Page 1


The Problem:

Throughout the outdoor equipment world there is a wide variety in choices of stoves, barbeques and other outdoor cooking equipment. For many years there has been a need to collect as much “high-tech” equipment as possible. I shall be attempting to create a product which combines a series of these products to better improve a campers cooking time.

When an adventurer, explorer or camper is on an expedition or trip, three things seem to dignify their entire journey or the length of their trip:

A stove with the ability to boil water and cook food simultaneously is so far not available on the market, there are a variety of systems which can boil water in very little time, however they do not have the ability to do both. There is a need for a stove to be designed and created with this function, therefore allowing the user to save on fuel, weight and their own energy. The stove must be stylised in order to appeal to the target user, and be functional enough to allow confidence within the product,

Design Brief: To design and make an appliance which has a special feature to heat water without the use of a pan or pot and simultaneously cook food. Detailed Brief: To design and manufacture an appliance which is easily transported, light and relatively cheap to manufacture . It should also fit a specific gap in the market, which will enable a better stance when on sale. The main selling point for the product is that it should allow for the quick and efficient heating of water without the user carrying a pot or pan.

Food, Water and Fuel. Without these three aspects, any expedition or trip would fail without remorse. They impose limitations on a trip which can not be worked around. For example, when I became the youngest & fastest Briton to cross Iceland from North— South unsupported, a major concern was that for every day I added, my fuel, water consumption, food and energy-spent increased. This meant that I put myself under a strict time limit for how much I must travel per day—not due to wanting to finish, but because the weight of the rucksack would have been unbearable. There should be a way of decreasing the weight needed to be carried wen camping or exploring.

The advantages of using Wood for the stove:

The advantages of using Acrylic for the stove:

The advantages of using Metal for the stove:

Wood has a Low impact on the environment, it is easily available, there is no tooling costs, it is; usually, a lot cheaper then acrylic or metal. It can be machined with common tools, wood is also stronger then acrylic. However, wood changes shape according to moisture and temperature, and if not compensated for, the product can buckle. Wood is weak along the grain, and can rot—though this will not be a problem. Temperature will be the main problem if I choose to use wood.

Acrylic is light, it can be manufactured in many different colours (a much larger variety then metal or wood paint). Acrylic can have many different finishes, such as matte, gloss or aired, this gives the product much more availability for variation. It has qualities similar to glass, and has many superior to glass (harder to smash/ break). Also depending on the type, it is sometimes lighter then glass. Although this is unsuitable due to the heat, the stove will simply melt the Acrylic

Metal is the strongest of the three, and also the hardest, some metals have a more pristine finish, such as polished chrome. Stainless Steel does not rust or oxidise, which means it will last longer than wood without treatment. Metal is expensive, and some need to be coated, also an expensive procedure, some metals are soft, and would be scratched/indented by other harder metals. Metal will support weight and temperature much better then acrylic, and similar pieces of wood.

Materials The product should reflect a sturdy, strong a durable aesthetic. This will allow the user to take pride in the product, and therefore be confident within its use. This will potentially make the product more attractive to the target market and therefore increase potential sales. The product should be aesthetically appealing to the user and any others who come into contact with the product.

A potential way of evaluating the product will be to let a range of users use the product and take a series of ratings from them all. This will allow me to ascertain whether the product has been successful in achieving its specification.

The size of the product must adhere to the situations guidelines, this means that it must cater for 2-4 people and must be suited to the specific clientele. (e.g. if it were being retailed in Japan, it would be a smaller product than if it were retailed in the US) (Research into the trends of different countries will tell me what styles are most popular).


The product should retail at around £100 with a manufacture cost of around £60, allowing for a 40% profit margin, which could be used and/or separated into other areas such as product marketing etc. The product should be at an appealing price for the target purchaser, and allow for it to be easy affordable by a larger majority than the specific target users. The product should be aimed just above the buyers disposable income therefore creating a more bespoke item. The product should show a higher cost in its aesthetic; than its RRP.


What features do stoves most commonly have?

What could/should be added to improve the product?

What could/should be excluded to improve the product?

What aesthetic qualities should the stove entail?

How can the stove be improved by the manufacture of the product?

What moral, social, and environment issues are there concerning the features of the stove?

Above shows the target market persona and a list of criteria which I am aiming the product towards. This will allow me to develop and produce the product towards a specific area of the market. This is an advantage because it will allow me to produce parts of the product which will fit a potential users requirement identified by the target profile.

In Conclusion: This page has allowed me to process a series of preliminary ideas which will help guide me onto the next stages of my design process. The target profile will act as a reference for future pages in the portfolio whilst helping keep the product relevant to my projected consumer group. The ideas about materials, costs and the aesthetic also display my original ideas for solving my shown problem. I am happy with the brief shown and will enjoy working on this project over the coming months.

Research Page: On this page I shall show what topics I expect to be researching in order to get enough knowledge to help me produce a set of innovative, functional and aesthetically appealing design ideas. This page will allow me to get a better understanding of what areas should be researched in more or less depth, and which areas will be prominent throughout the project or just within the research stages. I shall create a similar table later in the portfolio showing the key areas within the research I conducted. To the right of this text box I have shown a Gantt chart highlighting the time frames which I shall give myself in order to complete all areas within the design and manufacture process with enough care and attention to achieve the best possible outcome for the product. I shall use this page thoroughly throughout this project.





Ergonomics (How Instinctive is the Product)

People Size

Using the Software People-Size

This allows me to create a hypothetical person with the stereotypical attributes of my Target Market, showing me the sizes and measurements, therefore enabling me to suit my Product with more specific guidelines.

Aesthetics (How Should the Product be Designed)

Survey / Market Research

Looking into the current market and seeing which styles and designs are most popular towards my target consumer.

This will give me a good idea on the style which is currently available for my product and give me the opportunity for an informed decision on whether I follow the trend - if there is a trend in the design styles.

Environment (Impact on the Environment)

Internet / Local Businesses

Looking at the Environmental issues of using Coal, Gas or another means of fuel for the Product

Environmental issues are a large part of today's societies, therefore my product should be as environmentally friendly as possible - although this may be a compromise with the price of the Product.

Safety (Regulations which could affect product)


Looking at the Internet to find out Safety Requirements on products similar to mine.

Safety Requirements affect the Design of the Product enabling and disabling some aspects and features of which the product can have.

Dimensions (What size/shape should it be?)

Internet / Questionnaire / People-Size

Using a questionnaire and physical properties to attempt to understand what size and shape the product needs to be.

Questionnaire (Find out the Public opinion)


Making a Questionnaire and giving it to the relevant people.

This will allow me to get a better understanding of the type of stove/heater people would want, it will give me a better insight into the preferred design of current stove’s and a better understanding of how my Product should look/work. The dimensions of the Product will govern the design, having to compensate for the amount of people, the sizes of the grill, the water vessel and overall size.

Trends and Styles (What styles would the product benefit from)

Internet, Questionnaire, Popular Products.

Looking at the products which have become popular in different countries. Asking different nationalities what styles are most commonly seen in their countries.

This will allow me to suit the product more properly to the target market, by looking at trends in the market, I can estimate the popularity of the product and therefore tailor its aesthetics, cost, and features allowing a better stance at the market.

History of Styles

Internet, Style Books

Looking through books and the internet to find suitable styles for the product and how they could be adapted to suit its particular function.

This will allow me to get a good understanding of how the product should be styled and allow it to be suited to a particular trend of designtype.


Behind DT Centre

By lighting a range of commercial charcoal in the most common methods and allowing it to get This will allow me to get a reading of the average/maximum/minimum temperature of the charcoal, so I can therefore design the product to to the right temperature. Measuring at a series of distances from heat sources. account for the heat distortion and warping which could happen under these stresses.

How to use a stove

Books, Method/Instruction Manuals

Reading a range of instruction manuals, talking to a stove Catering company/stove retailing company.

This will allow me to get a good understanding of the most appropriate and most common method of lighting a stove and using a stove.

Product Analysis

Commercial retail

Looking at a specific product to be able to analyse its good points and bad points.

This will give me a good idea of what features the product should ascertain in order to be viable at market.

Wood/Charcoal/Lump wood


Using each and seeing the most efficient by overall time at max heat comparing to time.

This will allow me to tailor the stove to ‘prefer’ a specific material, therefore increasing customer satisfaction.

Value/Cost Diagrams

Reviews/Existing Product Analysis

Using a common rating system to assess the value of the products and plotting the results against the cost.

This will enable me to see a gap in the market , therefore allowing me to tailor the product to suit the gap.

Water w/ Temperature


Measuring the time a certain volume of water takes to boil, with a certain surface area in direct contact with the heat.

This will allow me to get an accurate set of results displaying values for how much water should be in direct contact with the heat to allow for the most efficient heating.

Metal reactions w/ Temperature


Attaining values for how certain thicknesses of different metals react with certain temperatures.

This will allow me to ascertain which metal would be most suitable for the most efficient heat transfer to the water.

Market Research

Internet, Catalogues

Research existing products to understand their attempts at solving the problem of heating water.

This will allow me to get a better idea of existing methods of heating water without carrying a lumber some pot/pan.



Look at areas where this product could be used, looking at Environmental protection and checking whether this fits the target demographic.

This will enable me to get a clearer understanding of how/if my product could/would be used in everyday life.


Design Strategy: Firstly, I shall create a range of ideas which adhere to the specification and give brief ideas of measurements and materials.

This is so I can get start to group ideas together, and get a good fundamental idea of how the product could look and work, giving thought to the materials working properties and suitability to the project.

After this step, I shall create a design matrix, showing the shortlist of ideas of which are adhering to the specification and show innovative ideas which can be used to help solve the problem.

This is so I can fairly compare and rank each design, showing the good and bad points giving a good summary of what each Idea ‘is about’, allowing me to show the client a good fair list of which he can propose he preferred.

Then I shall pre-evaluate the design, this will allow me to give me feedback about the design, showing the good/ bad points and which areas I think could be more useful and which areas should be omitted.

This will allow me to get a better understanding of the needs and allow me to adapt and change the ideas to suit any altered or specific needs.

With this information I shall create 1-3 separate design ideas which combines the features of many/most of the advantages throughout the other ideas. Then making an informed decision as to which idea I shall go through with.

This is a preliminary measure which will allow me to create a better more adapted range of ideas focusing on any alterations or adaptations needed to suit the client. I am expecting that these designs will look similar, but appeal to different problems.

I shall then make a full scale model out of acrylic of the chosen design idea, this will allow me to properly visualise the idea, showing me any functions or mechanisms which need rethinking or adapting.

This will allow me to properly visualise the product, suggesting any changes which need to be made, or any minor details which need to be adapted.

I shall then experiment with different materials to see which would be the most suited for the stove project.

This will allow me to get a better understanding of which materials will work with the product, and which materials are unsuitable, taking into account the working properties of the materials and compromise between price and performance.

I shall then produce more sketches of the design, showing the materials and details of any moving part or places on the design which need more attention.

This is so I can clarify any areas which may still need checking, also meaning I shall be able to focus on any intricate details which could not be shown on the acrylic model.

Then I shall create the design on CAD and give a more detailed view of the idea, by showing sizes, chosen materials and any areas which need revisiting.

This is so I can fully show all the parts needed, any joins which may be under too much stress and artificially test any problems with corrosion, erosion and strain.

Finally, I shall create an orthographic drawing of the Final Design Idea, showing a much more detailed version of what the product should look like, with an included parts list allowing me to get a better understanding of the cost of the Product.

Finally, this is created so I can make a fully planned, annotated, drawing of literally ‘how to make the product’ which would allow any manufacturer or developer to use and create the product. The parts list will enable me to get an idea of the price of the product and finalize any comprises between materials.

My Client: Alastair Humphreys

This extract was taken off Alastair Humphreys' website as it gives a brief biography of why I thought he would be a suitable client. Alastair is a world renown adventurer and so comes into contact with outdoor products and cookers almost every day. Alastair has agreed to guide me through my project and give me first hand solutions to any issues that arise. Alastair fits my target market criteria well and will give me a good idea of what people in his socio economic group and profession would enjoy using. This is benefit to me as it gives me direct insight as of any problems which he has experienced using existing products. I am very grateful to Alastair for agreeing to help me out and look forward to working with him throughout the portfolio.

