IU – Research

Section One: Research

Product Identification and Description:

My machine is a pencil dispenser, which will be made out of wood and will use a lever or another simple machine to dispense pencils. The machine will be easy to use and will not use take much effort to use. This product will use one or more simple machines, which do not use electricity to make the product work. The aim of my product is to create a pencil dispenser that can always be used and will not require any other resources to use (other than a pencil). School This machine applies to the need of ease and organisation. It applies to the need of ease because it makes the pencils easy to access and store and it also applies to the need of organisation because it provides a space to store pencils. This product could also be helpful for students who forget their pencils, because if they forget their pencils, they can simply get one from the pencil dispenser. The negative side of this is that they might get into a habit of forgetting their pencils. Why I chose this: I chose this machine because when it seemed like something that I could make, which wouldn’t have been too difficult to make, while still being a challenge. I also thought that it would be useful and a unique idea. My other ideas were also not practical and were not very useful things that would not provide very useful solutions to the needs. Another thing that I like is that this product is practical and has one simple use. Design & Info: Pencil Dispenser Design This is a design for my pencil dispenser. It is a wooden box, which will have the front wall half open and the front wall with not be attached to the sides or the bottom, but instead attached to some rods. These rods go through the back wall of the box and when the rods are pressed down from the back, similar to a seesaw, the front part with open up and the pencils will be dispensed. The pencils are inserted into the box from a small pencil shaped hole in the top of the box.   Target Audience: My target audience for this product is students who work at a desk or adults who works at a desk. The reason for this is because this product works best on a desk to table, and stores pencils, which are a product which most people use, but is mostly used by people who work at a desk such as students, teachers or other people with jobs such as a secretary, artist, architect or designer. As a conclusion, this product is useful to many different people around the world but is mostly useful for those who spend their time writing or drawing with pencils or pens.   Environmental Impact: The way this product affects the environment is fairly simple, since it is made out of wood, trees must be cut down which is not good for the environment, but other than that, there are not many other bad effects on the environment. The good thing is, that this product is not powered by electricity, so it will most likely not add to global warming unless it is produced in factories which give off smoke.   Cultural impact: This product also affects culture. It affects it by making pencils easy to dispense in a classroom for students who do not have pencils or forgot them at home. They can simply walk up to the dispenser and tap for a pencil, making it simpler and easier to hand out pencils. The bad thing about this is that students will not have motivation to bring their own pencils and might get into a bad habit, which would not be a very good thing. However, another good thing is that there is a convenient storage space for pencils in a classroom so that pencils do not get lost.   Survey Responses     Anticipating Problems:

  • The front part of the box might be to heavy to be lifted by the rods
  • The pencil dispenser could be heavy
  • The pencils might not fit into the pencil dispenser
  • The dispenser might give people splinters
  • The rods might be hard to push
  • The rods might be uncomfortable to push
  • The dispenser might not be durable enough
  • Pencils might accidentally dispense
  • What can I use to stick it together?
  • It might fall apart if not stuck well.

Anticipating Solutions to Problems:

  • The front part of the box might be to heavy to be lifted by the rods
    • I could make sure I choose rods which are durable and strong and choose a lighter material for the front part of the box.
  • The pencil dispenser could be heavy
    • I can make sure that it is not too heavy by choose a lighter material which is still durable, but lighter than another alternative material.
  • The pencils might not fit into the pencil dispenser
    • I can find an un-sharped pencil, and then measure its size and add 5mm to all of the sides of it to make a big pencil hole which all pencils should fit through
  • The dispenser might give people splinters
    • I could make sure I smoothen the parts before I glue them together. I could smoothen them using sandpaper and/or a file.
  • The rods might be hard to push
    • I can test the rods before I stick the whole thing together so that I know if the rods will work well or not before its too late to change it.
  • The rods might be uncomfortable to push
    • If they are uncomfortable I can add a pad onto them to make them easier and more comfortable to push
  • The dispenser might not be durable enough
    • I can make sure I use durable materials by asking Mr.Thorburn which materials are durable and could also research a little bit online for which material would be good for my product.
  • Pencils might accidentally dispense
    • I could test the product and make modifications accordingly.
  • What can I use to stick it together?
    • I can use a glue gun, but before I glue it I could test with two scarp pieces of material to see if it will work.
  • It might fall apart if not stuck well.
    • I can be careful when sticking the pieces together to make sure that they are stuck well.

