Manufacturing


NEW! 'Nerf' Football Project Scores Points with Students
Students learn about chemistry, problem solving, and the importance of accurate measurement and precision timing while making flexible polyurethane footballs. The activity appeared in the November 2013 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted for easy classroom use. It contains additional photos.

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Acrylic Project
The future is in Plastics! With more than 20,000 different types of plastics, it is imperative that the material and its end product be tested before production. In this project, students test the effect of stress on the chemical resistance of acrylic. Next, students tap into their artistic ability while creating an acrylic sculpture using readily available materials.


Assembly Line Activities
Activities allow students to experience the assembly line mass-production process as they work individually and in teams to assemble simple parts and paper trucks. Worksheets with math-related exercises and study questions included.


Building Peace Poles
Peace Poles are planted at schools, in parks, and at other places worldwide. Making small-scale versions is a great wood technology activity. It can be used with middle school students using hand tools and as an introduction to power tools with high schoolers. The activity appeared in the February 2013 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted. Full-size student procedures and a grading rubric for middle school students are included. Only $2.95.


Cast Ring
Students learn about current casting technology by working with room temperature vulcanizing (RTV) silicone and a two-part quick-hardening plastic.


CNC Activity Introduces the Flatbed Router
Create awesome widgets. From sketching to CAD to CNC routing. This activity for middle school through college levels shows students the unlimited possibilities and applications of the CNC flatbed router.


CNC Programming
A activity that doesn't require the use of costly CNC (computer numerical controlled) equipment teaches students how they would program a numerically controlled milling machine. They also learn to decode a simple program and draw by hand the part that it would create.


Conveyor Systems
Students learn how the three different types of conveyor systems work, along with their advantages and disadvantages. Then, using simple materials, they build a compressed-air conveyor system and test their design.


Design and Build Gumball Machines
Students get great experience with research and design, problem solving, use of jigs and fixtures, and the details of the mass production process.


Designing Machine Elements in CAD
Introduce postsecondary CAD students to elements of three-dimensional industrial design.
Mini project, only $2.95.


Factory Layout and Planning
Discusses the different advantages of process plants and product plants, and eight essential qualities of safe and maximally efficient factories. Middle schoolers then design their own toy factory layout. Project includes machine template, room patterns and accessories.
Mini project, only $2.95.


Four Handy Metal Kitchen Tools
Project provides instructions for making a bottle opener, pizza cutter, meat tenderizer, and salt and pepper shakers. Students gain experience with horizontal and vertical mills, lathe, and drill press, while working with stainless steel, aluminum, and plastic.


Gears
What a gear is, how are they used, how they work and how to figure out gear ratios are all covered in this project. Students then build their own machines and measure the gear ratio of their gear train.
Mini project, only $2.95.


Industrial Design: Packaging Design
Students develop a solution to a packaging design problem by first creating a design portfolio of sketches, then a technical drawing of the best solution, and finally the package itself using simple, inexpensive materials.


Industrial Models: A Futuristic Product
With a variety of low-cost materials (clay, cardboard, pieces of wood, components from discarded toys and devices), students develop an idea for a product, then construct a model of the product.


Inexpensive Guitar Stand Is Customizable
Handy stand built from sturdy, inexpensive plastic pipe is ideal for guitarists—and rock band video players! Design can be altered to hold from one to four guitars. Note: This project appeared in the October 2010 issue of Tech Directions. It has been reformatted for easy classroom use. Mini project, only $2.95.


Information Storage and Retrieval: A Mechanical Database
Students learn the principles of computerized information storage and retrieval through a very inexpensive activity that uses index cards and segments of wire hangers.


It’s High Time to Make Sundials
With this activity, students design a sundial in CAD, export the file to a CNC router to mill the dial’s face and then learn and apply the mathematics needed to have it accurately track time.


Larry Bob’s Block
Students learn how to make isometric and orthographic drawings and flat pattern layouts, then build a puzzle block using their new skills.