Client Feedback: After having described the idea of being my client he was thrilled to be asked to work with me. In his words “throughout the outdoor products world there is not enough communication between companies and clients experienced in the areas their products are used in, so you approaching me rather than an outdoor company is highly commended”. I then described the situation to Alastair, of which he confirmed that there is definitely a need for a solution to this problem. I then asked about existing products which actually solve this problem (though maybe in a different way), to which he replied “Jetboil, Jompy and a standard outdoor stove”. Alastair had enlightened me to the knowledge that there was no existing product which solved this problem entirely, only products which were “designed with other things in mind” as he puts it. This conversation gave me confidence in the need for a product like mine, and also that there was definitely a market for it. The competition for a product in this area is very high, however this means that with good detailed, in depth product analysis I can deduce where the other products are going wrong, and which areas I can improve them in order to make the most successful product aimed at solving this problem. I shall continue to communicate with Alastair throughout the design process, as he is an invaluable resource in terms of insight into my target market.


300 g System weight does not include pot support and fuel stabilizer.)


27 oz (0.8 Liter)

Boil Time

16 oz (0.5 Liter) = 2 minutes, 15 seconds

Water Boiled

12 Liters per 100g Jetpower canister


4.1” x 6.5” (104 mm x 165 mm)

Multi-Fuel: Reliably burns more liquid fuels than any other stove. Dependable: Easy to field maintain; Shaker Jet™ cleans fuel jet with a simple shake. Compact: Flexible fuel line allows stove to fit in a 1.5-liter MSR pot. Superfast: Boils 1 litre of water in just 2.8 minutes (using kerosene fuel).

Jetboil SOL Advanced cooking system:

Extra-Stable: Retractable legs and pot supports provide a secure platform.

The Jetboil has a built in windbreaker, therefore increasing the efficiency.

The Jetboil has a built in oxnio-ignitor. The allows te user to simply press a button and stove ignites, therefore minimalizing the chances of injury to the users hand.


The entire Jetboil cooking system fits within its clip on mug.

The Jetboil system weighs only 300g

The Jetboil is one of the most efficient outdoor stoves available on the market.

The user can vary the amount of heat using the stainless steel turner.

 Disadvantages:

There is only one item which this stove can cook at any one time. There is only one vessel for food to be cooked OR water to be heated, therefore meaning that overall the gas used will accumulate making a less efficient stove.

The Jetboil has insulated it’s heat to the extent that the user will not burn themselves when using the stove.

 

The stove can only have a certain size gas canister used (or else the small storage function is invalid). The stove is can not cook “proper” food such as anything that needs to be fried or slow cooked. The stove limits the user to water based foods.

MSR: One of the worlds leading brands in outdoor cooking equipment, MSR have combined knowledge from their portfolio to create this superb stove. Advantages: The stove has a specifically designed wind guard allowing for better protection from the elements.

There is a wide variety of accessories which can be used to give the product extra functions.

The Jetboil can be used in temperatures down to –6C

Includes: Fuel pump, windscreen, heat reflector, small-parts kit, instructions, and stuff sack. (Fuel bottle not included.)

The stove features titanium stable, retractable legs. The stand for the pot is serrated meaning better grip on the pot. Therefore decreasing the chance of it moving when boiling. The user only needs to shake the product to clean the gas nozzle, allowing for an easier repair and more durable product. A very wide range of fuels can be used with the stove. Such as white gas, kerosene, petrol, diesel etc.

The overall packed size is larger than an equivalent stove with the same function.


The product must be kept in a warm environment else the gas will liquefy.

Repairing the product is more challenging due to the amount of complex, small parts,

The gas specific to the product is seldom found in less populated areas.

Because of the wind protector, the retractable and moving parts, the product is heavier to use than others in its area.

The stove needs to be “primed” each time before it is used. The stove features a dispersal plate meaning that the flames are dispersed efficiently in the area directly above the pot stands.

The Jompy: The Jompy is the first of it’s kind in the camping and backpacking market. The idea was that the product sat above a heat source, water funnelled throughout the pipes and came out at a warm 78C— effectively filtering the water. The product never successfully made it to market and was halted in 2009 due to the fact it didn't work.


Advantages: The entire system is low to the ground therefore allowing the user to feel it is very stable. The product has a built in wind guard to protect the wider cooker from the elements and also features a much larger cooking area. The Gas bottle is also inverted in this model allowing for any remnants left in the bottle to be used thoroughly. Larger pot gives the users wider range of foods.

The built/packed size of the product is large, and heavy. Whereas the other systems are designed so they can fit into one another—this system does not feature such a niche. The pot designed for this system is also very large, this means packing when traveling light will be an issue. The two stands need packing and are made of two separate materials of different sizes and strengths, this means that the product will have a varying degree of stability and will be dependant on where the user places them.



Heats water to 60C efficiently,

Not very durable,

Can be used with a variety of sources of water.

Any clogs have to be flushed out.

Variety of different heat sources can be used.

Restricted to one colour/design.


Need specific sizes for different stoves.

Simple to use, 2 connections.

Unhygienic to blow any excess water out the tube.

How long does a certain volume of water take to boil whilst camping? The usual method to boil water for tea/dry-food pouches whilst camping is to fill a pot or pan with the desired amount of water, place it above a stove and wait for the entire amount of water to be boiled. Depending on the stove and the volume of water, this can take between 2 and 7 minutes. The problem with this classic method is that the user is having to use fuel to cook the food, fuel to boil the water and then wait for both processes to finish before they can eat/drink. On this page I shall show my research to get accurate figures and values of the assumptions I have made above, therefore giving me benchmarks which I can test my final product against in my evaluation.

Experiment II: How hot does the stove get? Equipment: Gas camping stove, thermometer. Method: Place the thermometer 4cm above the centre of the flame.

Experiment I: Time how long it takes to boil of water. Equipment:

Measure the temperature at 30 second intervals.

Gas camping stove, 1litre pot, stopwatch, thermometer, cup. Method: Place the pot above the stove and fill with the pot with water..


Start the stove at half temperature (Stove has optimum working temperature).

The graph shows the variation of heat of the temperature of the stove to the time taken. The line is a concave graph which plateaus near the end and stays at a constant temperature of around 600C.

Take readings at 30 second intervals.

The final temperature is 600C whereas the peak is 602C.

Time how long it takes to boil the water. Repeat 3 times in order to reduce random error

Results: The graph shows the average temperature between three sets of reading at 30 second intervals until the water reached 100 degrees. Each point signifies the average of three values at that point. The graph shows that it took 5.5 minutes for the water to boil. Ideally my product should be designed to boil the same amount of water, quicker than 5.5 minutes.

Experiment III: Will a thin sheet of Aluminium deform or defect when over heat from a camping stove? Equipment: High temperature thermometer, three sheets of Aluminium of different alloys and sizes. Method: Start the highest temperature gas stove and wait until it is fully primed and producing heat at the highest level. Place bars of Aluminium over the heat source, note any deformed parts or changes the metals undergo. Results: There was no change in the size/shape/colour of the bars.

The materials: Mild Steel, Aluminium, Stainless Steel. I chose these materials for different reasons: Mild Steel: Readily available, Easy to Shape, Weld able, available in many different cuts and it is also relatively cheap (When polished it is very appealing). Aluminium: Lightweight, very corrosion resistant, strong at low temperatures, easy to work with, nonmagnetic, recyclable, does not rust., hygienic, non porous., relatively inexpensive (bauxite is the third most abundant mineral). Stainless Steel: High corrosion resistance, resists scaling at high temperatures, many new appliances are made from stainless steel; this gives the user quality recognition. It has a good strength to weight ratio, allows for long-term usability due to its natural resistance to many toxins etc. The results of the experiment above show this, the order in which the metals were affected due to the heat was; Aluminium, Mild Steel, Stainless Steel—this shows that the Stainless Steel has a better resistance to scaling/melting with the introduction of excess heat. However, there is disadvantages of these metals, such as: Mild Steel: It is not strong for its weight, it oxidises easily and can not be improved by heat treatment. Aluminium: Not particularly strong, it is not strong therefore scratches easily, it is more expensive than variations of steel of the same/greater strength. Stainless Steel: High initial cost (although perceived as high-quality when used), not very malleable, high cost for finishes, heat marks can form when exposed to high temperatures.

Materials Research: My preliminary thoughts for this project were that the product should be made from Aluminium. I had the idea of using this mainly because Aluminium is easy to work with, it can be milled and withstands heats of up to 600C. Aluminium also does not change colour when it is hot or has been hot for sustained periods of time. After looking further into the use of Aluminium for a camping stove I realised that the material has certain limitations in terms of its alloys; some can reach higher temperatures than others and some can be milled easier than other s, for example. Following this knowledge I decided to ask an expert on their opinion as to what Alloy I should use. I contacted Alan Peel, Managing Director of Altek (a leading Aluminium Casting Company) who passed my query onto Tom Siddle, Technical Manager of the Aluminium Foundation of England.

Experiment IV: The graph above shows the variation of distance to temperature of the gas stove. I chose to attempt this experiment because it allowed me to check how close to the heat source I would have to be to get the highest amount of heat from the stove to my product in order to heat the water. This will help me design the product so it can be as close to the heat source without inhibiting the heat transferring to the stove. I shall show my results as a bird eye view of a camping stove with sizes to scale showing the highest temperatures reached an the lowest. I assume that these will be higher closest to the stove and the temperatures will decrease the further you get from the stove.

After I had been given this information, Alan Peel (a similar outdoor enthusiast) was querying the idea behind the product. He asked me a series of questions about my initial inspiration for attempting the project and what I intended to gain from it when I finish. Alan Peel has been an invaluable resource so far and will continue to be so throughout my product design and development process. He has offered any assistance in sourcing the Aluminium in a small or large scale which will help me manufacture a series of prototypes for my project without any high down payments. I shall continue to refer to Alan for design, material and some technical advice as I continue the project.

Conclusion: This page has showed a excerpt of an emailing list I have had with very senior members of Aluminium importing and processing companies. Both Alan and Tim will be brilliant resources for any issues or problems I come across when working with the Aluminium and they are very keen to see the product come to fruition. I have been fortunate to have received their help as of yet and shall keep them informed as to how the development process if going. They are both keen to express ideas and opinions on the product, in return for their good gesture I have asked Alan to step into a secondary client role. This will involve him looking through design ideas and giving his advice on whether any changes would be possible to manufacture. I am happy Alan will be supporting me through this project and look forward to his technical expertise.

The image (right) shows a simple Solidworks rendering of a stove with concentric circles about the centre point. The circles represent the different distances at which reading have been taken in the graph above. The highlighted orange circle is the distance at which I believe the majority/all the water should be flowing over as much as possible. The orange circle represents the largest radius from the centre point at which the water should travel to still receive a high enough heat in order to boil the water. These values are all theoretical and assuming that the gas flow into the burner is constant (which it isn’t). The experiment has given me a good indication as to where the water should be passing over in order to receive the highest amount of heat. This test has proven valuable as it has allowed me to visualise a distinct value that the product should be held from the middle of the stove.

Water Research: There are various temperature requirements for water which my product will need to achieve, these vary from simply making a good cup of tea, to purifying and decontaminating a natural water source. On this page I shall show the research and conclusions detailing what temperatures my product will need to bring the water to.

Black Tea: I researched a variety of websites in order to get a value for the right temperature of making tea, states that black tea is the most robust of all the teas. The website guide states that it should be brewed with water reaching and above 85C (as shown on the graph). Black tea is common with wild and extreme environment campers because of the lack of available fresh milk.

White Tea: White Tea is a much more delicate tea on comparison to black tea, it should be brewed at no less than 75C to 80C. Milk is a pre-requisite to white tea (usually carried in condensed form). White tea is much more prevalent with the Casual and Glamping group because they would usually have the means/ time to store and produce the tea. It is a much more time inductive process than black tea.

Coffee: The Black Bear Brewing Company recommends brewing Coffee at 95C. This is because brewing at 100C will burn the coffee, brewing coffee at beneath 91C will mean the coffee will not extract properly. Coffee is popular within the a wide range of outdoor activities as it has a high caffeine content and is lightweight. Milk is also optional.

Safe temperature for washing: Heating water to a safe-drinking level: Many wild and extreme environment campers will sometimes be in a situation where they’re only source of water is a stream, spring or river. This water could contain a variety of protozoans and bacteria which could lead to legionnaires, diarrhoea and many other dangerous illnesses. In 2010 the FDA produced guidelines stating that to get a natural water source safe to drink the consumer must bring it to a minimum of 70C. The FDA state that by doing this, 98% of all water-Bourne bacteria found in the UK and US will become inactive and unable to harm the consumer. The remaining 2% is un-harmful bacteria which neither helps nor hinders the consumer. The only problem with this method is the water is not “clean” it is just un-harmful. There could still be a series of dead cells or residue left in the water, though many campers will know how to get around this.

