product designer


Rotation Development

Now with a clear vision of what form I want my product to take, I have spent this week really figuring out the linguistics of the product. I began by exploring how I can make the main frame rotate. With the desire to create my product from ceramic and wood, it is critical for its motor and mechanisms to be well structured so that they are powerful enough to sustain a considerable amount of weight.

The first option explored was to have to the frame cradling between two rollers. These would be controlled using a motor; which would be adjusted so that the frame rotates according to time. Although an appropriate solotuion, I felt this compromised the designs aesthetic too much. So I explored some more!

The second option I explored was to have the frame attached to cogs driven by one motor, which would enable to the frame to turn. I made these quick mock-up prototypes using the laser cutter. This allowed me to really unpick how these mechanisms work and how they could potentialy be assembled within my product. As I experimented with this concep, I felt it was quite clumsy and I would much prefer a more contained mechanism. 

And my third option was more what I was looking for! This concept 

Excited by the prospect of having all the mechanisms self-contained, I decided to develop this concept further. Again, I ventured down to the make space to laser cut more cogs!

Version 1

This my first protoype for this concept, which is laser cut onto 2mm thick MDF. As you can see, this prototype consisted of two cogs. The hollow outer cog is designed to be attached to the main frame. The smaller cog is fastened to a motor, which rotates around the teeth of the outer cog. I tested this by screwing the cogs onto scrap wood and rotated them by hand. As you can see, the cogs were pretty jumpy in areas. I was also weary of the four toothed cog's ability to not only sustain, but also drive the weight of the outer frame.

Version 2

Second time around, I changed the cogs themselves. By adding more teeth onto the smaller cog, it became more sturdy and stable when rotating round the teeth of the outer cog. 

Version 3

Happy with the dimensions of the last cogs I created, I decided to develop them further by layering several of the cogs together. This made them much stronger and even more stable when rotating. 

Next Steps

Over the next few days, I will develop this concept further by:

  • Laser cutting the cogs from thicker MDF (As opposed to layering thinner material together)
  • Attach the inner cog to the motor and experiment with the speed in which it roates
  • Test the mechanisms ability to sustain weight
Rebecca Williamson