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We began with a Function Means Tree to give a graphical representation of


the designs functions, from where we looked for ideas to our problems.
These problems were: creating a reversing mechanism, attaching the
elevator to the tether and an appropriate structure. We began with the 6-3-5
Method to come up with ideas to our reversing mechanism problem and gain
a brief description over each idea. Next, we utilised the Morphological Chart
where we listed these previous ideas. Next each member went home and
researched on a specific idea, finding pros and cons for it. For the reversing
mechanism, I looked into the dpdt switch as a means of switching the
polarity of the motor to reverse the direction of motion. Researching through
www.sparkfun.com and pulling apart a dpdt switch from my high schools lab
dumpster, I was able to bring reasons to support the switch as a solution. In
our next meet, each individual suggested their idea, from a rack and pinion
based switch to programming and the dpdt switch. Utilising a Pairwise
Comparison Chart, we listed criteria such as easy to build, quick to build, low
cost etc. and after obtaining the highest score of 78/100, the dpdt switch was
finalised as the solution.
Regarding the elevator structure, we began with a Convergent-Thinking
mindset during our meeting in week 3, where we decided to use the CSketch Method to create design plans. We were each allocated one hour to
sit in our group and design our own structures. This method proved not very
effective due to many distractions and time constraints. Thus, each
individual was told to come up with scaled diagrams for an appropriate
elevator that would satisfy our requirements during the coming week in their
own time, known as the Gallery Method. I used my previous experience in
robotics, to utilise Computer Aided Design (CAD) and build a visual model of
my proposed structure also. Upon the next meeting, we pulled superior ideas
from each proposal to finalise a superior hybrid structure.
Reflection
My first solutions
For my part of the group, I was instructed to come up with ideas to bring the
elevator down from its ascend and to create the structure of the elevator.
Studying Electronics in my High School, I returned to my school and
consulted my Electronics Teacher for any solutions. His suggestions were
either an H Bridge, a dpdt switch as a solution. Returning home, I searched
over the internet and took apart the old used dpdt switch my teacher gave
me as a refernce, and using a Pairwise Comparison Chart, came together
with my group to decide upon which option to select depending on costs,
time and efficiency constraints. Many problems during this phase included
my lack of understanding of this field and the difficulty of constructing the

actual ideas with recycled materials, but through mentors such as my


teacher and the student instructors, I was able to devise ideas to create such
a switch to use for the elevator.
Team activities
Through effective methods such as the gallery method and the 6-3-5
method, each member really got an insight to the many different solutions to
each problem, enriching each other with information and further ideas along
the way. Although at times some individuals carried a bias towards their
solution, through constructive arguments and the Pairwise Comparison
Chart, we were able to pick the best solutions, as was the case with the
reversing mechanism. Whilst another member stood stuck to his rack and
pinion based solution, our leader Zac and also the comparison chart was able
to bring up on everyones opinion to allow us to select the most suitable
solution. A creative aspect we undertook was where I took 2 of my other
group mates to my meet my Electronics teacher with me so we could all
saturate the valuable information he had to pass down to us.
What I learned about design and teamwork from the process
What I learnt from this phase was how it was important to be open minded
throughout the process. While you believe your idea may be the best, others
may feel the same and it is important you give an ear to what they have to
say. We were able to achieve this by building a greater relationship with each
other by meeting up in our own free time to get to know each other and
engaging in social sports, such as cricket. These activities allowed us to
broaden our appreciation of each other and be more understanding of their
viewpoints. Further, to incorporate each members ideas, we implied
techniques such as the Pairwise Comparison and the C-Sketch Method, so
everybodys ideas were heard of and nobody felt left out. Through these
activities, we were able to work effectively as a group and ensure positive
output.