Water Pasteurization: Water pasteurization is a technique involving bringing water to a certain temperature, holding it there for a specific amount of time, then dropping it rapidly. The process is used in small scale treatment of water in order to deactivate microbes and make the water safe to drink. The disadvantages of this method are that it rids the water of less microbes and bacteria than the FDA approved method and that it requires the ability to hold the water at a certain temperature. The reason consumers use this method is simple the ease, in many third world countries pasteurization is achieved by using a reflective metal surface and thin layer of water. I shall bear in mind this method but I shall not carry it forward with my specification.

If water is to be used for washing, the United Kingdom Healthcare Association ltd states that water must not exceed 48C however it should have been brought above 35C for it to be an effective means of washing the hands or body. When Wild or Extreme environment camping, one of the main problems is personal hygiene. Many users will wash their toothbrushes, hands and body in possibly dangerous streams or rivers. According to the UKHA, this is dangerous and can be made considerably less dangerous by using water which has been brought to this temperature. Consumers within the Glamping and Casual camping group may not have a problem with this, however—from experience, many shower/hot water facilities in campsites have a limited amount of water which runs early into the day.

Conclusion: The above graph shows a series of minimum temperature requirements for different applications of hot water. It also allows met to focus on specific values which will ensure the consumer gets the best possible tea/coffee available. The graph shows that as a minimum, the water must reach 75C. This is because the brief states that the product must enable the user to simultaneous heat water for a hot drink and cook food at the same time. White tea has the lowest required temperature whilst still being above the necessary temperature for the water to not be considered harmful and therefore should be used as the minimum temperature the product must achieve in order for it to be deemed successful. This information shall be added to a specification, which shall be reviewed in my evaluation and then then amended with any necessary changes or notes.

The Features of this Group:

Value—Cost Diagram:

All points in the group except the highest cost and the second highest cost were finished in polished stainless steel, and were mainly static/ heavy. The main reasons for this is that these were multi fuel cooking systems. These systems have a much greater flexibility in terms of fuel use. This explains why this group seems to be floating above the “best cost” line.

This diagram shows the Cost of the each product, marked against the Value of the product. This allows the user of the graph to find a “gap” in the market. This is used because it allows the designer to pinpoint an area where the product would (a) come against the least competition and (b) incorporate features from the products which have either a lower cost or a higher value on the scale. Therefore improving the product significantly by looking directly at the products in the specific area of the market. The Value-Cost diagram to the left works as follows: The green pins stand for a product on the market. The further right the green pin, the higher the rating on Amazon. The higher the product, the more expensive. (The white numbering to the left of each pin signifies the RRP of the product). The white line on the middle of the diagram shows the trend which the market as of (27/09/2012) is/was following.

The Features of this Group: How I created the Diagram: This group is completely beneath the best cost line, therefore showing that the products are inexpensive for their rating. This is because all the products in this group are all gas based systems. These are specific to use one type of fuel and therefore generally have less material/components in order to complete the finished product.

I looked on to find the RRP of 32 products. I chose as it also enabled me to take advantage of their rating system. The Amazon rating system works as follows: 1 star: I hate it 2 stars: I don't like it 3 stars: It's OK 4 stars: I like it 5 stars: I love it Amazon then uses its own software to collaborate the amount of stars each product achieves and gives the product a rating out of 5. This meant that I could accurately produce a ‘value’ of each product.

The Red Band:


The Features of this Group:

There are however some problems with the Amazon rating system (which I have found through personal experience and anomalous readings on the chart).

This group is low cost in comparison to the rating, however—it does have the lowest ratings overall. This shows that the consumer is willing to pay a much higher price tag for a product which has the same rating. After investigating the products in this group, the only real standout differences between the two features were that they were made with a polished stainless steel finish, they were heavier (on the whole) and had a point of interest (e.g. a change of colour, material etc.). The products were well built, this is shown as when I looked at the reviews, the majority mentioned that the product had not warped, discoloured or broken.

The bottom right reading with the price labelled 19.48 has a very high rating and a very low price. I am however sceptical as the reading does not follow any significant trend. This was shown by it being the furthest distance on average on the x/y scale from the trend line. After seeing the chart I looked into my original readings to find the possible cause as to how this product was given such a good score. I relooked at the product and it showed that the product had been rated by 2 people. One of whom was rating its use as a paper burner, this therefore can be exempt

I have identified the red band as the potential niche in the market as there is far fewer products in this area, it is below the average cost, however at a clearly very high rating. This means I must design and manufacture a product which gets a rating between the 4-5 band, and priced around £60.00. The absence around the band shows that this area has been overlooked, or there is only a small profit margin.

In Conclusion: This page has been helpful as it has shown be a specific area of the market which I should target to enable me to make the most potential sales, therefore giving me a supposed price and an idea of features which I should exploit. The main advantages of this page are that it has allowed me to group certain products and investigate as to why their product landed at a specific area on the graph. This investigation has allowed me to target the area where the most potential sales could take place. The graph has also allowed me to get a good idea of what products are available on the commercial market—therefore enabling me to get a more detailed idea of the competition between products and where mine would have the least competition yet a reasonably high selling rate. This gives me a conclusive start point in the research and development section of this portfolio as it allows me to specifically evaluate which research is necessary to my product,.

Analysis of the Diagram: I have circled points to show grouped trends in the market. The criteria to be included into a specific group is that they need to be in around the same price range and or the same value range.

The upper four points (circled in blue) show a trend where the products are at a higher cost than average (average being shown by the trend line) and a very high value. However, these products are more expensive than what they should be. Beneath this group there is an obvious gap in the market (where the red is highlighting). This gap can be explained by either the fact that where the highest valued products are, the more money people are willing to spend, as it gives them a sense of wealth by owning the product itself, and therefore companies have adjusted the majority of these products to a higher price, therefore increasing the profit margin. The lowest yellow circle of four green pins (circled in green) were rated at around 4/5 and priced at around £40, this group of products is better than average as it is less expensive and rated 1.3 stars better than the average. This shows that this group of products is well designed and well priced, and therefore a very good set of products, I shall highlight the key similarities and investigate why these products are so highly valued and lowly priced. The top left yellow circle containing two further pins are priced at almost double the previous pins however rated at the same place on the value axis. This shows that people still see their value as high/equal to group B, however are willing to pay almost double the amount of money. I have investigated this above.

Questionnaire: I established the questionnaire (shown left) in order to get solid information concerning the more popular products in the market, products which mine could interact with and whether people believe the problem I am trying to solve is an important one. The results from this questionnaire shall be useful to me, as it will allow me to tailor my design to what the consumer wants. The entire questionnaire will give me more in depth knowledge into my target market. The answer to each question is translated into values from 1-4, from left to right. I questioned 50 people, taking no precedent or biased as to who I approached.

Weeks spent camping

How often do you go camping? I asked this question because it would allow me to “narrow down” which specific group of campers take which equipment, it is safe to assume the more people go camping, the more their lifestyle is adapted to going camping.

12% 0-1 Weeks


The results for this question show that the majority of consumers visiting Cotswold Outdoor on average go camping between 2 and 4 weeks each year, closely followed by 0-1 week and 4-6 weeks.

2-4 Weeks


4-6 Weeks 6+ Weeks


What sort of camping? Different types of camping require different products to serve similar purposes. A person camping in extreme environments would need much lighter, more specialist equipment than someone who is Glamping. This question will give me solid evidence of this, and also allow me to gauge which type of camper my product should be aimed at. I expected Glamping to be a more popular choice than the results show, this could be down to the negative reputation Glamping receives within the outdoor community, so consumers may have chosen to tick “Casual camping” instead. Wild and casual camping were equally the most popular followed by extreme environment and Glamping.

People Glamping

Extreme Environment

Casual Camping

Specialist Equipment: I then asked whether they use any specialist camping equipment—this was an important question because it allowed me to ascertain which groups of campers (Wild/Casual/Glamp/Extreme) use what sort of technology, however—I was mainly focused on the following two questions. Which 32/50 answered.

Wild Camping










Which stove do you use: The most popular stove used by my target market has a big impact on my product. If I design it to fit the most popular type of stove, it allows me to get a much wider potential consumer group. Each model of stove is different however I can assume a gas stove will be very similar to another model of gas stove, the same goes for each of the other types. The results show that Gas stoves were the most popular out of all the options. These were followed by Solid-fuel then natural then multi-fuel, interestingly, the extreme environment campers all chose the multi-fuel stoves. Which water bladder do you use: 12%

This is an important question in terms of the project, since the start of this project I have had the thoughts of “where to get the water from”. If it is possible to draw the water straight from a hydration bladder then it should be a much more ergonomic product. In order to research whether it is possible, I need to specialise on one make of bladder. This question should allow me to focus on that make.




The results show that the ‘Platypus’ make of hydration bladder is the most popular. I shall do a product analysis on this later in order to see any possible amendments or ideas.


In retrospect, the final question could be omitted from the questionnaire as it is asking people to visualise a product which does not yet exist. This page has given me a series of values which I shall use in the specification and in the product development section. I shall design the product to attach to a Platypus if possible, it shall be suitable for Gas stoves and weight less than 920G and be aimed at Wild/Casual campers.







How much do you fill your water bladder: This question allows me to ascertain whether people prefer using their water bladder or another source of water. The idea is that if someone fills their bladder fully, then they should have water left over—whereas if they fill their bladder partially or less, then there will not be water left over.





The results of this question show that the majority of people fill their water bladders between 1lt and 2lt. This is expected because the majority of commercially available water bladders are fillable to just over 2lt.


How much fuel would you carry on a 3 day camp: This question is important because it allows me to gauge the weight that the user will be carrying in fuel, and let me design my product so it should weigh less than that amount. This whall be included in my specification. The results show that the majority of people carry two canisters on a 3 day camp. Average weight of a camping gas cylinder is 460G, x2 = 920G. Average weight of two full fuel bottles is 700G. This gives me a benchmark as to light my product must be.




Research Reference


The Sizes

A detailed page on dimensions and sizes is Following

This is shown on page x

1.1 Age

The Product must be suitable for men between the age of 21 55.

Men between that age range are the main income to a family an have the supposedly the disposable income to buy this product.

Consumer Profile

1.2 Socio-Economic Group

The product must be suitable for most socio-economic groups but be primarily aimed at the middle and upper class.

The product is moderately expensive and middle/upper class potentially having more disposable income. Consumer Profile Men are the people who look for outdoor equipment and are usually given the deciding vote. Consumer Profile

1.3 Gender

2.3 Texture

The product must appeal primarily to men. The product must be made and show the materials it is made from however incorporate the brand colours. So people who see/use the product will subconsciously link it to my brand. Internet The product must look aesthetically appealing yet be resistant to If the product is not appealing, the majority shall not buy it. If the product the weather. corrodes, the majority will not buy it. Market Research This is so the owner feels confident that the product will last when left outside, The product must feel smooth to touch, yet rugged. yet be proud about its physical appearance. Market Research

3.1 Strength

The product must be strong enough to support itself against drops, damages and wind.

2.1 Colour 2.2 Finish

This is so the product can be used in almost any circumstance or situation therefore enabling a better product.

3.4 Capabilities

This is because the majority of users carry/fill their platypus’s with 1litre of The product must be able to boil at least 1 litre of water. water. The product needs to weigh less half the average amount of fuel So there is an obvious advantage to using the product as opposed to the a multi day camper carries and fit within the same space. traditional method. The product must be able to be taken apart and fit within easily So the product is more compact therefore allowing easy storage, and can be within a rucksack. carried if the consumers intends so.

4.1 Performance Requirements

The products materials must withstands heats of up to 600°C .

3.2 Volume/Capacity 3.3 Size Constraints

Internet/Interview Health and Safety Consumer Profile/ Questionnaire Consumer Profile

4.2 Planned Obsolence

This is so the material (metal) does not deform while the product is being used. Heat/Size Constraints This is so the product can be used without having to replace the entire product , There must be an option to replace parts within the product. therefore making it more appealing to the consumer. Situation The product must last for a 3 year period before any upgrade is This is so it allows any major design changes to be implemented after the user available. has gained confidence with the brand. Market Research

4.3 Operational Requirements

The product must be able to be carried and lightweight.

4.2 Durability

The product must bring water to above 90C.

This is so there is an availability for the product to be used outside the home. So the user can boil water for tea, coffee or dry-food and decontaminate the water.


The product must have protrusions for a frying pan to sit on.

