3D printing: design the phone of the future

For your final project you will design the phone of the future.  You will each work alone in the completion of this project.  I want each of you to have the chance to explore your design ideas.  No groups for this one.

The 2007 release of the 1st gen iPhone was a significant change from the previous standards of flip phones or candy bar phones. Now is your chance to design that next leap in phones.  Consider the following as your brainstorm about your design:

  • who will use your design?  Remember that 3D printing can allow for the manufacture of specific designs for specific audiences.  Are you thinking of everyone or would your design appeal more to mountain bikers, fashionistas, men, women, high schoolers….?
  • what is the shape of the phone?
  • how big is it?
  • is it handheld?  worn on the body?
  • how does it get power?  solar?  wind-up? battery?
  • what buttons does it have?
  • what connections are available?  earbuds?  microphone? power?
  • does it have camera(s)?
  • does it have a flash or light?
  • how big is the screen?
You can include features that aren’t currently available in the phones of 2012.  For example, my phone design has a rollable touchscreen for the main display.  This feature allows the user to select the screen size that works best for them.  Small for texting, big for watching a video.
It’s important for you t0 understand that you are building a non-working phone prototype.  This is the same process that industry designers follow to create the shape, feel, and button placement of a new phone.  Other designers will work on the interface (touchscreen, operating system) and engineers will design and build the electronics.

What you will do you for your final project.  Read below for details on each section and the due dates:

  • create a hand drawn sketch of your design. due on Thursday, December 6th in class.
  • create a 3D design of the phone of the future -due no later than the end of school on Wednesday, 12/12 Thursday, 12/13.  This is to allow for necessary time to print each of your designs.  Turn your phone design in RIGHT HERE.
  • complete a written description of your design, due on the day of your final
  • complete a graphic description of the features of your design, due on the day of your final.
  • present your design to the class, due on the day of your final
Hand drawn sketch
Start by making a list.  What do you want to include in your phone’s design?
Take your time as your begin your design work.  Look at other designers’ ideas for the next generation of phones.  Go to Google images and search for phrases like “future phone” or “next generation phone”.  You could also use smartphone instead of phone.
Once you have an idea of your design then grab a piece of paper and start sketching.  Don’t worry about creating an artistic masterpiece.  Instead just let your hand wander across the page and work to sketch shapes that are interesting to you and will honor the features that you want to include in your design.
This sketch will be turned in with your final design.
3D design
You will create at least ONE 3D design of your phone using tinkercad.com.  This design should include all buttons, cameras, inputs, connectors and power.  It should be designed in the actual size of the phone.  It’s important for you to know that your 3D design will likely differ from the sketch that you started with.  That’s good and all part of the design process.
OPTIONAL: You may create more than one version of your design that incorporate different views of the phone folded, opened, using a stand, etc.    Be sure to keep the design the same from one view to the next.
Your 3D design is due no later than the end of school on Thursday, December 13th.  This is to allow time for your design to be printed in 3D. Turn your phone design in for printing RIGHT HERE.
Graphic Description
 This is a labeled image of your phone design.  It should include labels for all major features no matter how obvious they might seem to you as designer.  View an example of my labeled Rollerphone design right here.
I created my graphic description with a drawing created in Google Docs.  To get the image of the phone onto the drawing I followed these steps:
1. Open up your design in tinkercad.com and rotate your design until you have a useful angle.
2. Use print screen to grab a copy of the image:

  • on a Windows computer hold down the ALT key and press the PrtScrn key in the upper right hand corner of the keyboard.  You can then paste the image into the Google docs drawing or wherever else you desire.
  • on a Mac  press Apple key ? + Shift + 4.  The cursor will change to a + and then you can select the area of the screen that you want to grab.  Let go of the mouse button and the image will be saved on your desktop as Picture.

3. Then you can use the arrow and text tools to label your image.

Written description
You will write a description of your design that includes the following information.  This will be written in paragraph form.  Here’s an example of the description that I created for my Rollerphone.
  • describe the person most likely to use your phone.  Is it designed for everyone, is it targeted at a specific gender or age, would it be more appealing to someone in a specific job or activity?
  • describe the problems that your phone solves or addresses
  • describe the features that your phone includes
  • explain why you chose the shape and size of you design
Your presentation
Your presentation will summarize the information provided in your written design description.  Use your tinkercad design and your labeled design as part of your presentation.  You could also refer to designs that inspired your work.  Be sure to make eye contact with the audience and summarize.  Please do not read your written description to us.