The purpose of this assignment is to give you experience with designing and building a 2½D object using a laser cutter. (The ½ refers to the fact that a laser cutter can operate in more than just 2 dimensions, in that you can cut through solid sheets, but you aren't creating a 3D model.)
Your challenge is to design and build an object you can use in your prototyping work—a tool for your process. You have three choices of simple objects to create:
- a cell phone stand for shooting video of an object below it (such as a paper prototype or mobile app)
- a smartphone or tablet paper prototyping frame that you can use for a usability test
- a laptop or tablet stand to hold it upright or in some useful position
Regardless of your choice of object, your design must satisfy these 3 requirements:
- must be cut from a single sheet of 18" x 24" chipboard (which we will provide)
- must not use any glue, tape, or other fastening materials to assemble and use
- must be able to be dissembled into pieces that can be stored flat and transported (as in a backpack)
We're leaving this assignment highly unspecified, so you have a lot of flexibility in this. You can come up with your own design, or you can find something online and customize it (as long as you give credit). Be resourceful and creative. All you have to do is make a something that you can actually use with your own electronic device.
As demonstrated in class, you should use what you already know about prototyping to tackle this in phases:
- Make some design decisions: what kind of phone/tablet/laptop, what orientation and position and height you want, how big an area underneath it you want to be able to use, how it will be supported, how will the stand support itself, etc.
- Make sketches of your design to explore some details of the design.
- Make a quick prototype with folded paper or scrap cardboard to get an idea of how well it will work. Use this to get more exact measurements of your model.
- Model this design in Rhino and get it cut on the laser cutter. Consider doing one run with scrap cardboard to test your design, then a final one.
- Test it!
Submit the following:
Prototype Materials: Bring your actual model to class for demonstration. Your submission here should just be the original Rhino model file (.3dm).
Project Report: Write a short post on your process blog documenting your design and how you made it. This should be neat and clear, not overly designed, but suitable for a process portfolio artifact. The report should cover the following elements:
Include sketches, scans, photos, and other evidence of the design, the prototype, and your testing of it. Submit the URL of your entry in the associated Process Blog assignment: .
Design: sketches, photos of the finished model so we can see all of the parts and the finished, assembled model.
Analysis: summary of the results of your testing -- what about the prototype worked well, what needed improvement, and what you concluded about the effectiveness of your design from the testing.