39-245 Toy Dissection - In class activity

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Create teams of 3 people who haven't worked together before and who have different skills. (You will have to talk to other people to figure this out - both what skills they have and what skills are needed for this activity.)

Each team should pick one toy from the front desk. The team should play with the toy and discuss how it works and what is inside it. (No trying to peak inside.)

The team member with the least experience in sketching must
draw a diagram of what the team collectively thinks is inside the toy and write a description of how it works. The team may include alternate possibilities if the team cannot determine definitively how the toy works.

Create a project in this pool and add your teammates to the project. An upload an image of your sketch and explanation to your project.

The team member who is least comfortable speaking extemporaneously must demonstrate the toy and explain the internal mechanisms to the rest of the class. (If it's the same person as the sketcher, then pick the second most uncomfortable person.) You may draw on the whiteboard if necessary. Turn in the first form.

Take your toy apart. (You will have to share the screwdrivers -- I don't have enough of the small ones.) If your toy has a windup mechanism, and if your toy can be re-assembled, DO NOT take the windup mechanism apart. If you have to destroy the toy to open it, you may take the windup mechanism apart and figure out how it works too.

Figure out how the toy really works. Upload the new diagram and a new explanation including a discussion of what you learned from the dissection. (Don't replace the originals.)

The third team member must explain to the rest of the class how the toy really works. You should discuss what surprised you and what was exactly as you had expected.

With the whole class, discuss the similarities and differences between the toys, particularly with respect to shared components or alternative mechanisms for achieving the same function. Turn in the second form.

If your toy can be re-assembled, please put it back together. If not, just give me all the pieces.


39-245 Rapid Design through Virtual and Physical Prototyping

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Introduction to rapid design through virtual and physical prototyping. The class will cover the design process, problem solving methods, interdisciplinary team work, current industrial practice, an...more

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