24 Hours of PDR

This was quite the experience! Given a brief, deliverables, a chance to win some cash and all to be done in 24 hours.

The brief:
To design a piece of wearable technology for release in Q1 of 2019. This must fit the market of one of 5 options. The group I was in decided the market of “Crime and Punishment” would have the most scope for a new design will a lot of idea already in place after the first hour of design.

The deliverables:
Were very flexible, giving us the freedom the design what we want. As it was only 24 hours, it was more to see how far we could push each other and a design within the time limit.

The prize:
£300 cash or an escape room day out for runner up!.

How it went:
So to start with our group, Callum, Todd, Mathew, Natalie and I went for crime and punishment as the brief, to develop this new wearable tech. Withing the first few hours, ideas were getting sorted and detailed market research was done to see where the gap in the market was. The main outcome was that rehabilitation was the key to bettering the life of convicts post prison sentence.

The research identified that housing each prisoner per year was approximately £32,510, which does not include court fees and labour fees, which can round this amount up to £90,000. Another figure that adds to this, is the amount of time, prisoners re-offend which again, adds a further £30,000-£90,000 a year for the housing of prisoners, standing at 59% of all UK prisoners will re-offend within the first 12 months of release.

Money gif
Figure 1

So it was obvious, Rehabilitate, Reeducate and get them back into society with a better mindset to helping the community and repaying the money that it cost to put them in in the first place. This will even stop the re-offence of a prisoner and save those high costs.

So how do we do this? More Research! This showed that prison life was distracting and lacked the necessary requirements for sensory stimuli and motivation. This was due to the many hurdles faced on the inside, with the high amounts of noise, leading to the lack of sleep, self worth and any determination to better themselves.

Figure 2

The solution:
Develop a wearable product for prisoners that can help them regain independence to motivate them, providing them with a way to reduce background noise and increase the chance of reconnected with society. So concept sketching and further research was done to define what we could class as wearable technology and how we could implement it into prison life.

Call Sketching
Figure 3

Figure 3 shows a sketch and development sheet, of a variety of wrist bands, ear clips, watches and similar that use current technology to store music, educational works and personal information. The device will allow the prisoner (on good behaviour) to upload all of this, to provide a reduction of background noise through music, personal motivation through messages from the outside and rehabilitation exercises buy listening to educational resources to make them better suited for society upon release. All of this will aim to reduce the amount of the re-offences that occur and save over £30,000 a year buy not having to house and provide labour for each prisoner.  This, in turn, may also reduce any over population that prisons may face today.

Interim Presentation:
From this presentation, we were informed that the research behind the idea shows excellent grounding and that the feasibility of this project was sound. However we needed to go back to drawing board in terms of product complexity, why does the prisoner need a band or watch to listen to music, why not simplify the design and re-imagine the headphones for prison use.

Final Design:

A new style of headphones, made from industrial, durable foam, with not externals components. All of this produces a simple to use design that can incorporate downloading software that is not weaponlizable.

Inmate Headphones
Figure 5

To make sure that prisoners can’t use the software in any illegal way, all the information would pass through a regulated VPN (virtual private network). As mention previously the materials used are light weight but durable and all of the components with be contained withing the device. This will stop the product from being used in a malicious way, with the internal components being inaccessible for any purpose other than what they are intended for.

So… The Outcome:
Runner up. Our team came 2nd, with information from the PDR team that the decision between us and 1st place team team was a difficult one to make.

Upon reflection this has been an incredible opportunity, being thrown into a brand new project with a daunting 24 hour deadline, pushed myself and my team to produce a prize winning outcome. The best part of this, was seeing what can be done in 24 hours. By pushing myself and my creative ability, the short timeline and interesting design processes really helped in producing a well thought out, and surprisingly plausible, design idea.

From this, I aim to start every new project with a new vigorous approach, applying a solid 24 hours to developing new concepts and a wide variety of ideas that can then be taken forward for the remaining time of the project. For this, the research sections should be done with a team of different minded people to produce an even wider variety of concepts; things, that on my own, would not have been thought of.

Figrue 1:  GIPHY. (n.d.). Free Money GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY. [Online Image] Available at: https://giphy.com/gifs/916t1VsCg2qoo [Accessed 27 Jan. 2018].

Figure 2: 14 Tips for Jumping entrepreneurship hurdles (2014). [Online Image] Avaiable at: https://www.inc.com/14-tips-for-jumping-entrepreneurships-hurdles.html [Accessed 27 Jane.218.].

Figure 3: Image Authors Own

Figure 4: Image Authors Own

Figure 5: Image Edited from: Man behind bars sitting in jail cell (u.d.). [Online Image] Available at:https://www.videoblocks.com/video/man-behind-bars-sitting-in-his-jail-cell-jcsboeb [Accessed 27 Jane.218.].


PDP, Reflecting on my Technical Research Report

Over the course of two summer placements I was able to gather a lot of research about press form manufacturing, working for a company called Gestamp. This led me to the conclusion that writing about this process would allow for plenty of research to be undertaken to fully understand what this process holds and how it stands in industry today.  The focus on sustainability was a key factor, as I am fully aware of the increase in the need for recycling and how big companies ensure that their processes are sustainable, both environmentally and economically.

My time in industry showed me that press forming is still a widely used practice and that there are many applications that use press forming to create both small scale and large scale products. As the company uses their machinery to press form car body parts, I was able to learn that the majority of the materials used in the process are used to create the parts with only 30% of the raw materials were wasted. This waste however, adds to the economic sustainability of the process as its then sold onto scrap merchants who recycle the waste and the money from this is then given back to original producer of the raw material to allow for purchasing and manufacturing of new materials.

