DIY [Toy] Product Design

Dimitris Papanikolaou
Max Enrollment:
Jan 6-10 and 13 (6 sessions)/1-4pm
Gund 510
This hands-on course will explore design, fabrication, and assembly of toy products for the DIY community. Working in teams, students will design, fabricate, and assemble toy cars consisting of functional mechanical assemblies of multiple parts (wheels, chassis, gears, differential gears, shell, etc.) with specific functional requirements (e.g. wheels must rotate, parts must snap-fit, etc.). Toy products must be designed for laser cutting fabrication and easy manual assembly with no adhesives or fasteners. Students will explore flexure joints and Design For Assembly (DFA) techniques to easily install parts. Depending on available time and resources, students may integrate motors to actuate their toys.
Each student in a team will develop (design, CAD model, and fabricate) a part or subassembly, negotiating with the other teammates about how their parts/subassemblies will interlock. Students must negotiate what they can design, design what they can model, model what they can fabricate, and fabricate what that they can assemble. Exchange of data will take place using spreadsheets and import/export functions.
Students will learn fundamentals of parametric and computational CAD modeling using Rhino and Grasshopper, and occasionally C#. Furthermore they will learn how to design gears to transfer torque, as well as basic principles of Design for Assembly (DFA) such as flexure snap-fit joints, economics, and production planning. Students will also study assemblability of their prototypes using graph theory. All projects, their progress, and instructions for replicating them must be documented in live blogs. The course will take 6 3-hour sessions.
Knowledge of Rhino, Grasshopper, laser cutting, laptops with Rhino & Grasshopper installed