So the frying pan can be heated without relying on the material’s conductivity. Questionnaire


The product must have the least manufacture time/skill as possible

This is so the product can be made and sold with an economically efficient turn around, therefore decreasing the initial costs from the company.

The product must be marketable for 5 years.

This is so after the first 3 years, two products will be available to the consumer, any improvements can be made to the original product. Market Research

The materials must be sourced from legal sources.

So the product is produced without interfering with the statutory right of the workers.

The product must be recyclable.

This creates a better brand image to the consumer, it is better for the environment and more sustainable. Interview

5.3 Material Selection

Certain parts must be re-usable for later versions of the product. The product must made of materials in which the properties o the materials exceed the demand.

Therefore decreasing the overall cost to the consumer and making the product more sustainable. This is to ensure the product will not fault or damage when in use or over a period of time.

6.1 Safety

The product must make aware the user that the entire product is hot whilst in use.

This is to stop the user from injuring his/her self in the use of the product.


There must be no sharp corners/edges.

This is to stop the user from cutting themselves, whilst handling the product.


The Product must contain Health and Safety Guidelines, giving all relevant information about the 'danger points'

This is required when Selling a Product of this Type by EU Health & Safety Law


There must be an obvious connection between the parts This is because it makes the probability of the user endangering themselves or of the product which are hot and dangerous. others whilst using the product.


The product must hold all boiling water.


4.4 Predetermined Production Process 4.5 Product Life Span 5.0 Social/Moral Issues 5.1 Recycling 5.2 Re-Use

7.1 Retail Margin 7.2 RRP (Recommended Retail Price)

7.3 Amortisation 7.4 Variables 8.1 Brand Image 8.2 Fashion 9.1 Specific Data for Target Market


Legal Reasons

Interview Questionnaire/Interview

There must be a profit margin >35%

Boiling water/steam is the most dangerous part of the product. This is so the products are still reasonably priced, yet expensive enough for the company to make a profit

The Product must be priced between £50—£60.

This is so the product fits into its potential gap in the market. Therefore potentially increasing the number of sales. Retail

This is because it allows the company to gain funds for the next start up cost of The product must make a profit after the first 0.5 seasons. another series of the product and requisite funds from the original start up costs. There must be additions/variables available for the This is so the product can approach a large target market, rather then a specific product, possible colours etc. clientele The product must reflect a clean, modern yet rugged brand This is so the product is easily recognisable as part of this brands product line The product must be made of metal and finished with a chrome/lookalike finish. This is so the product reflects the recent changes within the modern market The product must be designed primarily for middle/upper This is so the preliminary consumer feels comfortable when around the product, class families (height, design)


Retail Retail Retail Retail

The square shape would mean the product is easy to store, however harder to carry.


Design A: This design features an inlet and outlet pipe (shown in pink) and a series of fins which are designed to slow the water down. This causes the water to have longer/further to travel over the heat source, giving it more energy and increasing the likely hood of the water boiling.

The fins mean the water can not travel the straight line between the inlet and outlet pipes. This may not be the most efficient method, and the shown fins are simply a demonstration of an idea, I shall look into which “shape” would mean the water should travel furthest.


Rubberized barbs should allow for a quick easy connection between the product, the output hose and the platypus. The connection would be a simple push on fit, watertight and lightweight.

40mm 20mm

The product will act as an open bath, therefore allowing the latent heat from the boiling water to heat a frying pan (or other) which is sitting on top of the product.

The advantages of this design are; there is a small volume of water over a large surface area. The fins will allow for a much longer path that the water must travel over the heat source. A square size will be much easier to store than any other shape. The product should be lightweight and simple to use.

The black pipe is designed to sit beneath the necessary clearance of the supports. This allows a pan to sit on top of the stove without the product obstructing heat source. The product would attach to the Platypus using two ‘barbed’ threads.

Path of water

Burner Product

Pot supports

The advantages of this idea is that the product would be very simple to use, simply clipping the platypus and the exit hose to the product and letting the stove heat the water. This product would be designed for a specific model of stove and would be concealed within the workings of the stove itself.

Design C: The design below incorporates the three main aspects of this project; a slow rate of flow, a small volume of water over a large surface area and a high temperature. With these three aspects combined I shall be able to create a successful, working product. The main features are the incorporation of heating the water and a griddle. The water passes into the handle (shown by the arrow) flows into the base of the frying pan, through a series of straights and turns and finally back out of the handle (also shown by the arrow). The map which the water follows would be designed to maximise the distance the water has to flow, in order to get the most heat per time.

Area to cook food

Design B: The idea behind this product is that there is a very small volume of water passing of an intense heat source. The flow rate much be very low to attain the highest efficiency. The product shown is the black pipe leading closely around the red.

Barbed thread The product should be made from copper in order to achieve the highest efficiency, the bore (shown) should be as small as commercially possible therefore creating a low volume/surface area ratio. Having a low flow rate also allows for the water to have as much time over the heat source.

Following on from the previous design, I decided to manipulate the ‘technology’ behind it in order to design something a little more user friendly. The design follows a much more well known shape and size than the previous idea, it has a wooden handle which would be designed using anthropometric data to make sure it fit the user’s hand well. The two tubes protruding out of the back of the handle would be designed to drop away from the users wrists therefore decreasing the risk of burning themselves.

Handle Path of water


Area to cook food

Walls to stop food falling of the cooking surface

The idea is made by milling a block of Aluminium, the path of the water should be milled much deeper than the rest of the cooking surface. This will allow a groove to be made which the water can flow down. A thin sheet of Aluminium should they be laid on top of the cooking surface and attached with a water/heat proof seal. This will allow the veins of water to be separate from the food and visa versa.

The Physics: A problem with this design is that metal which is in the immediate vicinity to water is limited to only reaching 100C. Although this is hot enough to cook food on, it does create colder patches on the cooking surface. This is a problem which I shall solve if I choose to use this design. Another issue is that the hot water would have to be insulated from the user when it is leaving the veins and passing through the handle.

Cross section of the design (left)

The idea is similar to the Design C in that there are veins which run through the product in order to heat the water. However the design above has not managed to solve the problem of cold spots on the cooking surface. Both designs also require water to run up hill, which is impossible without a suitable force. If I continue with this design idea I will have to figure out a method to solve this.

Design D: The idea behind this product is that the water is passed through a groove in a circular material. This stops “cold corners” from occurring. A direct copy of the lower section would also be produced and would be laid on top of the component shown, creating a water-tight chamber which the water flows through. This water-tight chamber should heat the water from all directions & surfaces. Making the product water tight could be a problem however a good sealant should work.

The groove can be designed in the most efficient path possible. This will allow a greater distance between the input and the output, therefore longer time over the heat source.

Design E: This idea behind this design is that the product holds a reservoir of water which the stove will heat. The heat will be transferred through the product, through the thin layer of water and then up towards the pan. This would be an efficient method though I would have to check the direction of flow, as this method could cause inconsistent heating.





The inlet pipe will attach to a Platypus through an unknown connection (this will require later research). The outlet pipe will require a easy connect hose which can drop into a cup or mug. The product should be made of aluminium so it will be lightweight. The aluminium could be further anodized in order to create brand identity or to give the consumers choice.

The aluminium could be 2D milled using a CAM milling machine. This would allow the groove to be a perfect fit with the upper component, therefore increasing the likelihood it will be water tight. Milling the groove would allow for a very accurate grove to be cut. The groove could also have a varying depth and shape.

The product will have two rubberized barbed connections (shown in blue) which will connect to a platypus and an outlet hose. The product will be designed to hold a 0.5 litre reservoir of water. The small amount of water will be spread over a relatively large area, therefore heating should be very efficient. The idea could find difficulty in producing a consistent stream of hot water because there is a chance that the cold water could affect the hotter water passing out of the outlet connection. This is an area which would be refined if I decide to take the product to the next level of development.

Design F:

Design H:

The design idea shown below is based on the idea that getting heat to the pan is the most important aspect, followed by heating the water. The arches and troughs on this design are intended to let the heat pass up the side of the product (therefore heating the water) to then hit the pan sitting on top. This would mean that my product would not detract from any heat reaching the pot, rather it would simply feel the benefit. The product would be holding a small amount of water at any one point, this would mean that not much heat would be required to increase the temperature. The flow rate would also be slow because the water would have to “travel” upwards every arch. This is a good thing, because the water will need as much time as possible in order to reach near boiling temperatures.

The product is closely related to many existing outdoor camping stoves on the market at the moment. This was a key aspect behind this design idea, that the user should have the most minimal amount of kit necessary to serve the dual function. An obvious way to achieve this is to incorporate the technology into the already necessary piece of kit. I have attempted this earlier in another design idea however I believe that a wire above the burner would be almost too simple.

The idea should be made from Titanium because Aluminium will not be durable enough. It must have a good compressive strength.


Colour-coded connections, blue for inlet, red for the outlet.

The series or arches and troughs allow the water to travel a much father distance, this is because rather than simply going around bend on the x axis, they will also be travelling in the y axis. This will cause much greater resistance against the flow rate and therefore will slow down the water.

Out of all of the designs shown I believe this would be the quickest and most efficient at heating the water, whilst retaining the ability to heat the pan as well. The connections will have to be custom made—the most effective way to do this will be to cast two dry-fit quick connections out of Aluminium. I would use Solid works to process a 3D shape, then use a milling machine to create a wax mould, fill the mould with Aluminium. The Aluminium would then be anodized into blue and red.


Rubberized Barbed Connections

The product would have to be made out of Titanium because it will have to resist bending or breaking for it to remain fully efficient. Aluminium would be too malleable and would be susceptible to breaking or bending easily. Stainless steel would be too heavy, though it would allow water resistance durability. The product could be manufactured using a method of metal inflation.

The water would travel in the blue tube, it would flow around the burner in the pre-existing veins. As the water travels around these veins it should be being heated by the burner at which point when the pressure has built high enough (enough to warrant water turning into steam) it will release out of the pink tube as a flourish of steam followed by a steady flow of water. This is shown by the two orange and one yellow arrow (right).

The design below makes me sceptical as to whether it would function as well as the others. The system which the water would travel through is set beneath the burner, therefore only radiation and convection would be able to heat the water; rather than the more efficient, conduction. Because of this potential downfall, a better way of achieving this would be to put a pressure release value within the product, so only when the pressure has reached a level will water flow.


Advantages of this Design

Disadvantages of this Design


Client Feedback


Small, easy to use, relatively simple manufacture method. Contains rubberized barb therefore quick and easy connection to Platypus.

Fittings will need to be sourced, the product might not work as well without a lid.

Stainless Steel or Titanium.

This is a good idea for a 5.5/10 the product however it is not very portable.



The product shown would have two rubberized barbed push on connections.


It is a very simple design, it consists mainly of bent tubing, it is shielded from being touched when it is hot, it would be efficient, relatively inexpensive to manufacture and would not stop the pan sitting on top of the supports.

It would have to be designed for one Copper model of stove therefore it limits the potential users. Copper is expensive, if the pipe was blocked or damaged the owner would need to buy a new prod-

I like this idea, however 6/10 it would be similar to the pre-heating gas stoves which are available already and could cause



The product would have two threaded connection, the male end would simply be a threaded end of the product.


Allows the user to only use one product to cook and boil the water, therefore saving weight. There is the potential for a very large surface area for the water to be in contact with the heat.

The product would have a complex manufacture method which would be expensive, if there is a blockage the user would need a new product. The hot water could be cooled in the handle by the cold water.

This is a good idea, though I would like to see it in different shapes?




The product would have an easy seal push fit connection.


The circular aspect of the product would mean There is a need for a standard fixing Aluminium there are no cold patches above the circular between the grill and surface. This will stoves. The vein can be designed in different ways only be able to take a certain force. to product the most efficient way of boiling the water.

The idea is good, thought I would like to see the technology used in a different way




The product would have an easy seal push fit connection.


The product allows the user to heat a “reservoir” of water at any one point rather than a small amount. The product is small, lightweight and easily portable.

The product can not be picked up when hot (though this may not be a disadvantage). New product needed if there is a leak. Inconsistent temperature if water is flowing through it.

Titanium ( Aluminium would be too malleable, stainless steel would be too heavy)

This is a nice idea how4/10 ever I assume you would be relying on the conductive ability of water?



The product would have two metal barbed connections.


It has a complex path for the water which will not interfere with the heat from the stove. It has two anodized aluminium attachment points telling the user which is hot water. A large distance from the inlet to the outlet.

If the product is damaged or bent it would have to be replaced. The product would have a complex manufacture method and could be expensive to produce.

Titanium would be the only option due to the thin walls and necessary strength.