Case Study: Three other products which helped influence my product: The Pencil: Pencil   The Seesaw: seesaw     Water Dispenser: Water dispenser     The Physics Behind the Seesaw: This mechanism is a toy designed for children. The toy works when there is one person on each side of the seesaw. When one person pushes up with their feet, they go upwards on the seesaw and the other person goes down, then, when the other person pushes up, they go up and the other person goes back down again. This toy is basically a big lever with seats. There is a board with seats on both sides of it, and that board is attached to a fulcrum in the middle of the board. This way, when one side goes up. The other has to go down because the fulcrum keeps the middle of the board in the same spot.Seesaw2   Ways in Which the Seesaw has been Effective and Ineffective:

  • This mechanism has been effective as a good toy for a playground and has been around for a long time.
  • This toy has been effective as an entertainment device for young children.
  • This has been an effective example of a lever which can be used to explain to children what a lever is.


  • This mechanism has not been very effective at being safe because the seats are usually uncomfortable and sometimes it hurts when one person hits the ground.
  • This mechanism has not been effective at being a toy because if one of the people on it is heavier than the other, the other person might not need to push off because the heavier person is always on the lower end.
  • This mechanism has not been very affective as an easy toy to use, since to get onto it, the seesaw has to be level, because if someone gets onto it before the other, their side will be down and the other end of the seesaw will be up in the air and out of reach.

Social Impacts of the Seesaw: This toy has been effective socially because two people can play on it together at the same time and have fun together, but if there is a group of three friends, one of them will be left out, which is one of the negative affects of this device compared to other playground toys. Also, the seesaw can be dangerous. Environmental Impacts of the Seesaw: To build a seesaw, resources from our world are consumed, seesaws used to be made out of wood, which was bad for the environment because trees were being cut down to create seesaws, but now seesaws are usually made of metal. Metal is probably a better material because it is more durable and can last longer. The negative side of this is that when a seesaw breaks or gets old, it has to be thrown away, which is bad for the environment.   How did the seesaw impact my product: This product gave me the entire idea of adding a lever to my product. Since I have seen the way a seesaw works, I am able to add it into my product to make it work better. Without this product I might have been using a different simple machine to make this product work that might have been more complicated, but since the seesaw was a good example and gave me some inspiration and a good idea. My mechanism works using a lever similar to a see saw which will hopefully work simply and well. Tools which I will use: Handsaw – DT lab: I will use this tool to cut all of the wood into the right shape so that I can later stick it together and create my product. handsaw   Glue Gun – DT lab I will use this tool to glue all of the pieces I cut together so that the product stays in one piece and is a stable product. Glue gun   Sand paper – DT lab I will use this along with the file to keep my wood pieces smooth. Sandpaper     File – DT lab I will use this tool along with the sand paper to make sure my product does not give anyone splinters and stays smooth. File   Steel ruler – DT lab I will use this tool to make sure that all of my measurements are correct and to make sure all the pieces are the right size. Ruler   Pencil – DT lab I will use this tool to make marks on my plywood to make sure I cut at the right place. I will also use pencils to test if the product works since pencils are the items which are being dispensed. Pencil Drill – DT lab I will use this tool to create two holes on the back of the box that will support the levers since no other tool can create a hole in plywood as easy as a drillDrill Materials: Plywood – DT lab Almost my entire product is made out of this material. The parts of it that don’t contain it are; the rods and the piece of balsa wood on top of the rods which helps the user push it down. Plywood   Wooden Dowel – DT lab I will use two wooden dowels to make the rods that are pushed down to dispense a pencil. These rods will be used to make the lever which makes this possible.   Dowel         Balsa wood – DT lab Balsa wood is most likely going to be used as the piece of wood which helps to user press down on the rods. This is because balsa wood is very light, and even though it is not very durable, I do not expect people to push down too hard. Balsa     Design Brief: The product I will create is going to be a pencil dispenser. This product will be a storage space for pencils that can dispense pencils when they are needed. This product will most likely appeal to people from the age of 11 to 30. This is because these people usually use pencils either in school or at work. The product will be easy to use and should be able to be used by anyone. The pencil dispenser uses a simple lever mechanism to dispense the pencils. The pencil dispenser should help people who forget their pencils when they come to class or work, because pencils will be ready to be dispensed in the class/office. The product will not have any paint or color scheme because it will be made of wood and will have the natural color of the wood.   Specification:

  • Size – The size will be big enough to fi the average pencil.
  • Durability – It will be made of a durable material
  • Color – It will not be painted
  • Dispensing – It will dispense pencils
  • Mechanism – It will contain a simple machine
  • Life span – it should last for at least three weeks if used properly
  • Quality – the product should be smooth and should not give users any splinters
  • Safety – the product should be smooth so that the user of the product never receives any splinters from it
  • Cost – the product should cost around 20-30 TL
  • Quality Control – I will make sure that my product is quality and I will check on it with my specification at the end of every lesson.
  • Weight – the weight should be reasonable and should not be too heavy.

