From my Mark II presentation I was able to identify changes that needed to be made to my prototype. As some of those changes were aesthetic and affected materials etc I couldn’t just make changes on the existing prototype. I had to create a new one. At this stage everyone seemed to be in a panic to get their projects finished, so the workshop was extremely full and had run out of the materials I needed to create my product again! This meant I had to go to Glasgow for materials. As I didn’t know exactly the amount I would need, for the first part I had to make the shell of the product using reasonably old school methods as I couldn’t justify coming back and forth from Dundee to Glasgow constantly. I tested out the GoPro before doing my user testing so you can see what I mean by old school:
This was enjoyable but took a lot longer than it would have using the expensive machines in the workshop. I was able to get access to a few hand held power tools which helped a bit, but until I had made the majority of my product and knew I had enough material to make the rest, only then could I head back to the workshop to finish it off. The first thing I decided to make was the new design of the arm for the projector head to attach to. It was because of this that I realised the workshop had ran out of material as I had already made the mould for the arm, only to be told their was no 1.5mm plywood left. The new arm design was to use wood bending. I had never done this before so I knew it would be a process of trial and error:
Upon actually trying to wood bend and insert the wire inside, I realised how fiddly this was and that I may have to figure out another way of making the arm and embedding the wire. I was working with 18mm veneered oak ply for the body of the product and I came up with the idea of just piling the wood up (similar to making the mould) and cut a groove for the wire and veneer over the top so that it looked like a solid bit of wood:
In the end this actually turned out very well and proved extremely durable. The next stage was creating the shell. After all the sizes were decided this was relatively easy as the angle was at 45 degrees and the panels were already finished. The panels I used for the front and the back of the product used oak flooring. This potentially could be used for the majority of the product and could open up doors to companies or anyone who wishes to donate flooring boards to this cause. All very conceptual, but a feasible idea in my opinion.
The next stage was cutting out the sides. In my feedback from the Mark II presentation I was advised that the product needed to be more stable. In the previous prototype I did not include any complex joints, perhaps this was the reason for the wobble. I wanted to make the final one as solid as possible, so I ensured the parts slotted in nicely. Not only did I have to consider joints but also how the electronics were going to work. Ive included hall effect sensors in my product which need to sense the magnets embedded in the cogs when turned. Therefore, I had to figure out where the cogs would pass and drill as close to the bottom of the wood as possible without breaking through.
The next step was the drawer. This was a lot more difficult than I initially anticipated, as I needed a very steady hand when using the jigsaw (not the puzzle kind for once) in order to create an accurate hole for the drawer to slot into. The drawer itself was relatively simple to make. No complex joints, just glued and stapled together and compartmentalised with offcuts of oak.
At this point the product was at a stage where I felt I had enough materials that I could finish the rest in the workshop with out having to come back to Glasgow. It seemed simple, all I had to do now was make the Jigsaws and projector head and glue it together. Upon heading back to Dundee and apprehensively gluing the bits together, disaster struck! When gluing the perfectly fitting joints together I glued the clamps too tight and warped the wood. As a result the sides did not fit in anymore. So, instead of making the entire product again I decided to just remake the sides.
Now that the disaster seemed to be averted, the workshop was put on hold until I had made the jigsaws and lasercut the projector head. To make the jigsaws I had to go through an interesting process:
- sketch them out
- scan them onto the computer
- print the images off using a dye-sublimation printer
- heat press the images onto MDF with an acrylic top
- Tape jigsaws to avoid burning
- Laser cut the jigsaw shape
- Glue to backing
It took a few attempts to get it right but I am more than happy with the results. The next thing I had to lasercut was the projector head. I planned to curve it and veneer over the top with the logo etched onto the veneer. I designed the head around getting access to it should anything happen to the electronics. I could have taken the easy route and just glued everything but I know I would regret not taking the time to make it detachable if need be at a later date. I went through a number of different ways that I could attach and remove it, form dovetail joints to screws but eventually came up with what I feel was the best solution. I had to create a custom fitting slider attachment and drill into the projector arm.
At this point most of the workshop stuff was done I just needed to lasercut my final cogs and embed the magnets before gluing it all together and wiring up my electronics. I etched the lid with images of loose jigsaw pieces to simulate a working area for the children to put the jigsaws. I rubberised the centre of the cogs with a dark black to allow customisation but veneered the sides and the bottom to hide the magnet and combat the friction created, like in my last prototype. Apart from some branding the product was finished and just needed to be glued.
The final things that I had to do was sand it brand it, print my projection images and fit the electronics in place. Once this was over I was finished. I found it hard to print a good quality image that small on acetate. I had a lot of trouble sourcing different types of acetate on different printers. It was only when I vectorised my images that the image quality seemed a lot better. This only showed the outline though, but after trying all this time to get the images in colour I thought to myself there is no need. As the children would be colouring in through adding colour to the black and white projection, when placing in the puzzle pieces.