These past couple of weeks for Plugged In have been a series of multiple visits to our school’s own Maker’s Space and the usage of many old poster boards, one exacto knife and many, may hot glue gun sticks. With our plan of action to create our prototype of our phone charging station using old materials(Such as the used project poster boards), we began to measure and cut out the dimensions of our charging station in a serious of panels. Plugged In decided to make our first prototype out of cardboard,
because this material can easily be recycled and the cost to make our prototype out of wood or acrylic from the Maker’s Space would have cost more. With the usage of cardboard, Plugged In was able to create an exact replica with the same dimensions that were stated in our 3D AutoCAD model of our phone charging station. Making our first prototype was extremely beneficial to our group for we were able to see with our own eyes exactly how big our phone charging station will stand in height and how much space it will take up in a teacher’s classroom. The original idea for our phone charging station with individual cubbies that locked individually had branched from this idea which are similar to the lockers one would find at Six Flags or other themed- parks. With the completion of our first prototype, Plugged In has decided to make a second prototype that will have slightly smaller dimensions then our original. The reason behind creating a second prototype is that Plugged In gets the chance to fix any obvious mistakes made and allow for innovation of our product to occur. With innovation comes a closer step to our more idealistic prototype that will be shown at the Make-O-Rama fair in April. The second prototype is in the works of being completed and at an even faster pace then the first one was. Once the second prototype is complete, Plugged In will begin our third (and hopefully final)
prototype. The only difference with our third prototype is the material that we would use to make it with would be acrylic which can be used our very own laser cutter for exact measurements and precision. There is only a few questions I have about our prototype and ways to improve:
-What would be the best thickness for our acrylic prototye?
-What are ways we can begin testing for our prototype?
– Is there another cost efficient material that could be used in place of acrylic?
PC: Original photos taken in class
I think your idea of creating a designated charging station in the school is a great idea. For one thing it’s obviously much needed, when hasn’t there been a time when a student called out for a iphone 6 charger or an android one? Also having a designated place to charge your devices can help with the distraction problem of students interrupting class searching for outlets or calling across the room to borrow a friend’s charger.
I also think your locker idea could help out with the fear of theft when the student leaves the charging station. Are you thinking of a mailbox type system, where keys are placed in the empty cubbies and whenever one is occupied the student can lock their device safely inside and keep the key to unlock the cubbie later? Maybe the keys could have rings so that it can be easily attached to the lanyard or backpack zipper!
Also I remember coming across these portable solar chargers, maybe the idea of solar charges could be incorporated in your design? We do have plenty of windows and sunlight at the school! I think it would tie in well with your conservative design (using recycled cardboard). Here’s a link of how it works- http://www.yankodesign.com/images/design_news/2013/04/26/window_socket4.jpg.
This is a super cool idea and I like the direction you’re going in! Good Luck!