and ‘playing’ with the chairs mechanism, and then by creating a small balsa wood model.<br />The balsa wood model enabled me to further investigate the mechanism. The main arm, seen on the left in the model, is attached by two small arms to the support arm. Once the surface has risen up and out, it connects head on with the support arm, creating a very firm and rigid joint. This distributes weight evenly, and allows the surface to endure maximum load. <br />Research<br />Despite this mechanism being both very sturdy and rigid, it does somewhat over complicate the problem. It would be far more easier to simply apply the pin mechanism described and analysed on the previous sheet.<br />
  7. 7. Mood Board<br />
  8. 8. Research Summary<br />
  9. 9. Design Specification: <br />That is easy to work from.<br /><ul><li>As in the design brief, the user must be able to comfortably work on both paper of A3 size and from a laptop computer from the solution. This will affect the minimum surface size, materials and the overall shape of the product.</li></ul>That fits the Anthropometrics of the user.<br /><ul><li>The Anthropometric data of the user, in the seated position must be found, and this will affect the size of the product. The size of hands etc. must also be assessed if the product has moving parts.</li></ul>That is suitable for use with a multitude of sofas.<br /><ul><li>Due to variance in the sizes of household sofas, the average size and a 95th percentile should be found in order that the surface is the correct size and height to be used from a number of different sofas. Failure to do this would result in neglecting large numbers of potential users.</li></ul>That both Left and Right Handed users are able to work from.<br /><ul><li>Roughly 20% of the population are left handed, so the product must be useable by both left and right handed users, or I risk neglecting more of the target market.</li></ul>Should not infringe on the living space.<br /><ul><li>The solution should be incorporated into, or replace a common household item. If a new product has to be bought this will reduce already limited floor space in cramped environments and would put buyers off.</li></ul>Should be contemporary in styling.<br /><ul><li>The target market is comprised largely of young professionals who prefer a subtle yet contemporary style to their furniture, normally incorporating a variety of materials.</li></ul>Availability of storage.<br /><ul><li>Although not a necessity, a storage area for such items as stationary, spare paper, a laptop and books may be an added feature. This should, of course, not hinder the products aesthetics or function.</li></ul>Lighting (possibility).<br /><ul><li>If the product is to be used in low light levels, some form of lighting may add significantly to the product. This does incur problems, such as safety tests, and the added work needed. This will also increase the cost of the product.</li></ul>Must be marketable and viable for the user.<br /><ul><li>The product should be worthwhile for the user to buy, as it may replace a current similar solution. The build quality must therefore be high and the solution should be such that it attracts a user. The product will not be financially feasible if certain components cannot be batch produced to reduce cost. I should where possible, look to use jigs, and other techniques to increase efficiency.</li></ul>Must not damage it’s surroundings.<br /><ul><li>The product will be used in a vast number of environments, it is therefore important that the product does not damage surfaces or flooring. It must also be easy enough to use, not to damage walls and furniture, during transportation and use.</li></ul>Must be kind on the environment.<br /><ul><li>The product must limit the amount of waste material, and maximise the effect of any it does use. This should be enforced throughout the project, such that it is designed to use less, made wasting less and have as little impact on the environment during its life cycle as possible. </li></ul>The Product<br />
  10. 10. Initial Ideas<br />
  11. 11. More Ideas<br />
  12. 12. Modelling<br />
  13. 13. Modelling<br />
  14. 14. The initial design was to have a one part flat surface. The entire surface would lift off and out. However this meant everything on the surface must be lifted and there is no possibility for heavy objects to stay at the initial height.<br />I therefore have incorporated a two part surface, the smaller of which is static, while the larger lifts out. However this design provides no way of getting fingers in and lifting the surface.<br />A slot was then incorporated to allow easy lifting of the main surface. The slot is both functional and aesthetically pleasing as a stylish feature.<br />I have then rounded the outside edges to create a more contemporary look, while removing any risk of injury from the sharper corners. This will legs to be rounded too, as to prevent an overhang.<br />The surface is now, in my opinion, sufficiently developed. As a material choice, I am inclined to use a dual choice; wood comprising the majority of the surface, while the smaller section is perhaps constructed of a silver metal, for example aluminium. This would also be used on the legs. The rounded edges on the surface and the legs must be minimal, as a large rounded area will compromise the strength of the legs.<br />
  15. 15. Development<br />
  16. 16. Diary<br />
  17. 17. Having come back from the Christmas period, I have realised that my project is far from complete and I only have 11 weeks left before my final deadline. I have therefore deemed it necessary to plan my work over this time to maximise efficiency. The 11 weeks remaining, relate to 66 lessons, of 40 minutes lesson time. With an estimated 3-4hours additional work per week, this leaves just 82 work hours.<br />Plan<br />
  18. 18. Computer Aided Design<br />Using a computer aided design software, Pro/Desktop, a variation of Pro/Engineer, I have been able to design my final base to scale. The software was tricky to master, however once I had established the basics it became very easy to quickly design and add the various components. Once I had created a wire frame drawing, I was able to convert it to a solid 3-D model. Having ensured the base was correctly modelled, I created a 3rd Angle Orthographic drawing which enables me to view the product from 3 main angles, and have the dimensions of key parts to work from.<br />
