Smart Matters | Spring 2020
Group Project Mechanism Design
Yutao Huang, Chaeri Park
The initial idea of assembling furniture with a locking system using SMA was influenced by mechanisms of everyday locking objects and wood joints as well as existing ready to assemble furniture. Taking account of that nature of SMA, where the action of shape memory alloys appeared to be most effective in linear form, lead to designing simple locking mechanisms.
Keeping values of ready-to-assemble furniture and refining common difficulties consumers experienced together with elements of traditional furniture, arrived in design goals of the project; easy assembly and disassembly, simple yet detailed material and finish, seamless joints, flat shipping, no specific tools involved.
Before we have the concept of the assembly system, we first were introduced to the SMA strings and were required to do experiments using them in order to become more familiar with the material.
After our experiments, we started to look into concepts, and we were deeply inspired by the use of the SMA strings in the surface book locking mechanism. Then we realized how the SMA string has potential in changing the way how people lock or assemble things.
Other Locking Mechanisms
We then looked into some of the existing locking mechanisms for more inspirations.
Surface book locking mechanism
When we were researching over some of the IKEA furniture, we figured that there's opportunity of a locking mechanism for furniture and we started evaluating the pros and cons of existing furniture.
Advantages of Ready to assemble furniture
Easier to get replaceable pieces
Easy to move around
in narrow openings
reduce of manufacturing process
simple to dismantle, transport, and deliver
People attach greater value to things they built than if the very same product was built by someone else
Disadvantages of Ready to assemble furniture
Drilling in wrong direction might cause damage in wood.
Hard to disassemble
Difficulties of assembling a RTA furniture that frustrates the user
Quality of material
Requires specific tools for furniture assembly
Parts that are difficult to distinguish
We picked what to keep from the advantages of r-t-a furniture and what disadvantages we can overcome with smart material assembly.
Easy assembly and disassembly
Simple yet detailed material
Seamless assembly system
Universal heat source
Some initial sketches for mechanisms that we started to explore with. We further explored basing off of # 2 and # 4
Then we came up with these which
1.Opening that shrinks and grabs rod inserted
2.Latch kind of mechanism that is locked after inserted
Then we used solidworks to build 3d models and simulate these mechanisms and finally decided on mechanism 3.