3rd Year Product Design – ‘Stack and Snake’ Field Project/ RSA BRIEF

Alongside setting up the exhibition for our final year work, we had the choice of briefs to work towards. For this I decided to choose the brief ‘Fair Play’ as it appealed to my interests of play. To begin, I started by looking at existing products on the market. In our tutorial groups, we met up several times in Cardiff to explore the range of toy shops, gaining a higher insight of existing products and possible direction. From these sessions we spoke to several employees at shops such as Mothercare and Hamleys to find what products were most commonly bought, these being educational toys (lego, minecraft etc.) and high chair toys for the younger market.

I grew up playing with Lego and Knex and decided to go towards the route of building and educating. From this i looked into the existing educational toys and the one area which stood out to me was the idea of the stack-able rings which have been around for many years but the changes have been minimal. I decided to go straight into concept sketching to see what ideas I was able to produce, to give me a starting point.

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After tutorial meetings and feedback from parents, the snake design came out the most popular due to linking play with colour and putting this into a multi functioning product. This then gave me the idea to start playing with shapes to see what outcomes I could produce. Below are a few images portraying this through the use of Plasticine, blue foam and 3D printing. I sat in on a lecture which was based on the play of children which focused on what attracts a child to a product, this being down to the stimulation of the 5 senses.


The latter images (Orange 3D print) became my breakthrough. The idea was to click each module into place allowing a joining connection along the entire body. However, from further development, the rectangle originally used only had 2 possible tessellation. After looking into the different shapes and edges, I was lead towards the Octagon. This gave 8 Possible rotations. From this I looked into making the parts hollow with a cutout allowing the child to see the inserted ball whilst it flows through the pieces, keeping with the basic circles, squares and triangles.

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For the batch/bulk producing of my product, there may be issues due to the removal of shapes, restricting specific manufacturing processes. However, my product is aimed towards the ever developing machines of 3D printers, as they are quickly becoming accessible to all those in the design area due to the dropping of prices due to competition on an ever expanding market. With the production of machines available to print an entire street of houses (from concrete) in under 24 hours, there is reason to agree with those that believe that 3D printing will one day become as common as the internet. 3D printers also have the ability to print in a range of material, in this case PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) which is completely biodegradable material which is manufactured from plant-based resources such as corn starch or sugar cane.

Final Outcome

Age –  2+

The toy is separated into 7 different components.

1. Head

2. Jaw

3. Small Layer x4

4. Medium Layer x4

5. Large Layer x4

6. Tail

7. Ball

As you can see from the images supplied, each layer consists of 4 of the same part repeated, which forms a complete circle/layer, which can then be stacked alongside the other layers.

Different Functions (Educating)

1. Stacking of product (maximizing floor space when not in use)

2. Different tessellations

3. Finding correct built to allow ball to pass through entirety of product.

My product appeals highly to 3 of the 5 senses, Sight, Sound and Touch.

The final outcome model portrays the functions extremely well, although the use of ball become an issue as more weight was needed to produce the momentum to allow the ball to exit the tail, with slight alterations needed on the shape cutouts to remove any possible rubbing which caused the ball to slow down.


Final Presentation


3rd Year Product Design – Field Exhibition Invitation Design

From the turn of the year, we were introduced to field. This being ran on a slightly different layout to that of normal years as part of this was to design and set up our own end of year exhibition for families, friends and even industries to come along and view our final project work built up throughout the year. I was part of the invite team, with this the opportunity to design the invitations which will be sent out to companies that students would like to visit.

It started by generating possible routes to go down with the designing of an important piece. We didn’t want the experience to be dull and boring as we wished to gather the attention of those invited. We looked at several possibilities. However, as time went on we learnt that there were several issues confining the area we wished to go down and had to look at the design differently.

Budget became a problem in the designing as we had to limit the materials and processes used and had to start looking at those available to us at a more appropriate level. From this we started looking at possible routes to go down from existing designs, and came across one I found extremely attractive and effective and due to the characteristics of our building, possible to recreate this in the same manner.

From this, we attempted several different techniques to allow the product to be bent but came across small issues, mainly this being down to the angled roof. As you can see from the development models shown in the pictures, we found a new way to create the same basic idea but without the use of pop-up. We had weekly meeting with the entire class and asked for feedback as to whether we were going down a route everyone was happy with or if we should make changes which helped push the development into a state where all were happy to continue.


We tested a range of materials to see which looked the more appealing for such a piece, but we also had to take into consideration the amount of sheets of whether that being card/ acrylic/ plywood needed to produce the 100 invites. Materials were limited but once we had started producing more developed models, the colours of the card supplied gave the design a raw feel to it and sat quite nicely with the existing branding already produced by other groups.