I like this design, it seems lightweight and durable. I would definitely like to see aspects developed further.




Custom made red and blue aluminium threaded connections.


Part of the stove, therefore more lightweight than any other design. The water sits just beneath the burner therefore the pot has the full heat of the stove.

The product may not be as efficient in Stainless Steel, heating the water due to where the possibly anodized water comes into contact with the aluminium. stove.

This is a good aesthetically appealing product, however the fucntion may be a problem area. The idea is great.




Two small metal barbed connections.


A good transportable product, easy to store, highly functional and a simple set up. A good sized cooking area which concentrates heat onto the food.

There will be cold spots on the cook- Stainless Steel ing area. The veins will have to be very small. Water must be under pressure to get it out of the cooking area.

This is a good idea, would there be any way to separate the veins from the pan?




The product would have an easy seal push fit connection.

Aluminium for the main body of the frying pan and a wooden handle (possible Iroko)


Possible RRP

Type of Connection

After having decided to follow through with a path/groove based design, I have decided to create a design matrix displaying the different options of groove/path which I could implement within my product. I have produced a series of different path/groove ideas (all of which can be manufactured using the milling machine) which will give me a large surface area for the water to pass over, therefore the highest chance of getting to the hottest temperature. I shall inspect and analysis each design in order to evaluate whether it seems like it would be appropriate to implement in my final design. Each design idea shall be visualised to have water passed through it, and I shall select the idea which I believe would be most suitable. I understand that this method will not be the most scientifically accurate, however I believe that my concluding with at least one design, I will be able to design the product through CAD and simulate the flow rate of the water, giving me a much more accurate value.

The image left shows the most simple of the designs on this page. It shows a simple path from one side of the product to the other, the shape and bend of the path would be altered and dimensioned for the final product. The product would involve a small amount of waste material however it would be heavy because there is unnecessary material here.

The image right shows by far the furthest distance from inlet to outlet out of all the designs. The water passes in the product and circles around the perimeter until it “drops” to a lower level and follows that perimeter around the product and carries this trend on until the path reaches the centre at which point the water travels beneath these circles and reaches the outlet.

The image left shows a probable design for t my product. It features a large hole in the centre of the product which heat can be transferred through to hit the pan/pot sitting above it. This would be the most efficient design as it allows for easy heat transfer however I would be sceptical if it would be able to reach the right temperature. I shall look further into this design.

The idea (right) shows a design which returns to the “reservoir” of water idea, where a reservoir of water is held within a closed system, the product heats it for x amount of time and then releases the water when the pressure has built up (because water expands and turns into steam when it is/has boiled). The large circle disc are designed to increase the surface area of touching the water at any one point.

I shall follow through with the idea (shown right) because it seems like it would be the most efficient to heat the water over a stove whilst retaining the ability to heat the stove sitting on top of it. Because I have selected a crudely drawn image of how I want the product to function, I believe my next stage is to create a visual model on Solidworks CAD package in order to have a developable and changeable idea. This is because for a shape this complex which needs a lot of development, the Solidworks software will allow me to make the major changed without having to redraw the entire project again and again. This development will be shown on the following pages and will start from my preliminary idea and will move through to my final design idea. Due to the complexity of the design, some ideas will be too complex for me to design on CAD with the skills I have. I shall either have to forfeit the idea or improve my CAD skills to incorporate the new ideas into the designs. This shall all be explained o the following pages.

The image right shows a similar features to the previous idea, however rather than holding x amount of water, this product allows the water to flow through the product, being diverted by the “fins” (shown in blue) and then out of the outlet valve. The fins were designed to stop cold water simply passing in a straight line through the product. The fins on this product are designed hydrodynamic ally, to let water pass around them easily, whereas the design below is not. I like the features behind this idea however I do not believe it would be efficient at transferring the heat.

The image right shows a similar idea to the product above, however rather than the fins letting the water pass around it, these fins have been designed so any water flow gets caught, slowed down, and pressure is required to move the water from being trapped. This is a good, efficient method of heating the water however I can imagine that there would be a lot of resistance against the flow of water through the product. This resistance would be amplified by the pressure building up in the “trapped areas”, where the easiest path for the newy expanded water to travel s back towards the inlet valve. This product would need a strong one-way valve to counter this.

On this page I shall show a brief manufacture method of my model and an evaluation showing the advantages and disadvantages of the product. This page will allow me to do a final check as to what needs changing and what needs omitting before I produce my final designs.

The image above shows a 3D rendition of the stove. This image can be separated into different components, which in turn can be saved as separate .dxf’s. This work up to this stage of modelling has been shown in my design development. As each design has changed, the components change and therefore I have been left with the image shown.

After sending the specific files to the laser cutter, selecting the right size for the “canvas” and then nesting the images onto the canvas—I then used the laser cutter to cut out the acrylic sheets suitable for the manufacture of my model. The laser cutter has an accuracy of 0.1mm therefore my tolerances should be 0.2mm either side to account for this discrepancy. The laser cutter allows me to cut in 2D, basically it can cut through a material, and also engrave—however it would be very hard to do depth.

Model: The two images above show the .dxf’s for the side and end panels. These are in the R12 format which the majority of laser cutters recognise/are compatible with. This format allows me to get the most accurate result; given that the file needs to be compatible with the the program, whilst also maintaining the dimensions of the product. The file is a vector format also so any scaling is not a problem.

The image above shows the files (left) after having been imported onto 2D design. 2D design is a simple vector file software which allows me to govern the laser cutter using a series of colours acting as specific tool paths. This allowance will enable me to engrave, pierce, pattern or burn through a material in a certain displacement. I used this software and this laser cutter to enable me to form my model.

The image above shows an aesthetic model of the lower section of my product. The laser cut acrylic design has been used because it allows me to check proportions and properly visualise what my product would look like. I have kept the white plastic sheet on the top surface of this model because it has allowed me to see where the water will be passing through my product without the need to look at the thin engraved line. I am happy with the size of the model. I like that the inner edge of the circle lines up with the outer edge of the stove The groove itself seems it spread across the majority of the stoves “heating area”. The hole in the centre of the model should still allow enough heat to pass through to hit the pot and/or pan on top of the product.

Model 2:


Model 3:

This model allowed me to check dimensions and make sure the product would be visually suited to my two stoves.

When the block of material was in the Milling machine, I had set the machine to run using the ArtCam wizard. This setting meant that ArtCam had generated a series of tool paths which the milling machine would follow regardless of material or shape.

Unfortunately this model was unsuccessful.

I programmed my material setting using the set material feature and had made sure that the right dimensions and sizes were correct. The fault shown right is an example of the machine being incapable to cut Aluminium without causing difficulty for itself.

The image (left) shows the model held within the supports of the material after having been milled from the block. The product will be turned in order for the milling machine to form the underside of the component. On this tool path, I decided that the product should have the upper face milled first, creating the general shape (much like I would in the ‘proper’ manufacture). This method means that I can create the general shape of the more delicate surface before I try to cut the more stable face. The positions of the supports dictates the supportive nature of the cut.

E.g. When the machine had attempted to cut the grooves, it simply plunged to half the depth, followed the vector and raised back to the defined safe z position. This is a problem because Ureal is a very soft material which can easily be machined and formed with little difficulty. Aluminium however is not easily machined, it is very malleable. This could mean that the tool could get clogged or damaged when following the pre-programmed tool paths that the ArtCam wizard was attempting.

The model seems to suit the Optimus Nova multi-fuel stove, it is aesthetically appealing and the inner hole seems to be large enough for the heat to pass through efficiently. The outer support is keeping the product stable.

The image (left) shows an exact size block or Ureal held within the live clamp and live tail. The block of Ureal has been measured so that the product can spin and rotate 360 degrees without hitting the base or the top of the unit. This sizing has been a major factor in the development of my product because the material will need to rotate in order to be rotary milled. The machine I am using is an MDX-540i Milling machine with the capabilities to rotary mill components and change tools mid-cut, therefore making it almost completely automated.

At the time of writing this, I have no idea how to programme tool paths manually or if it is possible.

As I mentioned earlier, the milling machine is able to turn the product 360 degrees in order to cut areas at an angle or on the opposite side of the product. This feature involved lifting the tool to the highest “safe z axis” position (the highest position it has been programmed to travel) in order to turn the product without the tools colliding. After I measured the tools, as the material was set to turn—the material collided with the tool, (shown left). The material had not “figured out” that the material would collide with the long shank tool.

Potential Tools:

If this were to have happened when I was cutting the final prototype (final product), the tool would have broken and incurred extra cost to replace it.

The same problem occurred when the tool plunged to create the drill holes, the tool plunged to the full depth and pulled out the material with no difficulty. As previously stated, this would not happen when using Aluminium. The aluminium would need to be cut in a series of steps, rather than a straight plunge.

Because of the issues I had with the long series tool colliding with the material I started to research short series tools which could use to complete the product. Although I do not know the absolute final dimensions, I imagine I will need: 6mm ball nose. 6mm slot drill and 3mm slot drill.

Conclusion: Although this model was unsuccessful, it was probably more worthwhile than if it were successful. This is because the failure has allowed me to see a fault which I would not have thought about if this failure would not have happened. This has allowed me to make sure that I do not choose to use a long series tool when cutting my product.

CAD Techniques: One of the key advantages of using CAD is that I can amend, change and adapt my product idea to suit a variety of different needs in a short space of time. This allowance means that from my initial idea there is a wide variety of subtle and not so subtle changes throughout my development. On this page I shall show the improvements and changes in my CAD skills, rather than my conscious design decisions. The chronological timeline below shows my improvements from CAD with a brief description of what has changed and what features I have used to achieve the image. All the images and files have been produced on Solid works.

Following from my initial thoughts of a small volume over a large surface area, I decided to produce a basic hollow groove milled/extruded from a simple square shape. 4 holes at either corner allows me to seal the product with a top and a good amount of water can be held.

The image below shows my amended use of the spline feature. I realised that the sharp corner would not be suitable for milling and therefore needed to be widened. The widened use is shown below.

This was done by drawing the outer shape, then using the “Shell” tool.

I then learned to use the “spline” tool, this allows me to create a continuously curved line from the top of one segment to bottom of the other side. This solved the problem of the sharp corners.

I decided to stick with the spline method. The image above shows an offset split which has been cut on the innermost vector, creating the inside edge. This increases the surface area with the heat source.

I created a final set of concentric circles in order to “frame” my groove shape. (These are shown left in black). I created a “sketched” zigzag shape in between segments (shown earlier), making sure that all the segments were equally sized and spaced.

I used the “sketch-fillet” tool to put a radius on the inside edges of the groove (rather than the sharp edges shown below) creating a groove with an equal. The inlet and outlet channels (top) were also made perpendicular to the flat face by adjusting the radius of the corners. This method has shown me that by combining the skills from earlier attempts, I have managed to figure out the most efficient method for water to flow within the product.


I did this by drawing two concentric circles within the shape and then equal lines between equally spaced points on the circle used the “sketch” tool to create a vector which ran as a straight line from the top of right of one segment to the bottom left of the following segment. This created a zig-zag shaped groove through the product. This was functional but would be unable to be milled because of the sharp corners.

I consolidated this new technique by making sure the groove was tighter on the outer edge and wider on the inside edge. Counterintuitively, this occurred because the segment is tighter on the inside and wider on the outside which caused the groove to be unable to create the smallest radius (its natural position).

Cad techniques improving & changing from using the angle tool to the splining tool.

I then progressed onto using the “Hole Wizard” feature which allowed me to ‘insert’ the holes for screw, bolts etc. To use the feature had to make a decision which screw I would intend to use for the final product. However, I was not happy with this design for a final outcome and so used a simple M5 coach head to show the method (above).

I then decided that using the spline feature was not the most efficient method for the water to travel. There were to many obvious “slow-spots” (points at which the water would travel slower because the radius of the corner was much tighter). The spline feature only gave me limited input into the radius of corners and the overall shape of the product. I decided to research further into Solidworks features and came across the “Sketch fillet” tool. The sketch fillet tool allowed me to join two intersecting lines (a zig zag for example) with a radius of a desired size. This allowed me to set my outer corners at 3mm.

Upper Component

Lower Component


I decided to do a series of simulations on my developed idea in order to see whether it had any unacceptable weakness/failing. This allowed me to make any last minute design changes in order to improve the product or make it more durable before prototyping. The results of the simulations should be assumed close to correct, though not perfectly correct. This is because in the Solidworks package, the software could be assuming certain conditions which I am unable to programme (for example, the surface which the product would fall on in a drop test), this will have a small impact on the final results.

