Project summary

April 30, 2009

In summary, our project turned out pretty well. Overall I think our group ended up benifiting from the simplicity of our model – because it took us less time to build, we had more time to go back and change the things we learned needed fixing. I think we would have all benifited from a shorter build time – although fully articulated models look nice they don’t seem to really provide that much more benifit – in other words, I think a stack of mixed thickness foamcore would have gotten us a good enough build quickly enough that we could have had more time for  development. That may just apply to my group however – may be different elsewhere. Overall our reviews were positive – there were concerns regarding the clausterphobia of the space, safety concerns for the teller, but mainly some smaller details that escaped our attention while working on the project. For instance, one person I talked to at the event suggested that the sloped shelf for the handicapped people might not be such a great idea – given that gravity naturally would pull objects off it if someone were not quick enough to catch it, which becomes even more of an issue to handicapped people. I would agree with the assessment that the walls are too tall by about a foot – we made them 7′, but even a 6′ wall is at my eye height, which means I can’t see over it unless I’m being really obvious and trying to.

Speaking of which, I’m curious to find out how the event went – I dropped by for about an hour and a half, but had to leave to get some work done – if it continued well after I left as planned, I’m sure things went pretty well – the space was comfortably full when I left. I think I explained our project to 4 groups of people overall at the party, which is good – was nice to get to present a project, something I haven’t done for a bit now.



Material Samples

April 28, 2009

Working with the group now, trying to iron out the presentation for tomorrow.  We’ve got some stuff to work out, but I’m working on getting material samples in order, while Emma works on the presentation and Laura finishes out some SolidWorks models. Fun is being had by all.

I wanted to muse for a bit on our full scale models – this may be a bit edgy, and I don’t mean to be negative or to give a negative vibe – overall, I’m glad we took the time to do them, I just can’t help but ask some questions. For one, when making promo videos for the event on Wednesday, we spent quite a bit of time talking about how the models had helped us understand our projects – I do kinda wonder however, how much of that is due to the full scale nature of the model, and how much is due to the solid construction of our models. The other classes also did full scale models, and I’d be interested to see how much theirs benifited them. Some I saw couldn’t have been too much help – between chairs they couldn’t sit on and “bars” that couldn’t have been a real scale representation of the thickness of materials and thus the legroom on both sides, some stuff was left to guessing. Some other details such as a knowledge of construction techniques and how to build things also wouldn’t be learned with a cardboard model. Once those questions are asked, the next of course is was what we gained when compared to other classes worth the benifit? I definitely think this was worth it, if only as an experiment in whether it is worth it – but there are some other considerations, such as the fact there is no space in the COA for this much stuff, etc – this was a unique event that probably isn’t going to repeat itself.

Just some thoughts, comment at will.



Ze Projekt

April 23, 2009

Team Bank Teller is coming along pretty well – I feel well about how much we’ve accomplished, especially given how much we have left to do. I’m taking a break at the moment to take care of my portfolio project for Professional Practice, but once that is finished up, its back to the shop to get the desk finished and the skin on the walls. I’m going to be forming the acrylic after my shop shift tonight, and bringing it over, and then I’ll probably end up chipping in and helping the bar or barrista group get theirs finished.

We’ve already learned a bit from our build, even before finishing. In my opinion, the space is too small – despite being to spec for turning around a wheelchair, I think it would benifit from some more space, even another foot or so would make it a bit easier to breathe. Of course, a change in materials will help some with that too. IMO, the desk is a bit deep – but that opinion may change some once we get the computer bits in place for our skit. I do think there will be plenty of space for everything a teller needs – between two drawers or cubbies and the TAU, and the inset portion of the desk for the stuff that would normally go on top of the desk, I think we will have improved the experience in many ways.



And for everyone following along at home…

April 21, 2009

Got some cool stuff happening over the weekend, all that. I have a toaster growing in Solidworks that is finally starting to look how I want it to – the other two appliances should follow shortly. In the bank project, We’ve started building our model at David’s shop, with some snags over exactly how stuff will be – I had some details missing on my drawing of the desk that over-complicated how some other stuff worked, and once added, we had some details to work out.

All in all, I’m still rather hopeful regarding the next couple weeks – I’m hoping everything else works out, and if it does, I should be looking good.