Manufacturing: Angles and Lines
A brief discussion of the key role that precision plays in modern manufacturing, plus three activities that give students practice with solving for missing angles.


Manufacturing: Criteria Ranking
After learning the principles of manufacturing design as determined by such criteria as product safety, reliability, durability, comfort, styling, and cost, students build a cereal box marble maze.


Manuscript Copyholder Project
Here’s an item that’s easy to fabricate out of common materials. It can be either an individual project or a production item that can easily be modified and mass produced.


Mass Producing a Paper-Cup Dispenser
Mass-producing this paper-cup dispenser teaches both mass-production procedures and woodworking skills.
Mini project, only $2.95.


Materials Science
Middle schoolers learn about the basic types of materials and their properties, how to measure and safely use basic tools, and how to design and construct a prototype and final project using these materials.


Materials Science Research: The Hygrometer
Students make a simple hygrometer using pieces of wood, wire, rubber bands and staples.


NEW! 'Nerf' Football Project Scores Points with Students
Students learn about chemistry, problem solving, and the importance of accurate measurement and precision timing while making flexible polyurethane footballs. The activity appeared in the November 2013 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted for easy classroom use. It contains additional photos.

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Plaster Balloon Sculpture
This is not an oxymoron! In the activity, students learn about chemistry and materials processing technology, and use mathematics in the course of making a simple plaster sculpture.


Pneumatics
The basics and benefits of pneumatics—a key factor involved in today’s industrial robots—along with an introduction to the components of a pneumatic system (regulator, pressure gauge, valve, and cylinder).
Also includes instructions for constructing a teacher-made pneumatic mockup board that can be used to demonstrate the technology plus question and activity sheets. Mini project, only $2.95.


Project Gizmo
Students learn the design process used in industry and use CAD to create appropriate packaging for products of varying shapes.


Question Dice
The design process is not a crap shoot. A big part of solving problems is asking the right questions. This project describes how to make a set of wooden dice that ask students the how, when, where, why and more about designing manufacturing products and processes.


Robotics: The Manipulator
Building and operating a remote manipulator from simple components (syringes, screws, nuts, wood, plastic tubing) teaches students how robots function, as well as the principles of hydraulics.


Sim CIM Sundaes
First students learn about the history of automation -- from slow-moving assembly lines to computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM). Then their mouths will water they work as part of a team that simulates the computer control of a factory assembly line. The end result is a delicious, custom-made sundae for everyone!


A Skateboard Project That Really Rocks!
Enthusiastic students design, construct and decorate their own skateboards in an activity that teaches about the machines and processes involved in working with plastics.


Soma Cube
Work with legendary scientist Piet Hien’s Soma cube gives students experience with visualization, technical drawing, mathematics, manufacturing, research and more. Project includes background information, plus 10 hands-on, minds-on activities.


Statistics to the Rescue
The use of statistics and process controls is too often overlooked in educating students. In this activity, high school students with some background in materials processing advance their knowledge by determining whether or not a manufacturing process works well.


Three-Piece Puzzle
In the course of making wooden puzzles, students learn about the various roles involved in industrial production (procurement, product engineering, process engineering, plant engineering, personnel management and administration), as well as about such concepts as prototype, quality control, and industrial safety.


Time-Motion Study
Students set up, perform and analyze time-motion studies like those performed in industry.
Mini project, only $2.95.


Toy Truck Project
This activity uses inexpensive 2 x 4 lumber and is well suited for mass production.


Using Jigs and Fixtures: A Design Brief
Introductory information on the use of jigs and fixtures in the manufacturing process, plus design of jigs and fixtures to be used in student manufacture of a Ball Drop Game.


Wooden Game Project
This lab activity makes an excellent mass-production project. Mini project, only $2.95.


Wooden Pizza Cutter
A clever wood project teaches students about rotary routing jigs and mass production techniques—and provides them with a tool for slicing a treat!


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