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Re: We have $10,000 - what should we buy?

Postby lychee » November 8th, 2017, 2:35 pm

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I think you can get a $50 arduino kit on Sparkfun.

Focus on getting tools that help students understand concepts in a hands-on way. Easy access to prototyping equipment and low-cost/free consumable materials is nice. I don't know what exactly you're looking for when you say cutting-edge that's not too risky or frivolous, perhaps take a look at what MIT Media Lab is doing? But definitely consider what Cyberdemon said - being able to prototype with small electronics is no joke and the experience goes a long way.

Also, my school had some 3d printers, but it was a big pain to get easy access to. We had all these resources that many students didn't really use due to inconvenience (or bad learning/low interest?)... Not really a factor you can control, but something to keep in mind.

Re: We have $10,000 - what should we buy?

Postby Mrog » November 8th, 2017, 2:49 pm


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https://www.universal-robots.com

These robots are cheap and relatively safe. I know they are in use at my alma mater, and student teach themselves how to use them, so it certainly is doable.
As with most of the more complicated tools the biggest challenge is to pass on knowledge once the people who set it up and get it running graduate, especially true for "cutting edge equipment" ;)

Re: We have $10,000 - what should we buy?

Postby Alex_Guinn » November 9th, 2017, 6:39 pm


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I agree with all the previous sentiments of warning against "cutting edge" technology that will not actually be utilized or out of date in 2 years. (robotic arm, VR, etc)
The design school I went to went through the process of getting 2 kuka robotic arms and they were definitely underutilized show pieces just there for tour groups.

Basic electronics lab is definitely a great way to go! Soldering station, power supply, oscilloscope, assorted components, ect.
Hell, even a set of "littlebits" electronics would be a great reusable set of electronics.
Knowledge in this area can create some amazing creative output. Prototypes that can move, speakers designs that actually make music, and the ability to talk intelligently about the hardware we are designing around.
Its one of the biggest areas I had gotten more education in through school. (recent graduate)

Re: We have $10,000 - what should we buy?

Postby Alex_Guinn » November 9th, 2017, 6:43 pm


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https://shop.littlebits.cc/products/workshop-set

seriously check out little bits. They have a lot of power, great hardware, and compatiblity with Arduino etc.
Don't be fooled by the "toy" aspect. You can easily configure a minimally viable prototype that works! throw them in your 3D printed parts.
Pull them out and they are reusable!
Some of their hardware is really cool - like a smart home tech kit

Re: We have $10,000 - what should we buy?

Postby FH13 » November 9th, 2017, 7:47 pm


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What's your situation regarding 3D printing? Do you have a 3D printer at school?
Talk to Dave Gaylord at www.matterhackers.com in Orange County. Maybe get 2-4 extrusion 3D printers so the whole class can share and not depend on one during portfolio review. Maybe he can offer student pricing if it's for the school....
Yes it requires consumables, but cheap compared to more advanced 3D printers. I'm sure students can afford filament. They SHOULD learn how to use them and experience the cost of running bad parts and troubleshooting when machines crash.
We've ran parts for CSULB students in the past and it's amazing some of the parts we get. Parts at different scales, faceted, paper thin walls, flat parts, etc. Not to mention the sticker shock when we tell them how much parts would have cost if they weren't students.
Just a thought.

Re: We have $10,000 - what should we buy?

Postby AVClub » November 10th, 2017, 9:05 am


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Alex_Guinn wrote:I agree with all the previous sentiments of warning against "cutting edge" technology that will not actually be utilized or out of date in 2 years. (robotic arm, VR, etc)
The design school I went to went through the process of getting 2 kuka robotic arms and they were definitely underutilized show pieces just there for tour groups.

Basic electronics lab is definitely a great way to go! Soldering station, power supply, oscilloscope, assorted components, ect.
Hell, even a set of "littlebits" electronics would be a great reusable set of electronics.
Knowledge in this area can create some amazing creative output. Prototypes that can move, speakers designs that actually make music, and the ability to talk intelligently about the hardware we are designing around.
Its one of the biggest areas I had gotten more education in through school. (recent graduate)


I kind of agree. I would also think about what would help my students get jobs in the end and to become successful designers. I understanding breaking from traditional ID, but if there's not a need in the market for what you're producing, your students will fail and just spent a ton of money on being able to use some fun stuff. With that said, I wish when I was a student we got to make $10,000 recommendations, could be really cool if the money is used wisely!

