This year we were lucky enough to purchase a laser cutter for the technology block, which the Year 10 Product Design students have fully utilised. They have researched and designed a box for themselves or someone else from scratch, initially using pencil and paper to freehand sketch different options, depending on their identified needs.
Next they constructed their idea using the three dimensional drawing programme, Sketchup so that they could visualise their idea from any viewpoint. Once finalised, they used Adobe Illustrator to construct their design orthographically, thinking about exact dimensions, how things slotted together, and what it looked like from different elevation and plan views. Although this exercise challenged almost everyone’s thinking, success in this area meant they could take their idea to the next level and output it on the laser cutter.
Initially their prototypes were made from 2mm card but once any issues were sorted, they were able to output to 3mm mdf. The following photos show how complex all of the designs became, with no one design being an ordinary box. Some students included cut outs and engraving in their design. Despite being frustrating at times, I think most of the students have learned new ways of stretching their brains in two and three dimensional thinking and have relished the process of being able to actually make the object of their imagination, learning from any mistakes made along the way.
Some students went on to photograph their finished product and then draw and render (colour) in two dimensions using marker pens and pencils. Skills developed in this course lead on to Product and Spatial design classes at senior level, with careers in design, engineering, architecture, and more.
Ms Diane Morris, TiC Design and Photography