B vs P

Figure 1 (Blanking Vs Punching)

When initially writing my technical report, focusing on the technology was vital to get across exactly how press forming works, including the different processes presses go through to produce a variety products. This included the basic operation presses perform through punching and blanking and the different types of press, including Hydraulic, Mechanical and Servo that all use different types of driving motion to form the metal sheets into the desired shape. Punching and blanking shown in figure 1 and the types of presses shown in figures 2 respectively.

Figure 2 (Gupta and Prateek, n.d.) (Tyagi, 2012) (Aida-global.com, 2008)

As further research showed just focusing on the technology was not appropriate as the materials used in this process were vital to understand exactly how the process works and why it is still viable in today industries.

From this, time was spent understanding the different types of metal that were used in mass producing parts from press forming. It was clear to me that steel and aluminum were the main materials used in press forming, this is shown by the research undertaken, showing how these types of metals can produce high strength products with low weights, that when certain forces applied to the sheet metal can be deformed into a variety of desire shapes. The basics of which can be shown in figure 3 below, showing how metals are deformed due to the amount of strain applied.

Figure 3 (Suradi, 2017) (a) (Necking Diagram) (b)

The process of writing my technical report has so far taught me about correct writing skills, being able to interpret the information I was gathering from books, articles and research documents I was reading.

It was from this point that I started to consider the sustainable aspects of other manufacturing processes and how the use of press forming, which is a sustainable process, can replace other un-sustainable processes. I quickly realised that producing anything from plastic can create a non-recyclable product and even with today’s technology, we are still not recycling enough waste as we could. This led me to finding the need for a new design, simply design out plastics.

This idea of designing out plastics is something that I will be considering for future design project. It was intriguing to see how much man-kind wastes and the problems this causes. If all it takes is to consider different materials and the way we use products, it is a shame that we don’t do more as society to provide the most sustainable future we can.

After understanding that a massive 42% of all ‘bulky waste’ was furniture (Thersa.org, 2015), it was clear to me that, even with the amount of chairs out there that could replace plastic, there is still not a design that can be quickly manufactured, completely recycled, and easy to produce in large quantities, replacing the need for the mass production of plastic chairs.


Figure 4 (Concept Design)

For me, this project became increasingly interesting as it moved from the technology of press forming, to the understanding of a new design, to the design itself. At this point, when coming up with the concepts for the design, I was able to use the research and knowledge I had gained to understand what features the design would need and how it would be manufactured. Shown in figure 4.

The final design (figure 5) came about as a combination of: the evaluation of each concept, further research into the comfort and stack-ability of a chair and the addition of a feature to both strengthen and reduce the weight of the overall design.

Final Chair collageFigure 5 (Final Chair Concept)

As shown here I was able to develop and come up with a new design for a press formed chair. This has taught me how to correctly design for press form manufacturing, including the features than can be added to the design, and the overall form that can be achieved. I believe that with more development the aesthetic and the weight of the chair can be improved for better use.

Throughout this project, research was done to find the relevant information using all manner of documentation including: books, articles, web references, imagery and primary sources. This enabled me to put together a coherent report about the process of press forming and the sustainable aspect is involves.

Upon reflection, I have enjoyed learning about the process of press forming and how it still plays a significant role in today’s society. The implications of having such a sustainable process has allowed me to appreciate to different style of manufacturing and how every day plastic objects can and should be turned into re-usable, renewable products that have a minimal effect on the environment. Being able to design a new product around press forming was a significant process to help me further my knowledge on the subject and produce a new design that would suit a wide variety of people. If I were to re-visit this, I would aim to undergo more research into the process of renewable energies, giving more focus on the other manufacturing processes that are fully sustainable.

This project has given me an insight into my future, from this I am considering a career in the manufacturing industry helping to develop new techniques to reduce waste and lower the environmental impact that the industry is still accountable for. It seems that the manufacturing industry primarily prioritises profit; I would like to change, through design, the industry, to better focus on sustainable practice in broadest sense. Not only working towards environmental sustainability but also ensuring the sustainment of a company and the industry. This will be done by critiquing the process that all products go through thus attempting to reduce waste, increase re-usability, and encourage recycling.


Thersa.org. (2015). Report: The Great Recovery – Rearranging the Furniture – RSA. [online] Available at: https://www.thersa.org/discover/publications-and-articles/reports/the-great-recovery-rearranging-the-furniture [Accessed 7 Dec. 2017].


[Figure 1] Blanking Vs Punching, Image Authors own.

[Figure 2] Gupta and Prateek (n.d). NC Hydraulic Press Brakes | Micro Hydro Technic. [online] Microhydrotechnic.net. Available at: http://www.microhydrotechnic.net/nc-hydraulic-press-brakes/ [Accessed 2 Nov. 2017].

&Tyagi, V. (2012). sheet metal working. [online] Slideshare.net. Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/vivcool1/sheet-metal [Accessed 1 Dec. 2017].

& Aida-global.com. (2008). Servo Press Technology, DSF Series, Direct Drive Servo Presses, from AIDA. [online] Available at: https://www.aida-global.com/direct-drive-servo-former/#1_1 [Accessed 1 Dec. 2017].

[Figure 3] (a) Suradi, E. (2017). Why does the stress-strain curve decrease?. [online] Engineering.stackexchange.com. Available at: https://engineering.stackexchange.com/questions/13583/why-does-the-stress-strain-curve-decrease [Accessed 4 Dec. 2017].

[Figure 3] (b) Necking Diagram, Image authors own

[Figure 4] Concept Design, Image authors own

[Figure 5] Final Chair Concept,  Image Authors own