From designing the project to making the project their have been several difficulties and several improvements and changes to the project. The project I made was a train with abacas inside it.
I made the train as I had to make a toy for a child at play. This involved research and planning. I had to research what children liked and would it suite a male or female child, therefore I wanted to make a toy which was for either a male or female child. Then I thought of the age group of the toy was targeted at; therefore I then decided to make the toy for my male cousin. And a train was perfect as it was suitable for a child to play with. But then I had to think about the type of train and I wanted to make the train educational and a train to play with. So I made several designs and preliminary work to make sure the train I chose to make was the best for a child to have fun with but within the fun try and learn something.
Leading up to my decision on which train would suite the purpose the best was very difficult, so I did a survey and I targeted all age groups and I made several surveys. I made the survey so that it showed which train was the best; I asked adults- the people who buy the children the present and the survey showed that the train with an abacas was the most popular, I asked reasons for why they liked a specific train and the conclusion was that the train with an abacas was the best as it was educational and a toy to play with. But there was a specific interest in how it was educational and they said because the abacas was a intellectual and something the child would use as a toy as the abacas spins around. Therefore I chose the train with an abacas.
I have learnt and achieved several things from the project. I have learnt how to plan and how to use the audience to gather information. As this is done with all sorts of products, the audience for who the toy is going to be made has to like the toy or when the toy is mass produced the toy will not sell. The toy has to meet the needs of the buyers and therefore I did a survey using the buyers and the children who play with the toy to see which one they like the best and which toy would be the most efficient to make then mass produce. I learnt that there has to be several designs before the final design to make sure that the final design is perfect. There also has to be a lot of research done before making the final product and this would make sure that the equipment and type of wood is correct; and you have to take into consideration the audience, because a child will not be able to play with a wood which is very heavy or which is very thin as the child would break the toy.
The achievements I have made are designing the product and making the product. The reasons why these are achievements because I have fulfilled the requirements and I have made a toy for a child to play with and the toy has educational things on it.
The project fulfilled the design brief because I made the toy for a child, the child was my cousin who is 3 years and he can play with the toy and learn from the toy. The design of the toy met the requirements as it was suitable for a child as there were no sharp edges or no small pieces. All the small pieces were stuck on the train with glue and they still were 2cm long. The toy was made as my cousin liked to play with cars and he likes transport- toys which move. But he never had a toy which was 2 in 1; all the toys he has are just cars, trucks which he can just play with. Therefore I wanted to design him a toy which he never had; but still moved and a toy whilst he was playing could learn from. Also when he buys a toy from a shop they are not made to a good standard and very cheap resources are being used (material); so I wanted to make a toy for him which would last and not break easily.
The train did and didn’t meet all the aspects of the design specification, because I made the train but the carriage could not be made due to the lack of time and recourses. But the specification had to be modified in several ways as I had to change the size of the train and I had to change the material that was going to be used, also in my specification there were several additional parts to be added to the train and the carriage; I was going to add vinyl or use the CAD cam machine to the side of the train and the carriage but I wasn’t able to do that due to the lack of time; but instead of using the CAD cam machine I used vinyl as this would make the train stand out more and would make it more eye catching. But everything else was exactly the same as what it said in the specification; except for the modifications and adjustments that had to be made to the train, and the incompletion of the carriage that would have been attached to the train as it was shown in the ‘final idea with modifications made and in the pro-desktop modified final design sheets.’
I had to change and modify several bits of the train. I had to change the size of the joints. I wanted to make smaller joints but due to the time and equipment I had to make larger joints. I had to make bigger joints because the smaller joints took along time and therefore I didn’t have enough time and the equipment was hand saws; therefore it would have taken a lot longer. I had to change the material I was using because in school they never had any oak wood, so I had to use chip wood. I changed this due to the lack of materials available and therefore I had to spray paint the train to make the finish look good and effective. I was going to use the oak wood and varnish the wood. I had to change the size of the train and make it smaller because there was not enough wood available to make the train a large size.
