Well today consisted mainly of 3D printing and laser cutting card. Its been a long day, but we have managed to iron out some creases in our designs and make some products we are all very happy with.
Angelo, Lorna and I met in the rapid prototyping room in our Howard Gardens Product Design Studio, where we showed each other the designs we had spent the weekend creating and perfecting. Angelo had designed a new box for our chocolates to be sold in, which could be assembled with no other parts, eg. no adhesives. He had also used some open source designs to make some 3d objects to print. It feels like the whole group is pulling it’s weight. I feel that we all have something to show each other every time we meet, whether it is a tangible model or design, or an intangible idea or plan for our enterprise.
We decided to multitask and set all three 3D printers to print our shapes, whilst we also set the laser cutter to cut Angelo’s box template.
My original designs turned out to be too large when printing them and so I decided to scale them down, I also decided to as some small detail to the moustache design, to make it more obvious what it was! Once the new designs were set to print, we were able to see the first box prototype.
The corners were unfortunately not scored enough and the lid did not extend as much as it should have, and so Angelo got to work implementing some small changes on CorelDraw. I decided to experimented with the prototype, attempting to use various adhesives to increase the strength of the box – mainly hot melt glue and super glue. Although the hot melt worked, the box still maintained it’s flaws and so I returned to check on the 3D printing. The objects had printed perfectly, so set the printer to print more so we could make a large amount of moulds.
For the rest of the day, Angelo and I worked on perfecting the chocolate box. We managed to commandeer both laser cutters and so we set them both to work cutting various prototypes. Angelo also realised that we could cut down the time for cutting by making the machine cut out the etches on a lower power instead of using the etching mode which for some reason took a lot longer. This cut the time down from 25 minutes to 3 minutes, which was an excellent optimization of the production process.
Our continual production of 3d printed objects allowed us to have 4 of each shape for making moulds with. I feel that this was a great insight to how small batch production takes place. We essentially had a miniature manufacturing facility within the university working towards a specific quantity goal. I don’t think that we could have utilised today any better, and even though we didn’t meet our goal of forming the moulds, we used up every bit of time manufacturing and designing.
Overall today has been rather productive and we have definitely reached a milestone and I feel I have learned a fair bit about prototyping and batch production. I haven’t met my goal of engaging more in the graphics side of our company, however I haven’t had the chance to do such and so I wouldn’t count it as a failure. I am now definitely feeling confident in our company and all we have left to finalise is our sales promotion and setup for our popup sales event.