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Abstract

There a number of products on the market suitable for pruning branches.


Some of which are manually actuated and can be used for cutting branches
located at body height and up to 3 metres high. The problems associated with
the current manual branch lopper designs relate to ease of use, accessibility
(both reach and angle of attack) and associated problems with generating the
physical force required to cut through branches with approximate diameters of
25mm. The powered variants alleviate the problems associated with physical
exertion, but most of which are heavy and as such have limitations for
reaching higher branches.

Accordingly, the challenge chosen for the final year project was to design a
branch lopper with the following performance characteristics.
• To be powered and capable of cutting through branches of any wood
type up to a maximum diameter of 25mm
• To reach branches 5 metres above ground level
• To have an adjustable cutting angle
None of the existing products are able to meet all of the above deliverables.
Thus if it was possible to design a concept that could achieve these
deliverables, the design would have merit for introduction into the consumer
market.

The final design solution met all the performance characteristics requested in
the project brief, as follows:

A simple worm type gear box was to be used in conjunction with a 15Nm
12Volt portable motor to generate the 144Nm of torque required to cut through
diameter 25mm hard wood.
A ratchet type mechanism would be incorporated into the design to enable
adjustment and locking of the angle of attack.
A 5 metre telescopic pole would be used to enable the user to reach high
branches.
To improve control and stability in positioning the cutting mechanism over
branches, a 12Volt battery pack (power supply) would be mounted at the base
of the pole, this would counterbalance the weight of the cutting mechanism
assembly which would be mounted at the top of the pole.
A coiled extendable electrical cable would be used to transmit the power from
the battery pack to mechanism. Note: It shall be inserted through the bore of
the pole to eradicate problems associated with tangling.
When compared with the existing products it was found that the final design
was functionally better than all existing products and with an approximate cost
of £120.00 was more competitive than most existing products.