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Smart Materials: the Next Generation

This short film clip looks at the use of different materials in a formula one car. With a carbon fibre material, the car can be designed with the correct balance of strength and stiffness so that if the car crashes it will collapse and not crush the driver.

Shape Memory Alloys

This film clip shows some of the latest ideas for aeroplanes being trialled by NASA. Amongst the concepts are wings which change shape while in the air to make the aeroplane faster and more fuel efficient. This is only possible due to a remarkable range of smart materials. One of the materials being used is a...

Product Design, Testing and Modification: Trunki

This film clip looks at the British Safety Standards that had to be met by the ‘Trunki’ – a ride-on suitcase for children. The suitcase has to undergo the same tests which would be used for a bike, including the curb test. This involves placing a 50Kg weight onto the case and then swinging it into a curb edge at...

Product Design and Mass Manufacture Design Optimization

This film clip introduces design optimisation and meeting a design brief. Chris Althorpe, a Senior Designer, was asked to design a highly attractive, small, market leading, multi-functional peak flow meter. Form and function were not the only requirements in the client’s brief. It also needed to be manufactured...

Industrial Design and Testing Designing for Innovation and Safety

This film clip goes to Volvo’s advanced test facility. As safety is the most important element of the Volvo brand, they have invested heavily in what may be the best crash test centre in the world. They can reconstruct almost any collision that may occur in the real world, even re-creating crashes between two...

ICT inTextiles, Design Practice and Process

This film clip describes the latest Size UK survey. This was last carried out in the 1950’s, when all the measurements had to be taken by hand. Today each person is measured in a 3D body scanning machine. This is being used to scan thousands of men and women of different ages and ethnic backgrounds the team have...

How Pop Art Changed the World

This film clips describes the technical innovations that enabled pop art to change the look of peoples’ homes. Being able to print bright colours...

How Postmodernism Changed the World

In this film clip, George Sowden talks about how in the 1960s, modernism placed a lot of rules on design and restricted research. In an attempt to break away from feeling trapped by modernism, he produced a series of paintings which later formed the basis for the decorative finishes he added to the modernist...

Choosing Sustainable Materials

This film clip looks at a sustainable system of timber production and woodland management. It is explained that sustainability is the way in which the environment is managed, not whether trees are felled or not. Clear felling uses excavating machines to clear large areas of woodland at a time as part of an...

CAD CAM in Textile Manufacturing

This film clip illustrates how computer aided design (CAD) can be used to create a textiles design. Different kinds of stitches and colours can be dragged and dropped onto the design. The shape of the garment can then be created, with the computer automatically calculating the different sizes. It is explained why...

Rudolph the Reindeer Christmas decoration with push switch on/off

This resource describes how to make a Rudolph christmas decoration using a PCB LED that sits under the fabric and lights up when you hold the switch hidden in his cheek. The decoration is made out of felt fabric and is lightly stuffed to give a 3D effect. It uses embroidery stitches to decorate the surface and to...

Circular Economy Introductory Kit

This card game and supporting resources, from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, are designed to introduce the concept of the circular economy. Working in groups, students analyse the life cycle of a simple product, such as a bottle of water, and compare it with the cycle of growth, decay and new growth that is...

Activity 6: Rethinking Textiles Products

This activity, for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, looks at textiles in fashion design. It provides an opportunity for students to increase their knowledge and understanding of a circular economy approach to developing textiles products and how textile companies are applying this approach to developing new products...

Activity 5: Biomimicry - lessons from nature

Biomimicry involves looking at nature for inspiration to solve engineering problems and to develop innovative new designs for products and architecture. This activity, from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, investigates what is meant by linear and closed loops systems and explores products that have been developed by...

Activity 4: In the Loop

This design-and-make project, from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, provides hands on experience of working with materials, using CAD/CAM for design, and an opportunity for students to manufacture interesting products while addressing many circular economy concepts.

The activity explores the use of materials...

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