RQ Prototyping tools

Drill powered small scale prototyping machines.

1.5 MONTHS

RISD advance studio: Spirt of Product design by Professor Soojung Ham

Collaboration with Raymond Lin

        RQ Prototyping tools are designed to make rapid prototyping convenient and precise. This family of tools includes: RQ drill, RQ lathe, and RQ saw.

 

       Both RQ lathe and RQ saw are modules that can be attached to RQ drillRQ drill serves as the power source for both configuration.

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Demonstration video:

How the tools are assembled and used.

Research + Concept visualization

 
How the tools are assembled and used.
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Raymond and I felt that there is a gap between heavy machinery and hand tools. Therefore, we embarked on a journey to design a set of precision machine tools that has the flexibility of simple hand tools. We started by looking at some existing products.
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We identified a persona along with a list of questions we would ask people who fit our user persona in order to understand their needs. We organized the survey and collected responses from a maker-oriented forum on Reddit. We also hosted face to face interviews, ranging from professional designers to passionate hobbyists, to obtain information on their prototyping experience. The screen shot on the left shows the results of the survey, while the collection on the right is our persona board.
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The result shows that most people would get a drill for their first few tools in a shop. In responding to our research, we ultimately decided to make three tools: One for cutting, one for drilling, and one for turning. The idea is to achieve flexibility through modularity. As shown in the chart below, we realized that a rotational force can be translated into the other two kinds of motion that we want to incorporate. Ultimately, we decided we will make a set of drill powered prototyping tools.
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This mood board help us with figuring out what kind of product should our final design make people feel like they are using. We decided that we want the user experience to feel like common household appliance instead of industrial machine.
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RQ Drill.

The main source of power for the tool set.
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Early concept of RQ drill.

Inspired by the railing system on firearms, we incorporated a dove-tail shape rail for attachments. There are also two smaller rails on the side of the drills for better stability. These rails also make up for the flat surface of the drill.

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Electronic housing

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We worked on RQ Drill first because it is at the heart of the entire prototyping set. We included four perfectly flat sides into the drill so that it can be used for referencing and inserting modules. Additionally, RQ Drill also uses a powerful motor, which allows better drilling experience and consistent power output for RQ lathe and RQ Saw. The drill is slightly bulkier than average drills in order to be more study. Below is the final SLS printed model.

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RQ Lathe.

A Mini lathe optimal for offset and off-center turning.
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Early concept of RQ Lathe.

We wanted RQ lathe to be very compact yet accurate. To make up for the lack of speed, the drill has, two aluminum "cake" placed in the main housing. The top of the lathe has a dovetail shaped slot to insert RQ drill as the power source. There are openings on both sides of the lathe for a user to access the chuck of the drill.

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A cardboard prototype was quickly mocked up to test the ergonomics of the lathe.

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We quickly constructed a wooden works-like housing with printed parts and bearing to tested the torque and the speed of the lathe.

Drill rail

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Power nob

Chuck biter

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Door

RQ lathe uses a typical 3" self-centering 3-jaw chuck. The lathe has three different speed and torque level. To change the speed, simply open the two doors located on the side of the lathe and transfer the belt to a different portion of the cake. a good usage for RQ lathe is offset turning due to it's small size. The housing is SLS printed on Shapeways, and the other mechanical parts were milled on a metal lathe. Below is the final SLS printed model.

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RQ Saw.

Small scale scroll saw for interior and complex angle cuts.
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Early concept of RQ Saw.

 Scroll saw are really useful for cutting organic patterns. We mocked up a cardboard model to test the ergonomics of the saw, making sure there is enough working area for users to move their part.

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Saw arm

Initiation button

Cutting surface

RQ saw is a scroll saw that is very good for making organic shapes and interior cuts. RQ saw will bring the advantages of a scroll saw into a smaller and more convenient setup. For assembling, insert RQ drill into the main body of the saw, and then attached the saw arm on to the rail of the drill. Lock the drill chuck and slide over the power button to initiate the machine. Clamps are recommended to reduce vibration. Below is the final SLS printed model.

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Process media.

Process video, photos and more.
Wood, plastic and cardboard models for fit testing.
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Unassmebled.

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Thank you!