Final outcome

As a group, we were very pleased with the final design as it produced all what we had set out to do. With the piece being quite attractive, it is something a person can keep on desk/station to remind themselves about the event without looking out of place. With an extremely strict budget being spread outside of the invitations, we made well of the materials and facilities available to us.

3RD Year BSC Product Design. Technical Report: Personal Development Plan (PDP)

For our first day back of the final year of BSC Product Design at Cardiff Met, we were introduced to our next major project. This being the Technical Report. As I have been dreading having to finally produce such a large worded document since knowing about it back in the first year, I have not been looking forward to this day. This may be due to the fact that writing has always been my most prominent weakness when it comes to education, as I would always avoid such essay based projects as the subjects I enjoyed throughout school (Art and Design Technology) did not require me to do so.

When it came to selecting an area of choice, I became stuck immediately. I did not want to chose a subject of my hobby as this can often produce biased results, but on the other side, I had to chose a topic I would enjoy and not get bored with after a couple of days of research. After much thought and planing, I decided to go with ‘Augmented Reality’. It was a topic that at the time i thought I already knew much about. With AR products involved in interests areas of mine (Gaming and Sport), but this was not the case as after thorough research, I realized these products fell into a different category of technology (Oculus rift is a gaming device which is thought of by many as being an AR head mounted display (HMD), but this is not the case as it sits in the virtual reality category). Also, with this being the last year of the course, it had me thinking, what direction do I want to take after I have left, what career area would i like to pursue, with electronic items and technology being a great interest to me.  Once I had started writing the proposal, we would meet with our tutor to discuss possible directions, which from this I gained confidence towards getting started with research.

As well as writing our technical reports, we had other projects going on along side which ended up being an issue with the term. In previous years I have usually managed to get started with a project early on, and get substantial amount of work done, always providing great results. However, this year has been the opposite of that and has been a struggle. With other project work going badly, week after week I would be restarting a new project in my subject, which ended up inhaling a large amount of my time and focus and take my mind away from the work needed for the report. After sitting down with my lecturers and discussing possible options, I managed to find away of solving this.

From here I decided to dedicate the next few weeks to solid research and writing for my report, getting back on track to make sure I would manage to complete this as it has priority over the subject project. Once I was engaging with research in a certain direction, I was finding other areas to look into, until i reached a point I had too many areas of direction and they needed cutting down; which of course is a better situation to be in than not know where to go next.

In my report, I looked into the different ways in which Augmented Reality can function. As the technology is becoming extremely popular within existing consumer products (Google Glass and Layar), I began looking into how this is being developed for future uses. With doing so, I was introduced to several industrial uses AR will benefit in the near future and doing so has give me the confidence to know that the futuristic technologies used withing science fiction movies of the past (Terminator and Robocop) is soon to be a reality.

Along side the secondary research, I looked into getting hands on with the project by testing the different forms of sensors used as a vital tool when portraying an augmented image. These were the sensors included within modern day smartphones; both the gyroscope and accelerometer. From testing these I learnt how reliant one is in conjunction to the other. As some mobile phones only have the one, when using the device to track an imposed image into the real world (AR), the projection will contain large delays and lagging, whereas with both, no problems are found no matter how complex the digital overlay would be, whether that being a single image, video or three dimensional moving object.

Once I had managed to get the majority of the technical report finished, I then had to put this new found information to use, writing a small amount of words a day just so I didn’t forget about completion. With Augmented Reality being a technology and not a material or object, I came to another standstill as there is so much potential for such a powerful form of technology, but where can I use it. From this I brainstormed multiple possible ideas. After looking into areas of needs for a new design, I came about information regarding ‘Ikeas’ awful presentation style of instructions to assemble their items. I had heard people mention this in the past but personally, I have never had the issue. After further research, and gathering enough user feedback (Surveys conducted), there was enough evidence to suggest that this style of instructing a person could also be beneficial with the use of AR. Continuing this project and having enough research to support my desired direction, I came up with the idea of a mobile application to supply those in need of helpful guidance with easy access from their smartphone. This would be used with image recognition technology (also used within such existing apps as Layar and Aurasma) which when the person points the camera of the mobile device towards his ikea furniture box, the desired instructions will appear on screen with the ability to interact with, being able to check off steps completed as he goes along. Whilst doing so, I managed to create a detailed flowchart of the exact applications interface functions, allowing the reader to know way around app with ease. Also, with the help of existing AR apps, i was able to create my own working imposed imagery instructions.

