Model Prototype

Second week of the quarter came around … another exciting Friday! We spent the first half of our class reviewing videos from the paper prototype of everyone in our class, yepp … all 30 videos. It was really cool to be able to see my classmates videos. Some of them were really good and I wanted to make my video better next time!

After watching all the videos, we were introduced to the Model Prototype. It was about prototype things in 3D. For example, you can use card board to make a really quick prototype of microwave, music instrument or anything that you conceptualize in 2D environment. In fact, cardboard is only one of the countless materials that can be used to make model prototype. You can use foam, paper, glass, plastic, and etc to make 3d prototype. It is a really good/cheap way to quickly evaluate your 3d design. Back in my undergraduate, while I was studying industrial design, I did a lot of this kind of prototyping so it wasn’t a new concept to me. I am very familiar with model prototype. However, I was very excited to get my hand dirty!

Our task of the day was to redesign “Eco ATM”. At the time it was introduced, I had no idea what it was. In case you have never about it, below is a description from their website:

ecoATM is the world’s first automated eWaste recycling station. That’s a fancy way of saying that we’re a friendly green machine looking to pay cash for the responsible recycling of your old cell phones, MP3 players and tablets. Sell your phone or other device by placing it in the ecoATM kiosk, and we’ll tell you how much it’s worth. What happens next? You get instant cash. With ecoATM kiosks all over the country, and with your help, we’re working hard to solve the eWaste problem facing our planet.  


We were divided into a group of 4. At the end of the day, our professor expected us to came up with a prototype of a newly design eco ATM that suppose to be better than the current one. When our group first sat down together, we list out all requirements that eco ATM has to have. It needs to have touch screen where users can input their info, compartment where users can insert their electronic devices, ID scanner, and receipt printer.

After then, we started to brainstorm and sketched out some ideas. With the time constraint, we had to decide very quickly of what we wanted to make. Our big idea was that the machine should be able to scan multiple devices at the same time as well as the user ID. This would happen within a compartment inside the eco ATM machine. Since my background was in the industrial design, I was able to quickly sketch out what our ATM would look like on the paper. It gave us a better idea of what we are going to make.


But wait … after all the brainstorm and sketches, there was only about 1 and a half hour left until the class end! We had to quickly, according to the design sketches, figured out all necessary part to built our eco ATM prototype. Nonetheless, we had an argument whether we wanted to make a scale prototype of the whole machine or only the top part of the machine where most of the interaction occur. In the end, we decided that we wanted to make to the top part of the machine with a scale of 1:1. That was mainly because the limited time and material that available to us.     




Our prototype making went very well. We put together all the parts according our initial design. We also successfully made a prototype of the compartment which was used to scan multiple electronic devices!



Even though this was not the first time I made prototype in 3-dimension, it was still an exciting experience! You can quickly and cheaply create a concept model which is able to communicate your big idea. Also, the model prototype does not need to be perfect, as long as it can communicate the idea then you have successfully create your prototype.

Nonetheless, if this was your first time with this technique, making prototype in 3d can be intimidating. You may need to get familiar with different tools such as knives and glue gun etc.


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