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Look around you. What types of objects do you see in the room? Furniture, lights, a computer, a fan, pencils, books, etc.? Where did they come from? Odds are you did not build them yourself. You or your parents probably bought them at a store. Before that, they were built in a factory somewhere. And even before that, they were probably designed by engineers. You might think of engineers when you think of complex machines like rockets or huge structures like bridges, but engineers also design many of the everyday objects that we use all the time and take for granted. If engineers do their jobs well, you might never notice, but you would certainly notice if the chair you are sitting in collapsed or your TV stopped working!
A cell phone stand is one product that might seem very simple, but a lot of thought needs to go into designing one, making it a great
engineering design project. You can build a prototype out of craft/office supplies (Figure 1), or even use a 3D printer or laser cutter if you have access to them. Design, build, and test a cell phone stand for your engineering design project. Consider the following questions to get started:
Where will your stand be used? Is it a tabletop stand designed to use a tablet to watch movies, or a car dashboard mount so you can use a phone for GPS?
What other types of cell phone stands/holders already exist? What purposes do they serve? How could you modify or improve on their designs?
Will certain buttons or ports on the phone need to be accessible while it is in the stand, like the charging port?
What size(s)/brand(s) of phones will the stand accommodate? Will it be adjustable, or will it only be designed for one specific phone?
How sturdy does the stand need to be? What if someone drops it or steps on it?
What materials will you use to make the stand?
Figure 1. An example phone stand made from wooden craft sticks, rubber bands, and paper clips.
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Have you always loved art? Do you have a good eye for beauty, balance, and form? How would you like to see your designs show up in toy stores? Or in a sporting goods store? Or at a car dealer? Commercial and industrial designers create the shape and form of every type of manufactured good that you can think of—from toys, sporting goods, and medical equipment to high technology products, furniture, toothbrushes, and toasters. They design the form of new products that are as beautiful and…
Mechanical engineers are part of your everyday life, designing the spoon you used to eat your breakfast, your breakfast's packaging, the flip-top cap on your toothpaste tube, the zipper on your jacket, the car, bike, or bus you took to school, the chair you sat in, the door handle you grasped and the hinges it opened on, and the ballpoint pen you used to take your test. Virtually every object that you see around you has passed through the hands of a mechanical engineer. Consequently, their…
CAD (computer-aided design) technicians combine art and engineering to prepare the technical drawings and plans from which everything in the world is made—from toys to toasters, houses to hoses, satellites to sewer systems. CAD technicians are essential to the design and construction of everything you see around you.
You use mechanical devices every day—to zip and snap your clothing, open doors, refrigerate and cook your food, get clean water, heat your home, play music, surf the Internet, travel around, and even to brush your teeth. Virtually every object that you see around has been mechanically engineered or designed at some point, requiring the skills of mechanical engineering technicians to create drawings of the product, or to build and test models of the product to find the best design.
(2020, November 20).
Engineer a Cell Phone Stand.