Deform Test: This test is designed to apply a series of pressures onto the product at the most common areas in order to see at which value the product will deform, break or bend. The software has been set to only show the results when the product has truly deformed.

Drop Test: I decided to simulate a drop test on the product, this test would allow me to see how the product would react to be dropped from certain heights at terminal velocity. The results will show me whether the product will sustain much damage and compare the damage to different heights. The first option is whether to programme the velocity or height of the drop. Whether the height should be measured from the lowest point on the product or from the most central point in all 3 axis of the product. I chose 1 a metre drop for the first attempt.

This allowed me to set the direction which the product will fall, I highlighted an edge of the product and chose the downwards direction.

I then applied a temperature of 17C to all the available faces on the model. This allowed me to get a base temperature (an ambient temperature which would act as the blue colour in the final analysis). This ambient temperature is applied so that any increase of temperature on any of the faces would show a different colour depending on their relative temperatures. The image above shows the lower section of the product in this blue colour. The blue nodes are showing the points at which the temperature can be considered to be acting on the product.

I chose the Gravity value as 9.81.

This allowed me to choose whether the target should be rigid or flexible and whether the target should dampen the fall of the product. Displacement, Strain and Stress of the Product falling from 1 meter.

Maximum Displacement: 0.248787 mm

Maximum Strain: 0.00581493

Main problem: Gasket

Minimum Displacement: 0.0009490 mm Minimum Strain: 2.43421e-005 The product has a maximum displacement of 0.25 mm after it has been dropped from 1 meter. This means that there is no noticeable change in the form or dimensions of the product.

The product suffers a maximum strain on the inside of the product of 0.005%. This is pleasing because it shows that the design is strong enough not to deform through torsion.

I then placed fixed geometry on the inner face of the drill holes in order to replicate the resistance that the screws would give the product. This is shown by the spiral nodes on the upper side of the product.


The only weakness within the product is the gasket being made from a weaker material. This is shown by the relative colour being yellow/ green whereas the overall colour is blue.

I then applied a force (shown against the blue screws) in a downwards motion against the product. This force was equal to the amount needed to deform the product until crippling.

Deformity Test

Yield Strength:

I chose to make the product fall perpendicular to the direction of gravity (bottom down)


I started by adding a series of fixed points of geometry to the underside of the product. These are shown by the green nodes on the outer rim of the product and the blue noes on the inner side of the product.


Max Yield: 10208.72265N/m^2

Max UTS: 10787.315N/m^2

The Solidworks simulation states that the product would be able to withstand a pressure of 10208N/m^2 before it deformed to the shown amount. This is about equal to the weight of a Ford Fiesta rolling over it, defiantly exceeding it’s usable weight.

The image above shows the points at which the most crippling/deformity has occurred. This has shown me that if the force were acting from above then the product would deform mostly in the middle.

I then used a the temperature nodes to increase the temperature on the lower face of the product (shown yellow on the image above). The inner circle (red) has been increased by 500K in order t replicate the effects of the stove heating the inner most edge of the product. The inner side is blue as I haven’t added the impact of radiation or convection to this model as they are values. The image above shows me that if the heat hits the inner most portion of the product the heat that would be transferred would be equal to around

The image above shows an example of how Solidworks predicts the deformities, it shows the meshing process which creates a series of binary triangles around the product and calculates if any triangle changed by any value.

The image (right) shows the results of the previous test if the product was at a fixed geometry across the complete underside. This shows me that if the (above) forces were applied whilst resistance from underneath the product was constant, the entire product would be deformed almost equally. The groves have retained a similar shape though any non-formed material has been pressed out. This has been a worthwhile and pleasing test to conduct as it has allowed me to figure out how much force would be needed to deform the product, and that said force is massively exceeding the expected forces acting with the product. It should therefore be durable enough to work without deformity.

The image above shows the heat conducted through the lower face of the material and onto the bottom surface of the grooves. The grooves are a green colour which decreases back to blue the higher up the product you go. The green portion indicated that the material is at around 400C, a temperature which easily has enough energy to bring the water up to almost boiling. This has been a useful simulation for me to attempt as it has allowed me to check whether the material will conduct enough heat to heat the water.

This page has allowed me to do a series of preliminary tests on my chosen design. This has allowed me to check whether the design will function as I believe it should and as I have designed it to. I am pleased with the results shown on this page because they have demonstrated that the design of the product will allow heat to transfer easily to the water, that the design will only cripple or d3eform when under unnecessary pressure and that the strain and strength yield is far beyond the usual amounts.

I used Solid Works 3D CAD system to simulate the effects of temperature from the outside and to a lesser extent the inside of the product. I started off by using the FloSystems analysis—a feature which allowed me to simulate water passing from an inlet, through a closed system (in this case the grooves of the product) and out the outlet. This gave me a visual representation of water passing though it, showing any slow-spots where the product or the water would be heated inconsistently. The green lines shown above are the “paths” at which the water was flowing at an optimum rate, the yellow lines are the paths where the water was flowing quicker than usual and the bluer areas are wear the water is flowing slower than usual.

The image above shows the water flow passing through the system. I programmed the software to show the water fluid as a series of pipes. The overall shade of the pipes is green-yellow, this tells me that the majority of water passing through the system is flowing at an expected rate and/or quicker than expected. The programme allows me to simulate that it should take 20 seconds for the water to pass from the inlet point to the outlet point, this will give me a reference against the time I shall establish using theoretical physics on how long the water should need to be held in the project in order to boil efficiently. If these numbers are within a certain tolerance then it can be deemed a success until final testing.

After having simulated the fluid flow of the product I calculated the volume of water which the product would be able to hold at any one time. I have been continually changing this value throughout my development however I needed a strict figure for how much water the product could hold. This figure will not change from now on. The mass of water is 0.017kg. This value will allow me to use the equation Q=cm(dT) to find out the energy needed to heat the product to over 300C so to heat water to 90C. These two energy can then further be used to give a value to the power from the Aluminium over a certain time period and the time it would take the water to raise to 90C whilst taking in said power. This is shown (right)

The results (right) and the simulation (above) have given me two values for the water flow, and the necessary water flow for optimum heating. Solidworks states that the water should take 20 seconds to pass from the inlet tube to the outlet tube. The theory states that the water should be in contact with the Aluminium for 37.2 seconds in order for the water to be heated most efficiently. This tells me that the design of the product which I am carrying forward into prototyping causes the water to be 17.2 seconds short of the optimum time taken to pass through the product. However, this was solved using the maximum flow rate, and because this flow rate will decrease at a constant rate (as the water flows out of the platypus, the pressure decreases—see Bernoulli’s Theorem—below) the rate the water passes through the product will be constantly decreasing, although the user will not notice anything because there will still be constant stream of water emitted from the product.

Key: On the key shown it shows 5 Different components for the pie chart. The first is Material; the material area encompasses the entire production of the material from mining its ore to transportation which typically occurs during this process. Use; this takes into account the environmental impact from where the products are being manufactured to where they are being used. This number was a variable which I could control. Manufacturing; this is the actual process of manufacturing the product, therefore the laser cutting, welding or anything which turns the material into the product. This is calculated by using the energy value needed for each process (each process is programmed into the software) and how many kW is involved on reached that energy demand. Transportation; this takes into account the energy used and the transportation for the product to get from the manufacture site to the place of use. This allows me to estimate the average environmental impact by using this figure and the correlation with the “use” section’s figures. End of Life; this section of the graph encompasses what happens to the product after it has lived it’s intended usage time. The options available are recycling; which takes relatively high energy. Landfill, which takes a medium amount of energy, and Incineration, which for metal takes high energy. However—each of these have a much greater difference to the extent of harm to the environment. This is proven that the Landfill is worse on the environment long term—however incineration releases more Carbon emissions in the short term.

These graphs show the sustainability aspects of my product if it were to be produced and assembled in Europe—more specifically the north of England, and then commercially sold in the U.K. I have entered the details allowing for the product to travel 200Miles on average, from place of manufacture to place of retail/commercial property. This I believe is important as the program generates a series of graphs (right) which allow me to inspect whether my product is sustainably viable.

One of the main advantages of using Aluminium is that it is 98% recyclable and therefore less damaging to the environment over the long term. This means that less than 1% of the product will going to landfill, and less than 1% will be going to incineration. This allows me to assume that my product will be more sustainably viable than another which is made of a non-recyclable material. The image (right) shows the average transport distance for the product being used in the UK, with the potential recycling figures. These two pieces of information allow me to get a good value for the sustainability graphs.

The information shown above is similar to the previous however, this implies that after manufacture in Britain, the product would be then exported and retailed commercially in the US. Which, as shown on the earlier slides has a higher potential market for outdoor stove’s. This therefore allows me to assume that if I were to look at the projected profits for sale in the US, then I would have to compromise between that and the decrease in sustainability.

Over the last 3 pages I have used the Solidworks Simulation package in order to theoretically test whether my product will be able to do a series of working tests, (e.g. how much force the product can withstand before deforming). These tests have all given me insight into whether the design I have chosen to take forward into production will be able to be used without worrying whether any unnatural deformities will occur. The simulations have also allowed me to test whether my product is sustainably viable, whether it is possible to be milled using a conventional and rotary milling machine what a very rough estimate of the cost to produce the product in this method would be. These tests have also given me a benchmark as to how quickly the product should be able to boil water, and how quickly the flow of the water should be in order to get the optimum flow rate (37.5 seconds). These figures shall be added to my specification at the end of the portfolio when I evaluate whether my product has achieved the specification and discuss my justification if the product has not. From this stage I shall move onto planning my production method using a series of CAD/CAM software systems and post-production final touches such as sanding and use on the metal lathe.



Equipment Required

Materials Required

1 Cutting the Metals to size

Cutting the Aluminium from the size supplied to 200x180x12mm.

1mm width angle grinder. Stock/supplied size of Fence, Engineers square, metal Aluminium. scribe, rule.

Health and Safety

Quality Control



Cover hands and eyes when cutting the See below Aluminium, make sure the Aluminium does not get to hot by pressing to slowly.

So the Product can fit firmly within the clasp of the MDX-540 milling machine.

The product will be milled from a slightly larger block of Al.


Establish a right angle on the piece of Aluminium, Engineers square, metal scribe, Stock size aluminium. from this corner mark three points on two lines at rule. a distance of 200mm and 180mm respectively.

Make sure there is no oil/fluid on the Aluminium. Be careful with the sharp metal scribe.

Mark three dots with the scribe then join them to make a clear, thin metal line.

Achieving an almost perfect measurement of the 180x200mm area.

The line must be almost perfect as one edge will act as a datum point for the milling machine.


Replace the grinding tool with a cutting tool to cut 1mm angle grinder (with a the excess Aluminium from the stock size to get a cutting tool), fence., clamps. 200x180x12mm plate.

Stock size aluminium.

Wear all correct PPE. With a firm stance, look down at the disk whilst cutting. Make sure the blade does not bind with the excess Aluminium when near the end of cut. Clamp material.

Use the fence as a barrier, Therefore not wasting any of the making sure the angle grinder ‘important material’ and getting a plate of does not deviate from the the right size for the milling machine. marked line. Cut into the excess if possible.

Stand looking down at the blade on the angle grinder so the “important material” is not cut at an angle.


Repeat the previous steps with the 200x180x6mm See above material.


Make sure the Aluminium does not bend Because of the potential bend, when under pressure. Bind could make sure the excess potentially happen throughout so have a aluminium is also supported. third limb power-off switch ready.

This should reduce any bend possible.


Using the chuck, tighten the spindle around the material at the direct centre. Bring the drilling centre towards the material, slowly drilling the hole.

Centre lathe, centring drill bit, spindle, chuck, tailstock.

Cut and marked Aluminium.

Make sure the chuck key is out of the chuck. Wear all the correct PPE, make sure all speeds/feeds are correct before starting.

Do a series of pushes against the material to make sure the centre being marked is in the same place each time.

Therefore getting a perfect centre.

Using the milling machine, 4.5 axis mill the 200x180x12mm plate of Aluminium to the designated shape.

MDX-540 milling machine, drive unit, tailstock, centre drill, live centre, Z-origin sensor, spacer, hexagonal wrenches.

200x180x12mm Al

When the machine is moving or milling, make sure the door is closed. Make sure a suitable extraction system is used. Make sure the stop button is within reach when door is open.

Make sure all spindle, step over, step down and flow rates are suitable for Aluminium. Measure all tools before cutting. Constantly refer to the original CAD designs.