When I had complete focus on this report, i found myself enjoying what i was doing. As soon as I was having slight problems in a different area I found myself making no progress but instead worrying and creating stress for myself with the built up of work happening on both sides. From this report I have learnt that I am able to produce research in an effective manner when I make the effort.

Since conducting my report on Augmented Reality, I tend to catch myself constantly informing people, that if an advert or television programme shows this technology used, I will say” that is Augmented Reality!” spreading the word of such a technology.

Final Video; Shark Attack – Interaction Design David Rees Stop Motion

After much play of trying to get the correct sound effects to fit in with my video, I was very disappointing to find that i was unable to find most sounds needed. I came across little sites which allow you to download the correct file type to be applied to a Windows movie. Once I applied a couple of sounds into place, I did not enjoy the outcome as it sounded as if the video was unfinished and rather unprofessional. Due to this I removed the few sounds I was able to find. Even though this is the case, I am still extremely happy with the Final piece as it was made over a couple of days and still works very well. I believe it shows the aim of my product/system quite effectively and gives the viewer a sense of fun.

Stop Motion with Lego, Sound Effect Attempt

Here is my first attempt at adding sound effects to my video. As my main piece of feedback was aimed at the lack of sound, I had to give it a go. I knew Sound would enhance the final piece even more as there’s nothing worse than watching a video with no sound. This is just a quick snippet of the use of water splashes which I personally think works rather well. I will now go on and attempt to apply more sound effects although I am finding it difficult to find the correct sounds needed.

Shark Attack – Interaction Design Lego Stop Motion

Here is my final outcome of my video for the Interaction Design – Field Module. I am quite happy with the final outcome as it is my first attempt of any type of movie and starting with stop motion is quite difficult to do in just a few days. After receiving my feedback which was pretty positive, there are a few things I will go back to and correct. These areas which were mentioned, for example, sound effects, were areas I was aware I needed to add but struggled. With a bit more work I will go back and try to push this video even further to produce a better outcome.

Stop Motion With Lego, First Attempt

Filming my own video is something I have not experienced before, so with this project I am well outside my comfort zone. After seeing other videos being made by classmates I wanted to keep away from what appeared to be the norm of coming up with a product, making it on CAD software, then filming this piece moving. As making a video is something we haven’t been shown much of in Product Design, I wanted to make the most of this experience by producing something which may not of been thought of. I struggled to find an area I wanted to continue with so I started browsing through YouTube at existing videos. Above is a very short snippet of one of my first attempts I made of creating a moving video with Lego.

Rymdreglage – 8-bit trip

This is one of the most intricate piece of Lego Stop Motion I have come across. There is no details describing how much photos were taken to make this video, but there seems to be atleast 12 frames a second which must of taken the maker many weeks of solid work to make. For my video I will be using a lot less frames a seconds as we only have several days.

Interaction Design – Cool Links

Here are a few pieces of new technology which I was introduced to by Steve Gill. I found these extremely interesting as they are all projects which don’t contain screens or buttons but still function fantastically, whether as a system or just a piece of art.

Interactive Bath – Japan

Waterfall Display – Osaka

Water Fountain Show – Busan, South Korea

Synchronized Ferrofluid Sculptures

Wooden Mirror

Interaction Design – Project Start

After having my tutorial with Steve, I began to look at the sort of route i could take this project in. As i already knew i would be basing it in swimming pools, i made a list of the different types of games that could be brought into such areas. When discussing with Steve, he advised many different ideas and it was nice to see that he was as excited about the idea as i was.  Below are a couple of sketches and ideas sheets showing a brief brainstorm of early concepts.

From this, i kept finding myself looking at one idea in particular  which i thought would be extremely exciting if the system was to be made into a reality. This system was a game for more than one person which includes the use of 3D projected sharks, underwater speakers, and laser guns. As crazy as this sounds, the system would work quite simply. The game requires a person to control a board, which is ran with the use of magnets and sensors. When a magnet (Shaped like a shark) is moved across the board which will be a map of the pool, the 3D holographic shark will be portrayed onto floor of pool. With this, the persons  already in pool will attempt to escape this shark or kill it with laser guns supplied once entering pool. doing so will allow the victor to gain control of the board, hoping to catch his friends. When the shark is killed, or the shark manages to catch the person, speakers which are placed into the flooring of the pool will vibrate, creating bubbles as well as sound effects. To add to theses features, lighting effects will be used. For instance, if the shark is killed, a ray of red light will be shone onto area to create the sense of blood etc.

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