Re: We have $10,000 - what should we buy?

Postby Alex_Guinn » November 10th, 2017, 1:50 pm


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On another note:
Students who can speak intelligently about designing for manufacturing seem to a have a large edge.
So many of the industrial design jobs deal with designing injection molded products so why not equip students to speak intelligently about that.
I have had friends get asked in interviews how a part they designed would be made. While its discussed in school I feel that most students never think about the mfg process when designing in CAD.

Idea for the $10,000 = Get a desktop injection molding machine
Allow students to learn with the actual equipment used for consumer product.
Use it for demos. Learn about draft angle and designing for 2 part molds. Discuss mold design. Allow students to make parts for projects. Design products with real snap fits ect.

https://www.robotdigg.com/product/657/Digg-Desktop-Injection-Molding-Machine?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIrqGL4tO01wIVCYZpCh1ItwFXEAYYAyABEgIdlPD_BwE

http://www.apsx.com/APSX-PIM-Desktop-Injection-Molding-p/apsx_pim.htm

Re: We have $10,000 - what should we buy?

Postby AVClub » November 10th, 2017, 2:19 pm


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Alex_Guinn wrote:On another note:
Students who can speak intelligently about designing for manufacturing seem to a have a large edge.
So many of the industrial design jobs deal with designing injection molded products so why not equip students to speak intelligently about that.
I have had friends get asked in interviews how a part they designed would be made. While its discussed in school I feel that most students never think about the mfg process when designing in CAD.

Idea for the $10,000 = Get a desktop injection molding machine
Allow students to learn with the actual equipment used for consumer product.
Use it for demos. Learn about draft angle and designing for 2 part molds. Discuss mold design. Allow students to make parts for projects. Design products with real snap fits ect.

https://www.robotdigg.com/product/657/Digg-Desktop-Injection-Molding-Machine?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIrqGL4tO01wIVCYZpCh1ItwFXEAYYAyABEgIdlPD_BwE

http://www.apsx.com/APSX-PIM-Desktop-Injection-Molding-p/apsx_pim.htm


This could be interesting, especially since you can 3d print the molds out of plastic and get some shots out of it for cheap. I was blown away when I saw pieces being molded in plastic tools.

Re: We have $10,000 - what should we buy?

Postby slippyfish » November 10th, 2017, 6:15 pm

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+1 on the desktop injection molder, that would solve our having to gently break it to recent graduates that "you can't really mold that you know". Didn't know such a thing existed.

On the electronics prototyping kit - I recall reading some story about Jony Ive and his student telephone project. When he brought the phone to his first interview he could take it apart and show how the components fit. Imagine being able to take some student project gadget to an interview, talk about the surfacing and gesture on the outside, and then open it up and name the individual components on the inside.

ORRRRRRRR you can say that your school has a robot.
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Re: We have $10,000 - what should we buy?

Postby Cyberdemon » November 11th, 2017, 11:44 am

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A small injection molding machine will still require an in house CNC machine for creating tools, and that's prohibitively expensive for materials as a student. Students can learn as much about injection molding with a good teacher and a weeks lesson in drafting plus sketches. I would also argue that theres very advanced tooling approaches (we commonly had parts with pulls/slides/cams in all 4-6 directions) that allow very wacky things to be built. Not to say students shouldn't understand those things, but early on in your career you can also be limited by a smaller amount of knowledge and thinking everything needs to be an A-B tool.

With that said, I had a girl in my ID studio in college design a bucket for horse shit (literally) and then when asked what it was made out of her response was "Carbon Fiber, because it's light". Needless to say her ID career never took off. :lol:

Re: We have $10,000 - what should we buy?

