This project is just a write up of how I went about designing my entry for the Linus Tech Tips and SilverStone Headphone Stand Design Contest, while there's no electronics in the design, I figured the approach taken to designing it was worth mentioning.
So after some delay voting has started, anyone whos read the logs of viewed this project with interested, it would be much appreciated if you cast your vote (for me please), voting is done by simply downloading the 3d files for your favourite entry. If you like this design, please cast your vote here https://myminifactory.com/object/9198.
An important part of design is prototyping, this phase I love because I get to make my design or idea a reality, this phase is used to evaluate the design, identify issues and go back and fix them.
This was drawn up during the design phase but for this project in particular, design and prototype occurred near side by side given the simplicity of what was being created. I started by figuring out how far the bar must be from the wall in order to hold up the headphones without them getting stuck, second was deciding on the bars overall diameter, though the bar will not be round, instead a rounded triangular shape.
Prototyping started with creating templates from the cad files, seen here on screen before they got printed out at 1:1 scale.
Cardboard is among the easiest and cheapest materials to prototype with, I had a few empty shoe boxes laying around so I decided to recycle some of the material for this project rather than throw it all out.
The idea was to quickly prototype the scale and rough dimensions of the design, to do that I printed out a template of each part. Above carbon paper can be seen, using this the templates were transferred to the cardboard.
The templates were cut out using using the Stanley knife also pictured previously.
After the templates were cut out, they were hot glued together to form the overall three dimensional shape.
I only prototyped two segments of the overall bar, Only the profile shape was prototyped, The method in which they were joined was not prototyped, the aim of this prototyping phase was only to test the scale of the design and ensure it was suitable. Here I used cut outs of the cross section of the bar, joined them together using 100mm lengths of bent cardboard. next was skinning, wrapping this up with a sheet of thin paper.
Above can be seen the finished parts, the bar segments have been skinned and the arms have a square back plate.
The final prototype assembled.
I taped the prototype to my door and started putting headphones onto it to see how well they held.
While the prototype is pretty scrappy, it showed the design worked, its close to the wall and doesn't stick out too far, minimising the risk of someone walking into it, there is still enough of a gap to allow large pairs of headphones to be held. The orientation allows the design of all the headphones to be showed off. Overall no changes to the design were required due to careful planning and foresight when creating this design.
Phase three is the fun part, the phase in which I get to start designing my idea and fleshing it out.
The design I went for uses two arms to hold a bar in which the headphones rest on, to mount this to the wall, two brackets are used in which the arms just slide tightly down onto.
100mm BAR SEGMENT
All parts were modelled to scale using solidworks and rendered using keyshot 5 (See later images). Any number of bar segments can be used so that the overall length of the headphone stand can be made to work for any reasonable collection of headphones. The bar segments join together using a slot and hole method,
showing two bar segments and one arm assembled. (screen grab from solidworks)
Before moving onto rendering and the prototyping phase, I used cura ( http://reprap.org/wiki/Cura ) to test all the parts and ensure they would fit inside the 18cm * 18cm * 18cm 3d print bed limit set by MyMiniFactory for the contest in which this design is entered in.
Screen grab showing a cell shaded render style in keyshot 5, here the design is in an exploded view against a wall.
A render from keyshot 5, I played around with this off centre view and rendered the design in multiple colours.
A toon styled render animation showing the design being dissasembled and reassembled.
The second phase of design is ideation, after spending a while researching existing solutions I started to form an idea of what I wanted my design to be. I wanted a modular design that was adaptable and expandable so that it could easily hold a single pair of headphones, or later be expanded upon to hold more.
I started by thinking about how the headphones would be held, simply a bar, next was thinking about shapes, sizes and how it could be expanded. This rough sketch is just an example of what I do during these times of thinking, I draw out quickly what is in my head, try to visually represent it. Since I wanted the design to be expandable I thought about male and female, plug and socket connectors as a means of having the bar expand.
During the research phase I noticed most of the existing solutions were simply a bar sticking out of the wall, a hook, to hold the headphones,
"Existing solutions are no more than a hook on a wall to hold headphones, my design should avoid this trend if at all possible",
thinking about this, I thought about other products like towels and hand rails, while towel hangers can be hooks, they can also be round bars in which the towel is draped over, I started thinking about applying this to a wall mounted headphone stand, what about a design with two arms that hold out a bar in which the headphones rest on.
Besides sketching on paper, I like to use large whiteboards as a means of rapidly sketching and tweaking ideas, during the majority of the ideation phase, I was concentrating on the segmented modular bar concept with the bar being round, I later started thinking about alternative shapes, I settled on a curved triangular form for the bar.
The first phase in design is always research, the tedious part, since the competition started with Linus Tech Tips review of the SilverStone EBA01, I thought I would start there. The aim here was to research the problem itself as well as already existing solutions and identify key insights for the purpose of compiling a design brief or design guidelines to use in order to keep my end design on topic to the point and solving the problems it was intended to solve.
So starting with the EBA01, the stand is constructed from aluminium, the same material in which the winning design shall me made from, the aesthetics are nice and clean, simple and elegant, given that the winning design is going to be an extension to this product line, it must incorporate some of the same features. The EBA01 can be used to hold a single pair of headphones or multiple depending on user preference so my design should be able to do the same.
KEY INSIGHT ONE: Simple aesthetics required and ability to hold either one or multiple pairs of headphones.
The design calls for a wall mounted headphone stand so the next area of research I focused on was already existing solutions for wall mounted headphone stands. With a quick google search, amazon search and ebay search, a vast array of options came up.
One key thing all these designs have in common is that they all hold a pair or pairs of headphones in the same orientation. I do not like mimicry if it can be avoided so I want my design to break from this trend.
KEY INSIGHT TWO: Existing solutions are no more than a hook on a wall to hold headphones, my design should avoid this trend if at all possible.
Two particular existing solutions I found struck me, not for their aesthetics or how they overall looked, I did not like the look of either, but instead they struck me because of the means by which they were to be mounted to the wall was obvious and seemed to take away from the design. Compared with other designs, no efforts were made to hide the screws.
KEY INSIGHT THREE: Screws and brackets used to mount the design should not be visible or atleast take anything away from the overall aesthetics of the design.