University of Twente Student Theses


Designing an interactive coffee table to explore its feasibility

Nieuwenhuis, T.F. (2017) Designing an interactive coffee table to explore its feasibility.

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Abstract:This report describes the process of designing an interactive coffee table for 100%FAT. This is a product design company that is specialized in designing interactive products. This company is situated in Enschede. To design this interactive coffee table, first the functioning of interactive coffee tables and the market on which it will be sold is shortly researched. The conclusion of the market research is based on 100%FAT its expectations, which means that the table will be sold in a business to business context to large companies. The size of these companies is comparable with companies such as Grolsch and Thales Hengelo, because these companies have more budget available for investing in devices such as interactive coffee tables. After these short researches, the potential manners of using these kinds of tables are analyzed. This results in multiple usage scenarios to be developed, which serve as input for the design process. These scenarios are developed for both informal and formal business environments. Consequently, the requirements and wishes were made for this product design by checking the requirements and wishes of both 100%FAT and the customers. After these requirements and wishes were developed, the design process started with an ideation phase, which resulted in three design directions for the concept development phase. These three directions are the: “Wing Design”, “Simplistic and Angular Design” and the “Organic Design”. Also an inspiration board was made for each design direction. The next phase in the process is the “Concept Development”, in which the three design directions from the ideation are further developed. In these concepts the reality is also better considered, which makes it possible to make a choice of which concept should further developed towards a final design proposal. The chosen concept is the “Simplistic Design” concept, which especially performs best in its business appearance and in the ease of production. Thus the “Simplistic Design” concept is further developed towards a final design proposal which is then translated towards a SolidWorks CAD model. This SolidWorks CAD model is consequently used to develop the prototype, which appeared to be quite difficult because of the complex design. Because the design of the table was too complex to be produced in the workplace of 100%FAT, some design changes needed to be made. Although these design changes made it possible to produce the table in the workplace of 100%FAT, it still costs a considerable amount of production time. The complexity of the design is caused by the number of angles that is integrated in the design, in both the aluminum frame and the wooden display frame. These angles however, do contribute to the aesthetics of the table and are important for distinguishing the table from the current products on the market. Therefore, more research is needed to simplify the production of this interactive coffee table. It is expected that the complexity of the aluminum frame can be reduced by using 3d printed connection components at each corner in the aluminum frame. By integrating these 3d printed components the beams out which the aluminum frame consists do not need to be sawed in the right angle anymore. Because of the little costs of 3d printing, integrating these 3 printed components saves both in production time and in production costs. The complexity of the wooden display frame can be reduced in multiple manners. First by removing the tapered shape of the display frame at all. Second by using standardized wooden frame components. Third by using 3d print components for connecting the parts of the wooden frame. Thus there is more research required for determining what the best way of simplifying the production of this interactive coffee table is. Concluding, the interactive coffee table that is designed can distinguish itself from the other interactive tables that are currently offered on the business to business market, with both its unique design and functionalities. Also the with the expectations that the production of this interactive coffee table can be simplified by using 3d print connection components and standardized frame components, the table is expected to be economically viable.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:20 art studies
Programme:Industrial Design BSc (56955)
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