For your final project in this class, you will design, model, and render a USB flash drive. However, the design challenge will be to think beyond the typical keychain drive, and instead design a device that fits within and complements an existing identity or brand (your client, in this case). Your design should incoroporate some additional, unique, and perhaps surprising feature or functionality beyond simple data storage, in keeping with the client's identity.
As an example, suppose that your client is Alpine Electronics, which makes car audio components. You might design a USB keychain device that holds MP3s and connects to the car stereo to play music. The device's industrial design would be visually consistent with Alpine's in-dash stereo system styling. The device's USB port might plug directly into the Alpine stereo, or perhaps the keychain could communicate wirelessly with the stereo when it is in close proximity (ie attached to a key in the car's ignition).
I have posted some examples of the previous semester's final project boards.
Choose a client that has a recognizable brand and/or identity which you can speak to in your design. You may choose a commercial company, a non-profit institution, a sports team, a school, or any other organization/institution that you think would lend itself to this project. Imagine your device as something that the client might give away to customers as a marketing tool.
It will be up to each student to schedule your own time and milestones for this project. I will provide a list of suggested steps, but will not necessarily be checking them off along the way. However, I strongly suggest following the schedule below to maximize your chances of success with this project.
| Week ending||Tasks |
Short design brief
Conceptual hand sketches (form + function)
Start rough models in SWx
|Dec 1||SolidWorks modeling|
|Dec 8||SolidWorks modeling; design review with instructor|
|Dec 15||Rendering & presentation board design|
|Dec 22 (final)||Final revisions; final class presentation, all materials due |
The due date for this project, which will include a class presentation, is Saturday, December 22. This will constitute our final exam.
Student show & extra credit
I would like as many students as possible to submit their work for the annual student show next semester. In order to include your work in the show, you will need to get your presentation poster printed. Those students bringing a printed poster to the final class in addition to the digital files will receive extra credit.
The required deliverables for this project are as follows:
- Design brief (no more than 1 page)
- Hand sketches/ideation (scan in as .jpg files)
- SolidWorks assembly and included part files
- Presentation board design (Illustrator or InDesign file)
- Extra credit: Printed & mounted presentation board for inclusion in next semester's student show
In addition, if submitted I will also take the following optional items into consideration for grading:
- "Working" SWx files that demonstrate your ideation process
- Additional renderings not included on presentation board
Deliverables should be packaged on a CD-ROM to be submitted along with all homework assignments on the last day of class (12/22). Make sure that your assembly works as loaded from the CD-ROM!
The idea of a design brief should be nothing new for anyone in this class. All I want is a brief (1/2 to 1 page) summary that hits these points:
- Who is the client?
- What are the design drivers?
- What does the device do? How is it used?
- How does the design meet the needs of the client? Its users?
A well-designed presentation board will be an important part of this project. I suggest incorporating multiple renderings of your design together with text that explains how it works. You may also choose to use elements such as scanned hand sketches, illustrations, and orthographic views. I recommend a tabloid (17"x11") layout as the smallest option, preferably moving up to 36"x24" if you are able to (your board will look very small in te student show if it's less than 36x24).
USB Plug Part
Since your design will include a Series A (full-size) USB plug, I will make this part available to download and include in your assembly. You'll probably want to chop off the plastic part using an extruded cut. If you're interested, you can have a look at the official documentation on the USB 2.0 specification. You may want to try modeling the connector yourself, although be sure to use the correct dimensions from the USB specification.