So then I had to change the size of the abacas, so this meant that the letters that I put on had to be a lot smaller and the child, would not see the letters whilst playing with the toy, so I changed the colour of the lettering to black so it would be easier and more effective for the child to see the lettering. I had to modify the train because I never had enough time; I modified the train as I never put more detail on the train, I planned to put more detail on by using stickers and painting the train different colours and I wanted to put vinyl on the train to make it look more eye catching and colourful. But I was only able to put a very small amount of vinyl on it. I modified the design by not using the CAD machine as this took along time, so I put black vinyl for the lettering of the abacas. But the main change was not having a carriage for the train. This was due to the lack of time and resources. I wanted to have a shape assorter in the carriage and on the side put numbers on it; this would have been more educational. But I couldn’t do this due to the time that was given, so I just made the train.
There were several problems in making the product. The joints were a major problem as there were several small pieces and this made it very difficult to put the joints on and make them fit. Some of the joints didn’t fit so I had to just glue on the specific pieces of wood, instead of putting joints on them as it would have been very hard due to the small pieces of wood. This was a very big set back as I made the joints, but they did not fit as one piece of wood was larger than the other, if I had made them to fit there would have been a massive gap and this would have made it very difficult to get the top piece of wood joined to the side and the gap would have made the train look unfinished and even with wood filler there still would have been a large gap; so I just stuck the pieces of wood onto the side with PVA glue and this made sure there was not a massive gap; and the small gaps I added wood filler to cover the gaps and make the finish of the train look good.
Nevertheless all the problems had a solution and there was no problem which took too long to solve except for the mistake I made by putting joints on the smaller pieces of wood and then having to remake those specific pieces of wood and then having to stick them on. This set back to the longest time to solve, but every other problem was only minor and a few changes had to be made, in order to get the product finished and fully completed.
If I had to make the product again I would change the design because the design was very complicated to compile together and this made it very hard for me to join the smaller pieces of wood together. If I was to do the product again I would have the whole side piece of the train as one and therefore there wouldn’t be many small pieces of wood to join together, except for the top of the train. I would also change the size of the train so it was proportional to the length, as I made a mistake, because there were not enough recourses of wood, so I had to change the size, but I changed the length by 20cm but only changed the width by 5cm, and this made the train very wide in proportion to the length. So I would have the length proportional to width, as this would make the train look more like a train. I would also have more time to finish the product and I would make the carriage that I planned to do, but as there was not enough time for it to be completed; because I would make the carriage to make the train more child friendly and more educational for the child; also to make the train look complete. I would use better would, like oak wood which I planned to use but due to insufficient recourses I had to use chip board instead. I would put gloss on the train, or I would spray paint the train in more child friendly colours, like brighter colour instead of silver and gold. This would make the train look more effective and colourful for a child to play with.
I would change all these things to make the train better for the child to play with and make it look more attractive and make the train look more like a product which will be mass produced and will be able to be sold in a shop.
The product cost 15 in terms of material, time and energy. The material cost 7.50, as this includes the wood and the spray paint which was put on the train. In terms of time-electricity and any other things it cost 2.50 and in terms of energy, which includes all the labour costs it was 5.00. This adds up to a total cost of 15.00 to make the finished product. All this is totalled to 15.00 which all includes the water cost and the labour cost. All this was shown in the ‘cost’ sheet.
I was not satisfied with the materials and equipment used, because the materials that were used, made the energy costs increase but they kept the time and electricity costs low, but it took longer for the train to be made. I would have used an electric saw-jigsaw instead of a hand saw; this is why the train took so long to cut out the wood needed, because I had to use a hand saw. I also would have made sure that there was enough equipment for each student, so nobody had to wait to use the sander or any other equipment. If there was enough equipment it would have been a lot easier and quicker for the train to be made.
I would have used different materials, I would have used oak wood instead of chipboard because oak wood makes the train look a lot more effective and it makes the train look better as the oak wood looks better than chipboard. I would have varnished the train to make the finish look better because it makes the train look better, but this only looks good if the wood is good and the wood look good; because varnishing the chipboard doesn’t look good as the wood is totally different. I would either varnish the train or I would have used more colourful spray paint. This is because a more colourful train is better for a child to look at and it is more of a child’s colour, rather than gold and silver which were used.
These things would have been changed to make the train look more interesting and make it better for the child to play with. And it would have made the train look more eye catching and this would make the train a lot better.