  19. 19. Computer Aided Design<br />
  20. 20. Mechanism: Plate<br />Computer Aided Design<br />
  21. 21. Mechanism: Box Section<br />Computer Aided Design<br />
  22. 22. Mechanism: Pin<br />Computer Aided Design<br />
  23. 23. The dimensions of the drop out for the leg can be seen on this page along with a few model images of it working. Yet again the ghost view allowed me to very quickly check the function of the dropout, and ensure it would work. The dropout combined with a 4 mm pin, of 50mm length come together to form the complex leg which stops the product tipping over when the surface is deployed.<br />Computer Aided Design<br />
  24. 24. Mechanism: Assembled<br />I am pleased with the computer modelling of the mechanism. I have satisfied my self that the solution will work, and so I am now happy to begin construction of the final mechanism. Without the CAD system, I may have entered into construction blindly, and this may have resulted in wasting material, and time. <br />These four diagrams show the mechanism in its open and closed positions. The diagrams on the left are of the side which is to be attached to the surface and support beams. Those on the right give an indication of what may be seen by the user. As we can see there is a very real risk of injury to fingers, so hands must be kept out of the area completely.<br />Computer Aided Design<br />Finally an end on shot, confirms to me that the nyloc nuts on the pins will have to be countersunk in to the wood. The small gap in between the plate and box sections will allow a small fibrous washer to operate. This is essential to allow the mechanism to swing, while preventing any wobble due to tolerances.<br />These ghost profile images allow us to see all the components, even if they would otherwise be hidden. They allow us to get a good understanding of how the mechanism will operate without continually altering the viewing angle.<br />
  25. 25. Plan of Manufacture<br />This page shows a Gantt chart of my initial plan for manufacture. Green indicates that the task is the main focus for that week. Red is and overflow week. Working in these areas should be avoided at all costs as it may delay other areas of production. Yellow is used to show when work is continually being added to. This is solely for folder work, and normally takes the form of taking notes, pictures and documenting any problems I have faced.<br />
  26. 26. The Product<br />
  27. 27. The Product<br /><ul><li>15+
  28. 28. Seated.
  29. 29. Unisex.
  30. 30. Size of sofas?
  31. 31. Hand sizes.
  32. 32. More people using laptops to work from home and on the move.
  33. 33. Lack of available work space in living rooms, lobbies and coffee shops.
  34. 34. Discomfort caused by long periods sat with laptop on knees.
  35. 35. User unable to perform other tasks while using laptop.
  36. 36. Laptop may be secondary to drawing/note taking.
  37. 37. Heat from laptops linked with decreased sperm count in males.
  38. 38. Repetitive strain, and other back injuries linked with constant bent back while working on a lowered surface.
  39. 39. Possible storage.
  40. 40. Drawing table.
  41. 41. Bedside table, rise to level of bed.
  42. 42. 15+
  43. 43. Able to manipulate average to heavy weights.
  44. 44. Good dexterity.
  45. 45. Own a Laptop.
  46. 46. Student or Professional.
  47. 47. Limited living space
  48. 48. Minimalist.
  49. 49. Clean.
  50. 50. Sleek.
  51. 51. Dark woods particularly fashionable.
  52. 52. Mood board will aid in this research.
  53. 53. The height should be adjustable.
  54. 54. Suitable for working from .
  55. 55. Coffee table sized.
  56. 56. Should be secure.
  57. 57. Be able to hold weight applied by user.
  58. 58. Easy to operate.
  59. 59. Shaped handles.
  60. 60. Rounded edges.
  61. 61. Consider natural motion of arm as to surface adjustment.
  62. 62. Price per unit.
  63. 63. Quantity.
  64. 64. Veneers?
  65. 65. Cutting list.
  66. 66. Limit waste.
  67. 67. Hours spent.
  68. 68. Plan.</li></ul>The purpose of this initial brainstorming is to clarify to myself that there is a sufficient need for the product, and that the problem has been identified correctly. I have also looked at other possible areas of development, such that the product can be used in different situations. Having convinced myself that the product is worthwhile, I have looked at where I need to go next. I have identified that I must perform some research into my target market and have listed some of the key areas that I should look at. I have also seen that there is a need for some research into anthropometrics of seated humans and the ergonomics relating to coffee/work tables. I will also need to design some form of mechanism to allow the surface height to be adjustable. Finally, for a product to be marketable it must be of good value, and so I should aim to reduce the amount of materials, along with the repetitive labour intensive work. This can be reduced with the aid of jigs, etc. <br />
  69. 69. Base: Joining<br />Development<br />
  70. 70. Surface: Joining<br />Development<br />
  71. 71. Surface: Metal<br />Development<br />
  72. 72. Surface: Handle<br />Development<br />
  73. 73. Mechanism<br />Originally the mechanism design showed the two plates sections lining up above each other perfectly. This left the design with a relatively small ability to extend upwards or outwards. I have therefore developed the design to the second diagram. Here it can be seen that the top plate is offset to the rear of the product. This, by Pythagoras, allows us to calculate the new length of the box section. The length is now longer, resulting in a greater ‘reach’ from the product. The surface will now be able to pull out further and higher.<br />Development<br />
  74. 74. Key:<br />ABW – American Black Walnut.<br />Alu. – Aluminium.<br />Ply. – Plywood.<br />() – Added detail.<br />* -Diameter.<br />See next sheet with diagrams of parts. Part letter indicates related diagram.<br />Cutting List<br />