Testing Against Specifcation: Size – I will measure a brand new unshaven pencil and make sure put I will make sure that the dispenser is big enough to fit three inside of it widthwise.   Durability – I will ask Mr.Thorburn which materials will be the most durable and then feel the materials to test their strength and durability before I use them.   Color – I will not paint my product because it was part of the specification for it to be the natural color of wood.   Use – I will double check the design to make sure that it actually works and can dispense pencils.   Mechanism – I will make sure that this product has a simple machine included in it by looking at all of the parts of the product and making sure at least one part of it is a simple machine.   Life span – I will use durable materials and research about them to make sure that I use materials which have a longer life span than others.   Quality – I will make sure I spend some time in the create stage filing the materials I use and feeling them to make sure they are smooth.   Safety –  I will make sure that the product does not give the customers splinters by feeling them myself first to see if it is smooth or not, I will also make sure that the pencils do not dispense at too high of a speed.   Cost – I will find the costs for the materials I am using and see if it is around my estimated price of about 15 – 30 TL, then I will send the results from my client and see if I need to change anything to change the price of it.   Quality Control – I will put a reminder for myself at the start of class to compare my product to my specification and will have a specification check list to make sure my product follows most (if not all) specification points.   Weight – I will test the weight of the materials I will use and make sure it is at a reasonable weight before I put the product together.

Works Cited:


Seesaw. Digital image. The Producers Perspective. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://www.theproducersperspective.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/see_saw_2012.jpg>.   Office School Yellow Pencil. Digital image. Sweet Clip Art. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://sweetclipart.com/multisite/sweetclipart/files/office_school_yellow_pencil_2.png>.


Water Dispenser. Digital image. Aguachina.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://www.aguachina.com/fzbright/products/big/201207/Water_Dispenser_1332_21673_1343324321.jpg>. School Kids. Digital image. Live Science. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://i.livescience.com/images/i/000/056/500/i01/school-kids-130831.jpg?1377960689>.


Handsaw. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1a31aeEoSco/T7_DUcv_VJI/AAAAAAAAAGs/4PzLy5PoPdk/s1600/hand_saw.jpg>.


Sand Paper. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://cdn.dickblick.com/items/349/16/34916-1009-3ww-l.jpg>.


Files. Digital image. JH Williams Tool Group. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://www.jhwilliamstoolgroup.com/DSN/wwwjhwilliamstoolgroupcom/Commerce/ProductImages/lg1_004728.jpg>.


Steel Ruler. Digital image. DLS Web. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <https://www.dlsweb.rmit.edu.au/toolbox/electrotech/toolbox1204/resources/03workshop/04measuring/images/steel_ruler.jpg>.


Pencil. Digital image. Gawkerassets.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/17rul1enowtkwjpg/original.jpg>.


Power Drill. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/power-drill-1.jpg>.   Plywood. Digital image. Wikimedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1d/Plywood.jpg>.


Unfinished Wood Dowels. Digital image. Factory Direct Craft. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://factorydirectcraft.com/pimages/20050929145809-917900/12_x_12_unfinished_wood_dowel_rods_5pcs.jpg>.


Balsa. Digital image. Mindsetonline.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://www.mindsetsonline.co.uk/images/balsa.jpg>.



“Attributes of Balsa Wood.” Attributes of Balsa Wood. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://pldaniels.com/flying/balsa/balsa-properties.html>.


“Properties of Plywood?” Ask.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://www.ask.com/question/what-are-the-properties-of-plywood>. “MythBusters.” Discovery Channel. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/about-this-show/physics-of-seesaws.htm>.


“Levers.” EnchantedLearning.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://www.enchantedlearning.com/physics/machines/Levers.shtml>.


“How Does a See-saw Work?” WikiAnswers. Answers, n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_does_a_see-saw_work>.


“Levers.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Sept. 2013. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lever>.