To make sure all rotations are clear from obstruction when the Aluminium turns, to make sure the machines ‘knows’ where the material is. To achieve a high level of finish on the final product.


Attach the multidirectional clamp onto the drive stock and the live centre onto the tail stock.

MDX-540 milling machine, drive unit , tail stock, live centre, multidirectional clamp,


Make the sure the MDX-540 is not queued to perform any tasks whilst the door is open.

Make sure all components are Any slight weakness could damage the firmly secured and all fixings are product and the user when the milling tightly screwed. machine is performing.


Place the material in the multidirectional clamp and bring the live centre into the pre-drilled centre. Bring the machine to A-Origin and measure deviation with a spirit level. Tighten all fixtures.

MDX-540 milling machine, multidirectional clamp, drive unit, tail stock, live centre, spirit level.

200x180x12mm Aluminium.

Make sure the door is closed when measuring for the A-origin. Make sure the MDX-540 is not holding any tools.

Ensure the A-Origin is at 0° when the material is clamped. Make material is firmly grasped by the clamp and live centre.


Insert all three tools into separate collects using the nut wrench. Place tools in the magazine slots 1, 2, 3. Set the machine to measure all tools.

MDX-540 milling machine, 1x6mm ball nose, 1x6mm slot drill, 1x3mm slot drill, 3 collects, nut wrench, lever, Zaxis measure.


Make sure the door is shut when machine is in operation. Make sure the machine is not holding a tool when replacing tools in the magazine. Ensure that nothing is obstructing the tool when it is measuring.

Make sure the Z– sensor is clean The machine will be able to rotate and of dust or dirt. Make sure the change tools without chance of colliding or tools are freely movable from the z axis being damaged. the magazine.


Manually check all origins and rotations are able to happen without anything going wrong.

MDX-540 milling machine, handy-console.


Make sure door is closed when using console.

This is a QC step.

2 Setting up the machine

200x180x6mm Al

Therefore the material will not fall out/ obstruct when it is being rotationally milled.

Final checks before running tool paths.

Do this to both pieces of Aluminium.

This will ensure the product should be cut at the right plane, with the machine believing it to be at the right angle within the material. This is an automated procedure done by the machine’s operating software which will give the tolerances of the machine and the tools.



Importing CAD drawings to ArtCAM.

Equipment Required

Materials Required

Health and Safety

Quality Control

Select the top plane of the lower body and export Computer, Solidworks and as a .dxf. Separate the files for the groove and the ArtCAM software. drill holes.


Make sure the computer is at a reasonable height. Do not spend more than 2 hours looking at a screen.

Make sure to name the file “top To make it obvious which file you need. section” .

Export the upper and lower components from Solid works as Binary .stl files at the highest deviation and resolution.

Computer, Solidworks and ArtCAM software.


Make sure the computer is at a reasonable height. Do not spend more than 2 hours looking at a screen.

Make sure the export is at the highest resolution.

To decrease the chance of glitches or file errors.

Open a new assembly in ArtCam and import the two .stl files.

Computer, Solidworks and ArtCAM software.


Make sure the computer is at a reasonable height. Do not spend more than 2 hours looking at a screen.

Make sure the ArtCam file is named and saved n the Shared area.


Configure the components so the “World Centre” Computer, Solidworks and is in the middle of the product. ArtCAM software.


Make sure the computer is at a reasonable height. Do not spend more than 2 hours looking at a screen.

The two world centres must be at the same origin.

Therefore all files are acting about the same datum point.

Import the .dxf files into the lower component file, using the world centre as a datum point.

Computer, Solidworks and ArtCAM software.


Make sure the computer is at a reasonable height. Do not spend more than 2 hours looking at a screen.

Make sure the .dxf is located precisely on to the world centre.

Increases the accuracy when the product is being cut.


Make sure the tap is the right size for the hole else it could slip and injure the user.

Make sure the tap is the right size and in the right hole.

So no irreversible errors such as scratches are made,

Creating the tool paths.

I shall show this step on the following page. I don’t know how to do this.

Marking out

Refer to the drill/tap chart to determine the correct size of the tap needed for an M5 hole.

Tap/Drill chart

Coat the tap with cutting and tapping fluid and with the tap perpendicular to the face, turn in a clockwise direction.

Tap, component, Tapping fluid. Component, Tapping fluid.

Make sure the tap is perpendicular to the face and the right size.

Make sure the tap is not pulled or shifted when tapping.

For every full turn clockwise, do a 1/4 turn anticlockwise.

Tap, component, Tapping fluid. Component, Tapping fluid.

Make sure the tap is perpendicular to the face and the right size.

Make sure the tap travels upwards when moving it anticlockwise.

When the hole has been tapped, reverse the tap fully and clean the burr using a thin head file.

Thin head file, tap, component. N/A

Make sure the file is secure against the burr. Do not let the product slip when filing.

Make sure there is no burr left over.


Burr would decrease the aesthetic appeal of the product.




Equipment Required

Materials Required

Health and Safety

Quality Control



Using the metal lathe

Load the product onto the lathe by opening the chuck so the product is held firmly.

Metal Lathe, product.

Components, Tool

Do not wear gloves, as they can easily get caught, and make sure any loose items, such as hair and sleeves, are secured, wear correct PPE.

Make sure the product is normal to the centre drill.

This means that the tool will be parallel to the product.


Bring the tool closer to the material using the Metal Lathe, product. steering wheels, set the y axis static and move the x axis across the face of the product.

Components, Tool

Do not wear gloves, as they can easily get caught, and make sure any loose items, such as hair and sleeves, are

Make sure the y axis is still, and you only use the x axis wheel.

This will allow for a straight cut across the product.

Make sure to wear the appropriate protective items, such as safety glasses, closed shoes (no sandals),

Unload the product from the chuck using the chuck key.

Components, Tool

Do not wear gloves, as they can easily get caught, and make sure any loose items, such as hair and sleeves, are secured, wear correct PPE.

Make sure you do not tighten the chuck when unloading.

This could damage the inside face of the product.

Select .dxf of the top face of the lower section and Computer, VLS 6.0, 2D Design import the file into 2D design.

Gasket Material

Make sure the computer is at a reasonable height. Do not spend more than 2 hours looking at a screen.

Make sure the .dxf used is the same as previously stated.

So you don’t pick the wrong .dxf with the wrong dimensions

Change the colour of the vectors into Red so the VLS.60 Control Panel will recognise the vectors as “Lines to cut”.

Computer, VLS 6.0, 2D Design

Gasket Material

Make sure the computer is at a reasonable height. Do not spend more than 2 hours looking at a screen.



Set the material thickness, choose a slow speed and a very low power. Increase the power as necessary, therefore limiting error.

Computer, VLS 6.0, 2D Design

Gasket Material

Make sure the extraction fan is on and all precautions for using the laser cutter are adhered to.

Make sure the power starts off low and increases as necessary.

This will stop the gasket from getting too hot and burning

Place the gasket at the origin point on the Laser cutter and run the job.

Computer, VLS 6.0, 2D Design

Gasket Material

Make sure the Laser cutter lid is closed. Make sure the power starts very low and is increased until a suitable level is reached. This decreases the chance of burning.

Make sure the gasket is fit precisely in the square origin.

Therefore all the cutting will happen within the boundaries of the material.

Cutting the Gasket

Metal lathe, product.

The laser cutter should cut the gasket to the exact needed shape of the metal plates including the drill holes.

Solid works CAD Design Page: AN advantage of using CAD for designing a product is that I can change or amend different components or aspects of the product without having to redraw or recreate an image from the beginning. This means that my final product could look and act completely different from the original drawing, yet still be born from the original file. Because of this, I shall show a made-up CAD sequence as if I were designing the final design from a blank slate on this page, and on another page I shall show my progression and development on how I got from my preliminary design ideas to the final product.

After having created the 2D sketch of a 49 sided polygon I used the “Boss” tool, set the depth to 9mm and agreed the dimensions stated. This created image above.

The development page shows how I managed to create the curved groove around the centre of the product. The groove is unchanged from the following text box, until the end of the manufacture plan.

(As previously stated). I then used the “box extrude tool” the grooves by joining the opposite points on the 49 sided polygon.

I created a square vector perpendicular to the inlet and outlet groove then used the “boss extrude” tool to create the flat face perpendicular to the two grooves.

I drew another circular vector on the bottom face of the product and used the “boss extrude” tool in order to take away 2mm, creating a rim on the outer edge of the bottom face.

I then used the “chamfur” tool by selecting the inside edge of the top face of the product, set the angle to 54 degrees and the distance to 20mm.

I used the chamfur tool again on the outside edge of the bottom face, setting the angle to 33 degrees and the distance 20mm creating the draft from the bottom face to the top.

I then used the “fillet” tool on the inside face of the product, creating the domed face shown above. This was simply for aesthetic purposes.

I then selected the three edges (shown above) and used the “fillet” tool on all three. Each of the fillets were at a radius of 0.5mm and were full edge fillets.

I drew a square normal to the flat face on the side of the design, drafted the square 40mm towards the centre of the circle and used the “boss” tool to fill in the groove.

I then drew a 4mm hole on the top surface of the product and used the “boss extrude” tool to cut it to a depth of 5mm. This was to be known as the “drill hole”

I used the “circular multiply “ tool to mirror 8 more drill holes around the centre of the circle at 18 degree intervals.

I then realised that because the product is to be milled, there would be “stumps” left over from on the outside edge. A flat inside edge would allow me to lathe them off.

I created a .dxf file of the top surface of the lower section from the Solid works file shown above. This allows me to get an exact replica of the surface without re-entering numbers for the sizes.

The two .dxf files I used earlier due to importing the toolpaths into ArtCam would I imported the .dxf file into Solidworks and selected the Import as also work (shown above). The outer line is the important aspect of the two images new part > 2D sketch, option in order to get a 2D file which I could shown. boss extrude.

I deleted the inner groove tool path which was used earlier when I imported the design into ArtCam and selected the outer line.

The two important aspects of the .dxf are shown isolated above. The inner circle will be an exact match to the inner circle on the assembly and other models.

I used the .dxf file of the top of the lower section to produce an exact replica of the top surface. This allowed me to get all measurements and dimensions exact.

I used the chamfur tool again on the outside edge of the bottom face, I then used the “fillet” tool on the inside face of the product, creating setting the angle to 33 degrees and the distance 20mm creating the the domed face shown above. This was simply for aesthetic purposes. draft from the bottom face to the top.

I used the “circular multiply “ tool to mirror 8 more drill holes around the centre of the circle at 18 degree intervals.

I drew a square normal to the flat face on the side of the design, drafted the square 40mm towards the centre of the circle and used the “boss” tool to fill in the groove.

I then drew a 4mm hole on the top surface of the product and used the “boss extrude” tool to cut it to a depth of 5mm. This was to be known as the “drill hole”

I used the angle grinder in order to cut the Aluminium into the right shape to be clamped by the milling machine.

I started by opening the Lower Section of the product on Solidworks. I made sure the image was fully defined with no errors.

I saved a copy of the file as an .stl document. I used the settings above in order to make sure the file was as precise as possible.

I found that the higher the deviation was, the better the resolution of the file on ArtCam. The resolution would be translated onto the final product so it was important this was accurate.

I decided to start by doing a roughing cut into the material to the depth of the top surface of the component. I selected the outer circle and inner circle as the selected vectors in which the machine should cut the material. I intended to do a finishing cut later in the process as the surface could get damaged/scratched whilst in the MDX

I then used a profile cut inside the .dxf of the drill holes. I programmed ArtCam to have a step down of 0.25mm each run, therefore removing a small amount of material each time, decreasing the chance of clogging.

I selected the top surface of the lower component to produce a .dxf of the grooves and drill holes as I did earlier in the portfolio. I then imported these documents into the ArtCam file in order to create a set of tool paths as I explained on the modelling page.

I then used a profile cut to cut away the excess material inside the product rather than a raster. This meant that the time taken to mill the product was significantly decreased. I selected a circle which had a radius equal to half the tool inside the inner circle of the product and would set the machine to run, cutting out the centre piece.

I then did a roughing profile cut along the inner circle of the component in order decrease the time the ball nose tool would take to do the finishing cut.

As the product was flipped I chose to use a 6mm slot mill to do a quick spiral cut between the inner circle and outer circle (shown above) this had a step over of 0.25mm and the depth was from the surface of the material to the bottom face of the product. After the roughing cut, I used the 6mm slot mill to take off a fine layer of material to make sure the product was aesthetically appealing and smooth to touch (as stated in the specification).

I set the material thickness in order to have parameters for the depth of each cut.

