Customized Golf Iron Heads with Integrated Sensors to Measure and Transmit Swing Kinematics (PDF)
James Potter, Heather Humphreys, Yang Xie and Raphael Okereke, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
Synposis: This design proposes mass customization of golf irons, enabled by direct digital manufacturing (DDM). The product has three significant advantages over state-of-the-art golf irons. First, the clubs are instrumented with motion sensors and a wireless data transmission system, which enable them to be used as input devices. Second, the clubhead geometry is adjusted to optimize performance for each customer. Third, the customer can choose to add personal text and graphics to any surface of the clubhead, without the need for special tooling.
Rapid Manufacturing Attributes of Speaker Cluster and Controller (PDF)
Marc Hanratty, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, England
Synopsis: While reducing the number of parts in a product is always a positive, in a speaker design, it is an imperative. Every connector can loosen and cause vibration, which can totally change the wavelength of a speaker's output. By allowing seamless unitary constructions, the DDM process would provide a functional benefit. In this case, the number of parts was reduced from 79 parts to 8 by consolidation of housing components and using snap fittings.
Rolling Ball Kinetic Sculpture (PDF)
Kelly Alexander, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
Synopsis: The goal of this project was to design and fabricate a part that exhibits the unusual capabilities of the selective laser sintering fabrication process and advertises the process to interested parties. The goal was to demonstrate the unique geometry and assemblies that can be created when the designer is not limited by the constraints of conventional machining.
First Place Weed Remover (PDF)
Downingtown High School, Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Synopsis: A computer-aided design team was formed to research and develop a new residential product to be used during the winter season to remove snow, and during the summer season to remove weeds. The team introduced a removable center shaft that used to hold the oak handle and the plastics shovel plate.
Software provided as prizes by:
Direct digital manufacturing (or rapid manufacturing) has the unique capability of being able to produce virtually any shape of component, no matter how complex. This opens up new possibilities to designers both in terms of individual component design and overall product design, which makes use of component consolidation. There have been some well-publicized examples of how DDM has been used to achieve realization of innovative designs. Other examples include products that make use of customization to suit individuals' needs, for example, personal convenience or interface/interactive device design, which were by the 2008 entrants (see below). However, there are many other possibilities that have yet to be explored. The primary limitation on how well DDM is exploited may well lie with how imaginative designers can be.
Student designers were invited to use their imaginations to arrive at an personal convenience or interface/interactive device design, which exploits the geometric capabilities of DDM to the fullest. The design had to be for a fully working prototype, so it was required that any internal electronics or mechanics be specified and packaged within the product. According to competition rules, the geometry of the design had to have been defined within a CAD system that was capable of producing robust STL files. (A CAD system is 3D geometric modeling software capable of digitally defining the shape of a product.)