April 18, 2009

I’m not exactly sure if I should have posted yesterday since we didn’t have class – not a whole lot to report, just some more progress on the desk and environment for the bank project. I thought I’d post a quick roundup and summary of some designs I think are a load of crap that I’ve found on the internet. I know some people’s opinions will be different regarding these, but hey, thats what makes it an opinion.

First, the IF-battery. I suppose I should start with the fact that they hype this as ‘multifunctional’. Not all that multifunctional really, it just connects to the wall with or without a charger – its still just a battery. And a poor battery at that – as one of their drawings shows, we get half the ‘battery’ for the volume, since their built in charger takes up so much space that you’re going to cut the actual battery to half its possible lifespan. And that doesn’t cover the part about how rechargable batteries are already less effective than non-rechargables in producing power – you’re going to be hogging a lot of wall space with this one, with how often you’d have to recharge it.

As a caviot, battery tech is improving in leaps and bounds recently – I read an article recently about how there was the potential for lithium batteries to go 10x their current capacity with some new technology. But still, I think I’d prefer to have a battery that holds as much juice as possible, and use an actual device to do the work between the battery and the wall circuit. I wouldn’t trust a small transformer like that to stand up to that sort of abuse for too long, and then the whole battery is junk. Better to have a charger that is up to the challenge, and batteries that do what they’re supposed to do – provide as much power as possible.

Next up on the chop block, the Lawn PC. Not to mention that it is chock full of trendy materials (plastic is infused with “Bio Batch additives”), and fanciful technology (solar cells printed on organic cotton blades of grass, which somehow remains biodegradable despite having a solar cell printed on it), arranged in an inefficient arrangement purely for the aesthetics of the situation (it looks like grass, lulz). I’m sure it has the benefit of being closer to omni-directional, but lets be quite honest, this isn’t real grass – real grass is made such that it does work from whatever direction it can get light, artificial solar cells are completely different. Despite having “hundreds of solar cells”, it still doesn’t have a large footprint of sunlight it is soaking up. It is also completely wireless, leaving the observant reader to wonder how in the world power gets from the grass to the peripherals and such – and I’d hate to be stuck on a cloudy day with an important paper I have to get done in the next 24 hours. Or Nighttime use. It also aparently doesn’t need a fan, since the CPU is somehow cooled by the (rather insulative) blades of natural cotton grass.

Anyways, just my opinion. Let me know what you think.




April 16, 2009

Got a cool idea for the desk of our project today – working with arcs, I thought the project had too many straight lines on the desk, and the walls are too ‘bubbly’. By straightening the lines into a smooth arc, and replacing the sharp lines with another arc, then bending it a bit to create the lip for signing papers, and we have a nice smooth, sleak desk that I’m rather excited about. I’m hoping it will all turn out cool.

I’ve got a bunch of stuff to do for Project 2 as well – 3d models to make, control line drawings and renderings to get from the model, and a white model to make from the control line drawings. I think I can get a good bit done this weekend, and I hope to get at least 2 of the three done. We’ll see how things go, and I”ll keep everyone updated.



April 14, 2009

Although I was skeptical a tad bit skeptical of this concept at the start, but it is developing nicely into something that has some real potential. We’ve addressed lots of the issues, and are working on the others – I think it’ll turn out swell.

I’m working some on getting together other stuff for other classes – primarily my portfolio for Professional Practice, and doing a tad bit of studying for the Materials final. I’m hoping for something to inspire me on my portfolio – otherwise, I will be just making something up – I’ll figure something out that’ll work. I’m a bit disapointed with my junior work in general – I don’t know that there is much that will end up in my portfolio. I liked my Ryobi cupholder last semester, and my cup and saucer isn’t bad (at least, isn’t going to be too bad once I do some more work on them over the summer). Hopefully I’ll get some stuff made over the summer to fill out some good looking designs, and I’ll have something a good portfolio by the time next semester runs around.

Speaking of which, Fall semester’s schedule is looking quite nice. Only classes I’m really interested in, and besides studio, I’m taking the AWPL class, which will be good both for my skills (furniture design, Alphacam, etc), but also hopefully good for my portfolio.