Test Rig 1.
I made a 1:1 scale model so that I could see the full size that the table design would be; this also allowed me to identify problems I may face with the design.
The actual heights and diameters of the table tops are a good size so I was happy with that. I was also happy with the way the table looked when it was opened out. The test rig allowed me to see a few problems I need to resolve ready for the final design t though. The table tops have a small ledge to sit on to support them and I found they weren’t strong enough to support the table tops from tilting. So I need a deeper collar to give the table support. Also I may need a collar on the top of the table so that once the table is lent on it won’t topple over. Another problem was that the base needs more weight behind it to stop the table falling over when the top tables are simply opened out.
I was going to produce a full scale silhouette of my design but when I looked at the full size it didn’t seem right; so I took out a book on anthropometrics to research the size of the user again and recalculate the size.
The book is called: The Measure of Man & Woman- Human Factors in Design
I found that the sizing was slightly too large for the top and middle table so need to lower them; this means that the sizing will change for the seat/toy box as well. So I need to recalculate the full size for the developed table design; maybe producing a set of different sized tables.
I produced a 1:5 soft model of my table design to look at the movement, stability and size of the design.
I found that the stability of the table was an issue as when the top surface was rotated fully it was unbalanced so fell over. So now I need to decide either to just have one of the table tops to rotate or both to rotate 90′ so they counterbalance. Also it means the base needs to be heavier to keep it weighted down.
The model also gave me a rough idea of the size of the table and how the seat/storage container would stack on the table. I like the form of the table and how it looks when opened out so I just need to develop the structure/support for the table further.
Trip to Ikea
I decided to take a trip to Ikea to do some research into the bracket that could be used for the table to rotate
I found a kitchen cupboard that had a shelf top that would fully rotate; this bracket could work for my table design
IMG_0066 <—-This shows a video of the shelf and how it can move
This has helped me to understand what I would need to support the table design; there needs to be a bracket to support the underneath of the table and a collar on the top of the table surface to stop it from moving up or down. The bracket may need bearings to allow the table to move more freely.
Things to consider
There are many details that need to be investigated now these include:
-The type of bracket that will be used to enable the table to rotate
-The support needed to stop the strain/stress on the table when lent on
-The material and thickness for the table tops
-The tubing whether it will be a stock size?
-What size the castors will be and the safety of them (are they lockable?)
-What the storage box will be made of and how its manufactured?
-Colours that will be used in the design (many variations of the design?)
-What types of toys will be in the storage box?
-What the production size will be?
I looked into sizing for the table design and made some initial decisions on the sizing so that it can be modelled in Solidworks
Thursday 22nd January I attended the toy fair at Olympia London. This enabled me to see different toys that are on the market for children and talk to some people that work with toys. One of the guys I talked to at the fair was from ‘Cloud B.’ This is a company that manufacturers soothing toys for children through the use of sound, sight and touch which was quite interesting.
Also the fair helped me to see different colours that were used for children, I found a lot of bright colours were used to catch the child’s attention. For the age range 4-6years which my product would be designed at I found the primary colours were used throughout.
Through research and writing my rough intent statement I have decided that I want to design either a play table or toy for the use in play therapy sessions in schools. After having a group discussion and talking to Sarah who works in a School with special needs. I found out that some schools don’t have set areas for therapy sessions and the spaces they do have are very small. So I have decided that what I’m designing will be easily moved around and as compact as it can be so that it can be used in different areas that are available.
Throughout the Christmas break I did some initial concept sketches for my design proposal, this post shows the design I’ve decided I will develop further.
The design is a 3 part table where the top 2 tables can rotate outwards; this means the child can choose to either sit on the floor and play, sit at the middle table or stand at the top table and play. Also there is a storage box with toys in that are used in play therapy and a soft play seat; they can both sit on the table tops out the way when stored. The design is also on wheels so that it is easily moved around into different rooms.
Now that I have decided that I will be designing for young children in play therapy sessions I have produced a rough draft for my statement of intent that I will help me focus on exactly what I want to design.
Statement of Intent
The aim of the project is to design a play table/toy that will be used in play therapy sessions for children. This play equipment will help the development of children in their therapy sessions. It will allow the children to develop social skills and express their feelings/emotions. It will give the children in play therapy sessions a specific area that is theirs to play at.
- For children age 4-6years old in play therapy
- For use in therapy rooms/sessions
- Has to be engaging, relaxing and comfortable
- Allows room for expression
- Environments the Play table will be used:-In school sessions
- -Private Therapy sessions
There are a few options for where the play table will be used as there are different Play Therapy environments. It could be produced directly for a Play Therapy association who work privately or through the NHS. It could also be produced for use in a School environment.
There would be user group testing to see how the Play Table proposal would work with the target market; this would be either with children of the correct age or with adult professionals in that field. The proposal would be presented to the adult to receive feedback.
The first outcome of the project would be some soft prototyping to use for testing to see how the proposal would work. Then there will be a 1:1 scale CAD model to show the visuals of the concept. These models will allow time for final refinements/modifications before the final model is produced. The final concept will be produced at a 1:1 scale; this could then possibly be used in user group testing.
The target age range I will aim the project at is children between the age of four and six years; they will benefit the most through this type of therapy based on Piaget’s Learning Levels.
Four to six years of age places the children in the Preoperational stage of Piaget’s learning levels. In the Preoperational stage children believe that objects such as dolls and teddy’s have emotions and feelings. In this age range children don’t use make believe so their play represents a reflection of their own lives. Their thoughts, feelings and expressions can be represented using objects and events. So this means at this age Play therapy can be used to gain an understanding of the child’s present problems and help to resolve them.
As I am looking a such a young age group in Play therapy I have decided I want to decide some sort of play table for the children to use in their sessions. There are different environments that Play therapy can be used; I would like to design for the use in Schools.