The next stage was to produce a full ENHANCE set. As the image shows below there is a full colour set of RFID characters, a coloured console and a adult and child wrist band controller. Through the addition of colour it became apparent that the het reaction was causing large amount of bubbles to form inside the elastomer giving the appearance of scratches all over the RFID characters and console. This can only be solved by reducing the shore hardness of the elastomer.
The console bands all come together and have a working USB fasten. The USB housing still needs to be made smaller as it shows through the material.
The first complete set of characters was complete. The collectible RFID characters had no problems other than previously stated. During the console arms however another problem arose – Due to the quantity of material needed to fill the mould the heat produced during the reaction of the elastomer caused the main body to shrink – because of this when the arms were added they were too big by around 3mm.
To combat this shrinkage a number of things could be done:
– Reduce the material with a insert mould,
– Use a lower shore plastic (less heat is produced during the reaction)
– Add small quantities of material at a time.
Now that the product has been fully resolved at a product a user interaction experience map has been created to show the interaction between the user and product. In total there are four stages of user product interaction and experience:
Purchase and set up
– Discovering the products availability and how it can assist the users – hearing families with a deaf child or those with other hearing impairments.
– Setting up the product in the home in a family centred location.
– Signing up to the online community which enables the users to download games, interact with other community members and gain access to the NDCS membership.
Adaptable and progressive play interaction
– Downloading and playing sign language learning games/activities for personal or family unit development at self-paced intervals.
– Downloading and playing educational games/activities for personal and family unit development at self-paced intervals.
– Downloading fun games for family and friend interaction.
– Strengthening bonds between the family unit
– Strengthening bonds between friends
– Allowing the deaf child to have access to a renewable source of educational entertainment and a platform which enables instant interaction between family members.
– Competing with others on the NDCS online community.
– Giving the deaf child instant access to a community in a similar position to them.
Personal and family development/achievement
– Using the sign language learning games/activities to development personal skills, family skills and family cooperation and integration.
– Using educational games to assist in the deaf child’s education.
– Achieving levels of sign language or education skills as collaborative family unit.
Product end of life/end of use
– Donating the product to the NDCS either for use at community gatherings or donated directly to another family with a deaf child.
– Recycling product knowing that all materials and components can be re
The next stage of self manufacture was to create the wrist band controllers. The manufacture of these components where made via the same process as the collectible RFID characters and the main console. A postive mould was created using the CNC router and then it was silicon casted. Also included in this mould were supports to hold the USB technology in place during the mould – These are shown in the first image below. The second image below shows the final product.
The casting went well and the supports for the USB technology performed well – however as the image shows this process created un-sightly seem lines where the elastomer joint around the USB tech. Due to the low shore rating of this elastomer it is like rubber and therefore these seem lines cannot be sanded, they can however be cut off. Rather than doing this though the next casting that is performed will be watched closely to ensure there is as little over spill onto the USB tech as possible.
After the successful creation of the first set of collectible RFID characters the next stage was to create the main console. The self manufacture followed the same principle as the collectible RFID characters by creating a positive mould using the CNC router and then casting that in silicon. There are three moulds shown below: the first is used to cast all of the components that fit into the main body of the console:
– Hand inserts
– Power port
– Hdmi port
– Belly piece
The second is used to cast the back if the console and the third to cast the front of the console. The last image shows the joining together of these components into the final console – however the hand inserts and arms are missing as the positive mould is being finish at this stage.
At this stage the console all fits together apart from the belly piece insert plane. The plane and depth were not calculated correctly therefore a silicon inserts has been created that should allow the next test manufacture to fit correctly. Also as I had never casted anything of this size before i discovered that mixing the elastomer and pouring it at a constant rate are important to ensure small areas of unmixed elastomer are not left on the surface of the final product.
Sign the number 9
Thanks to feedback received from NDCSNG, Dee Three and Jonathan Thorpe a colour scheme and logo have been fully resolved. Also the product form and features functions have now been fully resolved. The images below shows:
– Wrist band controllers for children
– Wrist band controllers for adults
– 5 collectible RFID characters
– The motion tracking console
– The final selected logo
– The final selected colour scheme
The next stage is to run FEA and LCA tests on the products form and functions to ensure: material selection, manufacturing processes and form all meet the desiered criteria in terms of efficient manufacture, performance and product life and sustainability.
Sign the number 8
After the first attempt at self manufacture alterations were made to the CAD models that ensured all parts could be cast and assembled straight from the mould. Firstly the CAD models were altered to allow flat casting of both the belly pieces and feet. Secondly the models were taken into a software called MAYA were the polygons that make up the model were altered. By altering the polygons of the CAD models it created a smoother path for the CNC to take which created a better finish on the mould.
Below you can see the milled out mould, the Silicon mould and the collectible character set created. (Unfortunately due to unseen hidden parts in the CNC file lead to one of the characters having belly piece shapes covering its hands – this piece is currently being re-milled along with the components to cast the console)
Sign the number 7
As children grow their learning needs and capabilities change – (Piaget, 1958) identified a sequence of four major stages. The child development and product interaction map below outlines these stages, what they involve and how the proposed product will interact with the users at each stage. The product will need to be adaptive in order to stimulate, enrich, educate and meet the needs and capabilities of the users at each of these development stages.
Sign the number 6
Russ, S explains that there are four major processes expressed through play that help develop vital skills for a child. The list below briefly outlines these major processes and the skills that are developed.
– Divergent thinking
– Expression of emotion
– Expression of affect themes
– Comfort and enjoyment in the play
– Emotion regulation and modulation of affect
– Cognitive integration of affect
– Interpersonal schema/Self–other representation
Problem Solving/Conflict Resolution Processes
– Approach to problems and conflicts
– Problem solving/conflict resolution
Although all of these processes and skills are important in the developed of a child and will all be considered throughout the design of the product there are a key set which the designed product must encourage in order to achieve the design aims stated in section 2.2 of the report:
– Symbolism – The ability to transform/associate objects and symbols into representations of other objects.
– Comfort and enjoyment in the play – The ability to experience pleasure and joy in the play situation.
– Interpersonal schema/Self–other representation – The level of development of self-other differentiation and capacity for trusting others.
– Communication – The ability to communicate with others, to express ideas and emotions to others.
– Problem solving/conflict resolution – The ability to work things out and resolve problems.