Postby AndyMc » November 11th, 2017, 9:19 pm

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slippyfish wrote:On the electronics prototyping kit - I recall reading some story about Jony Ive and his student telephone project. When he brought the phone to his first interview he could take it apart and show how the components fit. Imagine being able to take some student project gadget to an interview, talk about the surfacing and gesture on the outside, and then open it up and name the individual components on the inside.


I think that its a super valuable experience for a student to be able to do this and show that they understand the design process as a whole and know how to do real user testing.

I had to make a stud finder for a 3rd year project, part of which was building the pcb for sound, light etc. feedback and a controller so that we could test how usable the design was. Getting responses on a working prototype from people around the uni and making design changes based on those responses made the project far more realistic, and I definitely learnt a lot about making something functional.

On the desktop IM machine ( which I think is also a good idea) an innovation lab here was 3d printing successful tools from Nylon (I think) rather than machining them, but the prints are from a 250k objet printer which puts the material costs outside of what the average student can afford.

Cyberdemon wrote:With that said, I had a girl in my ID studio in college design a bucket for horse shit (literally) and then when asked what it was made out of her response was "Carbon Fiber, because it's light". Needless to say her ID career never took off. :lol:


Ferrari bucket? :lol: Reminds me of all the carbon fibre trinkets than luxury car brands sell.

Re: We have $10,000 - what should we buy?

Postby slippyfish » November 13th, 2017, 12:17 pm

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AndyMc wrote:I had to make a stud finder for a 3rd year project, part of which was building the pcb for sound, light etc. feedback and a controller so that we could test how usable the design was. Getting responses on a working prototype from people around the uni and making design changes based on those responses made the project far more realistic, and I definitely learnt a lot about making something functional.


This sounds like a great little project with both educational and real-world relevance. Sparks curiosity about "why does something do that" and recognizes the relative level of complexity in even simple tools and products. Lamps, alarm clocks, remote controlled gadgets, all worthwhile types of projects.
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Re: We have $10,000 - what should we buy?

Postby seurban » November 13th, 2017, 12:47 pm


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+1 on the photo setup if you don't have one already. Having a really good camera, a couple softbox lights, and a backdrop set up and able to be used at any time has been really useful at work. Not only do pictures of our final models look great, but it's really easy to have professional looking photos of everything along the way. And it should cost much less than $10,000 so you'll have plenty left over for something else.

3D printers would be great if you don't have them already. I think they help designers work on both form and function and help push their 3D modeling skills. Just make sure the students don't think their hotshots for knowing 3D printing - it's not really that hard (at least the usual stuff) and at least for now it doesn't replace knowledge of mass manufacturing processes.

The desktop injection molding machine sounds great, but I worry that it will take too much upkeep and expertise, besides the cost of molds (which 3D printing can help with, but probably not a sub $10,000 3D printer). If you have a shop manager or other staff member who's excited to take it on it could be cool though.

The electronics set is also a great idea, and also not terribly expensive. You could make a pretty sweet station for $10,000, and for those who are into it it would be a big help.

Re: We have $10,000 - what should we buy?

Postby FH13 » November 13th, 2017, 1:21 pm


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Yes, an injection molding machine seems a bit overkill. Agree with Cyberdemon on how advanced injection molding is now a days that a simple machine without a teacher would not be a good investment for the school.

Also, if injection molding is of interest why not create simple RTV molds. Teaches you the basics of molding without the expense. Back in the day we used to have to take Metals, Woods and Plastics classes separately plus Design Methodology and Production Techniques....now it is all combined into one or two model making classes.

The electronics kit may be nice but also a bit misleading and I'm afraid students may focus more on the coding or EE design that they'll put design second. Besides, if showing how something works in real life or having an working prototype is the goal, you can probably buy a new or used XYZ, open it up and use the same components for your new XYZ. Then you can use your school's filament 3D printer to print your beautifully designed housing.

Maybe use the 10K for a sponsored project in AI? Have the class design a robot that solves a specific need or helps somebody perform a task better. Use the 10K for materials, prints or guest speakers on AI?

Re: We have $10,000 - what should we buy?

Postby sonofscrotum » November 13th, 2017, 8:17 pm


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How about a killer sound system for everyone to use? A Marantz receiver, Martin Logan speakers ...

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