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Design Cycle, developing ideas: passive amplifier

Design Cycle, developing ideas: passive amplifier

DesignCycle2014G'day mate!  I've got a nifty little project for you that shouldn't take terribly long, but it'll be fun; you'll get plenty of practice measuring, cutting, smoothing and finishing for a really nice final product.  This one you might want to use yourself, or give as a gift.

Remember, cutting, sanding and finishing always take longer than you think they will.  So plan carefully, but quickly.  If you can get your plan approved in 1 class block, then Bob's your uncle.  If not, be sure to get planning finished before the next class and get your project approved via email to Number One so you can get started.  (Yep, that means it's homework. You can do it!)

We're going to go through the design cycle again for this project.

In this case, the entire first phase, Inquiring and Analyzing, has already been done.  You know you're going to build a passive amp for a smart phone and that the reason is to gain experience with wood, measuring, cutting, and finishing.  Here's your Design Brief, that explains those details (Design Brief - Passive Amplifier).

So you'll start with phase 2. Developing Ideas.  What you need to do is decide:

  1. Which kind of amplifier shape do you want to make.  You get to take it home with you, or give it as a gift.  Choose one that the user will appreciate.
  2. How do you want to finish the wood?  Take a look at the samples (see Number One or Mr. Ahmed) and choose the finish you like.

Once you've made your decisions, you'll also need to measure the phone you'll be building the amp to fit.  Record the measurements on the back of your Design Brief.  Here's a brief video about careful measuring using our digital calipers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYpB-BOx01g

Got all that?  Then you're ready for the next step.

Now it's time to sketch designs on a sheet of A3 paper.  Use the skills you practiced with Dodavi to sketch out your amp in various ways.  Be sure to include the details you chose above; these can be annotations if you want.

Some key things you might figure out through sketching:

  1. How do you want your amp to look?
  2. What dimensions will you need the various pieces?  Remember to consider thickness, too.
  3. How many pieces of each size will you need?
  4. How many holes will you need to cut, of which size, and where?  For holes, the easiest place to mark is the center; you'll also need to know the diameter or radius you want to cut.
  5. What other cuts will you need to make?
  6. Do you want a groove or other retaining element for the phone, or will it stand free in its slot?

As with your chair, you also need to list a Bill of Materials.  Remember, this is a list of all the pieces, their specific sizes, fasteners (screws, dowels, nails, etc), and any other materials (glue, paint) you'll need to build the project.  Be sure to leave yourself room for this as you sketch.

When your sketch, with BoM, is all finished, snap a picture of it and post it to your Portfolio site.  Then take it to Number One as a Request for Approval.  He may approve it on first review, but most of the time he'll request that you consider changes to improve it.  Once it's approved, you're ready to move on.

Not bad, Visitor!  Now, on to producing in 3 dimensions.  For that, let's jump to the next job: Creating Solutions.

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