I will try to address the questions:
1.) I think the material usage will be subjected to the design. I wanted a clean design. Sure people want to see how a vac works, but I cannot deny that while trying to give the user what they want, there are things that I will insist. Afterall, we have to make some decisions and take risks. What the user want may not be the best option. I guess designers provide the options, the user take their pick.
2.) The sketch you see was done in the early part of the project. The aim of the sketch was to illustrate the concept for the air flow. I wasn’t thinking about handle at that time. In fact, the handle decision was added much later, so it wasn’t resolved too well.
For the handle, I will imagine the need for sliding blocks. I have limited knowledge on manufacturing so I am not going to try to impress anyone here. Well, any form is possible to manufacture It just comes down to price.
3.) The final decision was to use a bag instead of a hard container, which is what a lot of canister style vac use. You are right about the dirty part.
To resolve it will have to redesign the entire air flow mechanism, which will take more than my little engineering knowledge to achieve. That’s where I need engineers to help me on. Perhaps instead if using molded channels, I can use a hose instead to reduce sharp corners. I can even redesign the bag to reduce the distance from the inlet to the bag.
4.) Almost all of the canister vacs have air vent near the floor. In fact, the hub-vent idea is not original( taken from LG). I personally have not done research on how the out going air will kick up dusts, but I don’t think the pressure will be strong enough to have an significant effect. If not people won’t need to look for more powerful vacs.
5.) Not much research on motors. The sketch was just to show an idea on the airflow. If I had to consider every single part that will go into this vac, and if I can resolve it, I probably will be in engineering instead. Plus, I don’t know exactly all of valve, spring, screw or fasteners that are available for sourcing.
6.) The power source is conventional corded power. Only the handle is battery powered, which commands the unit by infra red remote. No I didn’t show the placement of the cord.
7.) Most of the attachment brushes for canister vac doesn’t have power assisted mechanism. I think most of them don’t even have roller brushes. So mine isn’t power assisted, due to space constrain, and my lack of engineering ability. Would those really work well? I don’t know, never really had a working unit to try it out. I suppose for Asian homes’ hard floors( typically tiles or wood) it will be adequate.
8.) Yes it is supposed to articulate. The sides rotates and folds towards the center. Yes cost is everything but not in school… that’s why we are still here even when they obviously overcharging us for tuition.
9.) The roller is indeed to provide a 3 point stance, assembled from the inside. It is used only in canister mode, and usually when the user pull it by the hose, the vac does the “wheelie” action, thus even on carpet, it shouldn’t pose a big problem. Furthermore, carpet is softer. I am actually more worried about dirt collecting from hard floors like how a mouse ball traps dirt.
10.) A power drill’s handle housing is plastic too, typically 3mm or thicker. The grip is done with dual shot, or double injection as some call it, also commonly found on power tool handles. I don’t quite understand the big pipe part.
11.) Yes the pipe is supposed to extend because when you use it as upright, you have to shorten it accordingly. I didn’t show it on the Rhino model, but I did indicate it on the foam model. The pipes are not of the same diameter. One fits into another, and held together by a twisting fastener.
a) Yes I am Asian and all my life I have used Japanese styled vacs. I see the advantage for the compactness and agility, that’s why I choose to go with that.
b & c) My instructor doubted that too. I personally didn’t, so did my classmates. I thought about loop designs. In fact, that’s what another classmate did for his. Not that I don’t want to do what he already was doing, I just don’t find it easy to place the hand on a loop. On another note, a loop will make the vacuuming action look like walking a dog, which isn’t what I am looking for.
I’m glad to be told of problems to think about. Even though 13 weeks will seem to be impossible to fit every condsideration in, it good to know what I have to know as a professional.