Near the start of lockdown, we noticed that one of our customers, Cambridge Consultants, was running a STEM challenge for students.
With schools closed and GCSEs cancelled, our marketing manager (Sadie Moden) thought the challenge would be ideal for her 16-year-old Y11 son, Oscar. Having worked hard for months, preparing for his now cancelled GCSEs, Oscar welcomed the opportunity to flex his engineering design skills, given he has hopes of studying a BTEC Level 3 in Engineering at college in September.
The STEM Challenge
Cambridge Consultants post a new challenge each week, and Oscar opted to design a toaster for use by a blind person.
Drawing on his GCSE Product Design learning, Oscar approached the challenge by assessing current toasters available on the market so that he could pick out key points to develop. From his research, Oscar identified the key challenges for a blind person using a traditional toaster were:
- locating the power button
- placing the toast into the correct slots
- adjusting the timer
- not getting burnt or injured while removing the toast
With these points in mind, Oscar developed some solutions which would become the toaster’s features. These included:
- a large on/off power button which clicks once it has been fully depressed
- braille numbering on the body of the toaster
- a fully encased toaster with no exposed heating elements
- automated voice assist
Using Google Sketchup, Oscar designed a fully enclosed toaster with the bread moving through on a conveyor belt.
A winning entry
With his designs and write up complete, Oscar submitted his entry. Within a few days, Oscar received good news from Vicky Larmour of Cambridge Consultants that his toaster had been chosen as a winner.
In a LinkedIn comment, Vicky said: “I really enjoyed judging all the entries and Oscar’s stood out a mile – both from the thought he had put into the features and how they would help the user, as well as the effort that had gone into capturing it in Google Sketchup.”
An invitation from Prototype Projects
Managing Director, Justin Pringle, met Oscar a few years ago and took him on a tour of the facilities when his eyes lit up. Seeing Oscar’s passion for engineering has continued, and appreciating the impact of lockdown on GCSE students especially, Justin posed an invitation to Oscar. He invited Oscar to develop a project of his own choosing which Prototype Projects will then 3D print and paint.
Oscar graciously accepted Justin’s invitation and is now working on his project. Watch this space!
Ready to start your next prototype project?
Prototype Projects is a UK-based prototyping bureau delivering high-quality prototype parts in fast turnaround times.
We offer a next day dispatch service for SLA, SLS, FDM, Polyjet and Figure 4 3D printed parts. Use our My 3D AM service for online SLS and SLA 3D printing instant quoting and ordering for additive manufacturing. We also offer CNC machining and milling, Vacuum Casting and laser cutting services.