When the product was mass produced there would have been the changes of the finish, I would have spray painted the train in brighter colours, because if you varnish a train it has to be done by hand and there has to be 5-6 coats applied. But with spray paint a person can do it or a machine could spray paint each part and someone can compile it together. Also spray paint only needs 2-3 coats, which would make it more time effective and therefore more, would be produced in a given time. The reduction of waste is and would be very important for mass production because in mass production you want a product to be as cheap and as good as possible. And reducing the amount of waste is very important because you need use every piece of would effectively. I would have a large piece of wood and mark out each piece of wood closely, to make sure all the wood is used effectively, and that less wood is wasted. Also the wood wasted could be used for the grill, as the grill only needs quite long but thin pieces of wood. These are the only changes that would be needed to mass produce the product.
The consideration of the quality of the product and the safety when making it was very important, because all these things need to be assessed whilst making the product to ensure that it is safe for the child and to ensure that there is no fault with the product.
The safety of the product and the safety of me were very important. I had to make sure that when using the equipment that it was used correctly and there was no dangerous behaviour or no dangerous bits on the pieces of wood that were been cut or sanded. I had to make sure that all the safety precautions were being followed, i.e. that goggles were being warn. I had to make sure that the safety of the product was to standard. I had to make sure there were no sharp bits or any small piece’s that a child could eat or do any damage to itself or any one else. I had to make sure that the quality of the product was good as the product would be mass produced so the prototype had to be good before the mass production of the product. I had to make the quality good because nobody would buy a product which was rubbish. So everything had to be checked before I moved onto the next step of making the product; and every part of the product had to be checked to make sure there were no sharp edges or if the quality wasn’t very good or if there was any fault.
The product compares quite well with existing products. The train which I have made is good but the comparison to existing products is that my train has some good features on it, like the abacas but other existing trains have been designed by qualified designers and manufactured by proper craftsmen and the existing trains are a lot better because the have a very good finish and every piece of wood is exact to mm and therefore my train is good but it is not as good as existing trains as they are exact and have been designed very well and then made to a excellent standard.
The process used to make the product I made, a train has several environmental factors. The products I used to make the train are vinyl, wood, spray paint. There are several problems with the product I have made in terms of the environment. The wood has been made from cutting down trees which adds to the greenhouse effect, but the trees can be re-grown, to replace the trees which have been cut down. The effects of spray paint are air pollution and destruction of ozone layer. The products are not environmentally friendly because they damage the environment; but non of the products I used are biodegradable, as this is very bad because if more of these products are used then these raw materials will be used and they cause damage to the environment. To improve the product so it reduces damage to the environment, less wood can be used, so the product could be made smaller or other biodegradable products could be used like plastics.
My product is suitable for all cultures because, a train is suitable for all children in different cultures to play with. This is because the train is not anything to do with any culture it is a toy for children at play and it does not have any sort of cultures I within the train; it is just a toy for a child who is from a culture at play.
The age group and sex that will use this product is from 2-5 years and the product is made for male children, but females could play with the train as well. But the train is publicised for male children. The train is for children who are about 2 to 5 years old because after 5 years old children have learnt the alphabet and know numbers 1-10 and they start playing with other more advanced toys.
My product has been designed for mass production and if it is mass produced, the product will be manufactured by skilled workers, who are earning a fair wage for their skills and are in a safe environment. Then the product will have to be made in the UK as this will reduce the transportation costs but the labour costs will increase and this will ensure that the product is made to a good standard, but the labours are getting a fair wage and good conditions manufacturing the product. Therefore the product has to be made in the UK otherwise if it is made abroad the product is likely to be made in a third world country where the conditions of work are not very good and the wage is very low. But if made in the UK the product will have greater labour wages but there will be fair wages.
There was a lot of product wasted when making my product, especially when I had to make the smaller pieces of wood again, without the joints. This could be reduced be better planning and have use all the wood given. The product involves very expensive machinery and this must have a long life span to ensure that the machinery does not have to be replaced frequently. The life span of the machinery could be increased by careful usage of the machinery and have regular service of the machine to ensure the smooth running of the machine and to make sure that it is a long lasting machine.