I selected the vector for the .dxf file and chose a profile cut along the selected vector. This meant that the tool would follow the .dxf line. I programmed the tool to have a step down of 0.25mm per run, this was because if the tool plunged to the right depth and tried to follow the vector, the tool would break.

I programmed the 6mm ball nose tool to cut between the same vectors as before. This effectively meant that I was cutting away the “step� the previous tool had made.I made the finishing tool have a step over of 0.2mm rather than 0.25mm, this change meant that I would get a smoother finish on the inside chamfer.

I used the profile cut tool and selected the outer circle and the rim of the bottom face to start the roughing cut for the chamfer on the outer edge of the component. This was done by using a step down of 0.25mm for the rough pass and a step over of 0.25mm for the roughing pass. I made to leave 1mm of material around the outside of the project acting as a bridge to hold it in place.

I imported the files into ArtCam and was shown the image above, a mixture of the 3D relief and vectors.

Firstly I used the rotary function and flipped the material, then I used the 6mm slot drill for a profile cut along the inside circle of the product in order to clean the edge, this was achieved by having a step down of 0.25 and a 0mm step over.

I programmed a finishing pass between the same two vectors on the component. I changed the step down to 0.2mm and the step over to 0.2mm. This made sure that there were no lumps or lines around the outer edge and it felt smooth to touch.

I re-flipped the component in order to cut a final pass on the inside of the product, this was to ensure a full circle was there without any lips or steps. The cut had a 0.25 mm step down and no step over without any tolerance also.

I then cut the flat face of the component where the inlet components and outlet components will be fixed to. It was very important that this face was perfectly flat so the two components could form a water-tight seal with the component. To achieve this accuracy I programmed the step down to be 0.2mm with a 0mm tolerance step over.

After having done the outer cut from the top and the outer cut from the bottom, I had been left with 1mm of Aluminium around the edge of the material holing it in place. I decided rather than cutting the component out n one profile cut, to cut it out in stages, making the bridges smaller. The tool paths above are the same width as the bridges that would be left.

The final cut was a simple profile cut following a vector which was just outside the outer edge of the component. This was achieved by using a 6mm slot drill and a 0.25mm drop each run. I was very nervous about this cut because as the material supporting the component was being cut, the component had less support and could fall into the milling tool. I was stood by the emergency ‘kill switch’ whilst the machine was running a 20% in order to stop the tool from rotating and return it to the safe z height before any damage could be done.

Upper Component: Because of the relative simplicity of the top component as opposed to the lower component, I allowed ArtCam’s Toolpath wizard to ‘ suggest’ it’s proposed method of cutting the component from the material. I checked the simulation for the entire component using the method (shown right). The simulation showed that the component had no interfering cuts nor did the component look to be weaker in the supports. Below I have shown the tool paths which I confirmed ArtCam to process for cutting.

ArtCam Simulation: Above shows an isometric simulation of all the steps I have included in order to finish the product. The simulation starts with a block of material at a defined size and runs through all the separate tool paths until a final product is produced. This has allowed me to check through all the tool paths and see what effect they would have on the material. For example, I ran the tool path simulation from start to finish and realised I didn’t have a tool path which cut the remaining bridges from the product, this would have only been a minor problem however it still allowed me to visualise the process without wasting material. Roughing profile cut of inner circle. 6mm slot drill.

Roughing profile cut of top face. 6mm slot drill. The cut is only roughing so no detail is necessary.

The software has created a series of bridges for the product to be supported within the material.

The component then went under a finishing pass with the 6mm slot drill for a smoother finish on the top

Process: The two images above show the process of turning a .stl and using the tool path wizard to create a series of tool paths. This is the method which I used for the upper component but not the lower component. The lower component is shown on the previous page.


tions are archived by :

I started the milling of the lower section but milling away the bottom surface of the metal, making the indent on the underside. This was because I would not lose any strength by doing so, and it allowed me to see if the machine was responding correctly to my instructions. The image (left) is showing the 6mm ball nose bit doing a rough cut over the outer rim of the project, after having already done a series of rough cuts over the outer edge of the inner circle. I have applied WD40 as an unnecessary yet helpful lubricant for the machining of this part. The roughing cut will not produce a surface finish, it will only cut a general shape which will be perfected by the 3mm slut drill later.

I had programmed the machine to use the benefit of the rotary flip after it had finished the roughing cut on the bottom face of the product. The next step was to mill the grooves, this is because the product was still held in position by a good thickness of bridges between itself and the excess material, this meant that when the machine plunged at the start of the groove it was less likely to bend or break out of position. The tool path was created by following a singular .dxf line which was imported as a separate file than the 3D .stl. The 3mm slot drill was used to create the 90 degree sides and constant depth.

The next step was to use the 3mm slot drill to do plunge profile on the drill holes, this was achieved by plunging 0.25mm, each time pulling out slightly more material than the last, slowly making the drill holes deeper. This was because there would be less obstruction to the drill bit if there was less swarf in the holes. The 3mm slot drill then did a spiral finishing pass over the top surface of the product, cleaning and smoothening the finish to an aesthetically appealing and clean finish. The final spiral path was achieved by using a step over of 0.25mm on each pass. The 3mm slot drill then started on the profile pass of the inner circle, cutting it free.

The profile cut was achieved by a 3mm slot drill which firstly cute the angled profile (shown left) with a step over of 0.25mm and a step down of 0.25mm on each pass. The profile cut was then programmed to plunge to a depth of just under half of the product, and to spiral in an exact circle—effectively cutting out the inner circles waste material to all but half+0.5mm of material. The machine was programmed to flip the material and do the exact same profile cut, leaving 0.5mm of aluminium within the inner circle. The material was then flipped again and the 3mm slot drill then cut the final excess of material from the inner circle.

The machine was in the final phases of the milling when something happened which caused the calibration to go off by 2 degrees on the Z axis. This was a problem because it would cause one side to lift higher than the opposite side. I decided to proceed with the final outer profile cut (a risky cut anyway, because as soon as there was not enough material left as a bridge, the product would fall and get damaged by the still rotating milling bit). The final profile cut involved cutting the outer edge with the 6mm ball nose bit at a step down of 0.25 and no step over, this allowed me to cut the material to almost 0.25mm before it would even wobble in the excess material. I cautiously attempted the final cut at 10% speed until the machine stopped.

Production of the components: In order to complete the complicated tool paths required to produce my product I took the opportunity to seek advice from Mr. David Stokes, a software engineer from Delcam (the parent company of ArtCam). Because I had noticed that the method the ArtCam wizard was using to cut the Ureal model would be unsuitable to cut Aluminium for my final model I decided that I would need to create a series of original tool paths specific to each feature of the component. However, for this to be possible I would need David’s guidance in order to make sure I am programming the machine properly and efficiently. Although I had received advice and guidance throughout the production of the lower section of the product, it was during the production of the upper section which he became invaluable.

The image above shows David and myself watching the MDX-540i milling machine cutting a component for my product. We were constantly using WD40 on the cutting surface, not through necessity more because the machine had a tendency to chatter. David informed me that this was a software problem and nothing wrong with the machine itself.

The image left shows the milling machine doing a finishingprofile cut on the top of my upper component. The milling machine would have been programmed to use the 6mm slot drill at a step over of 0.25 and a step down of 0.25. This is the default step over and step down used in ArtCam’s tool path wizard. The centre of the product has profile cut from the material and so has the gaps between the bridges. This is a good example of ArtCam’s tool path wizard doing a process differently to myself. I would have programmed the software to finish all faces and final cut the bridge gaps. In order to create the top section of the product I would need to mix my own specific tool paths with the tool paths that the ArtCam wizard suggested. This is because areas such as the bridges may not have been strong enough to carry the weight of the product. In this case, David taught me how to change the height of the bridge to the flat section around the outer edge of the product, rather than the default centre of the product.

David had been visiting the school to help set up a new machine and in the process volunteered to help mill my product. When I first had chance to talk to him he was interested in the idea behind the product and was very keen to help. David made the statement that the product would be difficult to mill from the material, and although it is relatively simple in terms of other parts that he has produced, it was very complex for a school visit. I shall stay in contact with David and will keep informing him on the outcome of the final tests.

After I had been in contact with Lorna Hicks I decided against using the laser cutter in order to produce the shape of the gasket. Lorna advised me that the best method to cut the gasket to shape was to use a compass cutter or a beam cutter rather than using a laser. This was a change to my manufacture plan as I originally intended to use to the laser cutter.

I then used the flat face on the inner circle to clamp the entire product to the metal lathe. This allowed me to make sure both edges were perfectly fitted against each other giving the product a much more professional aesthetic. This also allowed me to trim any left over bridges or scar marks on the edge of either section of the product. I achieved this by mounting the product on to the clamp, using the chuck key to tighten it into a secure position then spinning the product at a low speed. I

I then separated both components of the product, the upper and lower section and mounted them separately onto the lathe. I took a sheet of Emory paper (wet/ dry sand paper) and repeatedly placed it against the surface of the product. This allowed me to get an almost equal brushed aluminium finish across the product. I was careful not to put my hands against any jagged or moving parts without proper precautions, I also made sure the tool was in the unmoveable position therefore keeping it out of the way of rotation and my workspace. The next task was to tap the holes which the CNC milling machine had cut. There was going to be a problem area from the beginning of the design process because I wanted to keep the product as thin as possible, therefore making it less cumbersome for the user. However this also meant that the drill holes needed to be at a much thinner depth, a depth which would make it considerably difficult to tap the holes. The usual process to a tap a hole is to use a taper, second a plug—though because of the depth I was only able to use a second and plug. I also had to use the linisher to grind away the end of the second tap as it didn’t have enough clearance in the hole.

I then marked out the holes which would need to be drilled into the flat face of the product. This was to be tricky because the drill would have to be entering into the flat face at an angle so it did not pull through the bottom face of the product (remember the outer rim). IU achieved this by doing a mathematical drawing and figuring out an approximate angle that the drill should be entering into the product. I marked out using a set of odd leg callipers and a marking tool in order to get two perfectly straight and equal lines from the groove. This is shown on the image left.

I measured the diameter of the top surface of the lower plate using a rule, set my trammel against the mark and tightened each clamping area.

I placed “cutting section” of the tool 1mm away from the edge of the sheet, making sure that the tool stayed on the gasket sheet when I cut it.

Having cut the outer circle, I made sure that the gasket was not overlapping the edges at any part of the perimeter.

I then proceeded to cut the inner circle, I placed the pin in the exact spot as previous (to retain the centre of the circle) and cut to the radius of the inner circle.

I placed the cut gasket within the product, lined up the upper and lower sections and marked the flat face and where each hole should be cut.

I used a M5 stamp to punch the holes from the gasket and used a scalpel to cut the flat face where the connections sit.

This page has shown the post machining production process of both the upper and lower components in my project, this has involved tapping thread into precut drill holes, using Emory paper to improve the final aesthetics of the product and using the metal lathe in order to trim the remnants of the bridges which held the product within the material.

I fixed the upper and lower plates into position using the screws and a series of rubber rings ( to equally spread pressure of the top plate onto the gasket). I then did a cold test in order for me to find out whether the gasket actually worked at sealing the product. It didn't.

This project has involved me using a wide range of materials, method of manufacture and production procedures, it has allowed me to experiment with CAD modelling and simulations whilst also retaining a very hands-on approach to the product as a whole.

On the photo (above left), just to the right of the inlet pipe (beneath the orange arrow). I hasdwater leaking from between the gasket and the lower section. This was because the screws were not putting enough pressure on the upper section to compress the gasket in that area. This could be seen as a design fault of mine because I chose to Omit the screw which would have been there in favour of the aesthetics.. My solution to this problem was that I should over-compress this area with a clamp (using the gasket material so not to mark or damage the product) then tighten the surrounding screws and then hope that by doing so the pressure was compensated for the missing screw. Thankfully this process worked, however for the product to go into production I would probably have to add another screw or change my method of compressing the gasket. Compressing the gasket is shwn on the two images above.

After I had been in contact with Lorna Hicks I decided against using the laser cutter in order to produce the shape of the gasket. Lorna advised me that the best method to cut the gasket to shape was to use a compass cutter or a beam cutter rather than using a laser. This was a change to my manufacture plan as I originally intended to use to the laser cutter.

Components: In order for my product to work as well as it could, I realised I would need a dry-fitting, quick connect coupling. This would allow the user to connect the Platypus to the product easily without worrying about hot/cold water spilling everywhere when the coupling has been disconnected. I started searching an RS catalogue in order to find the components. I shall go through the stages of finding the component below:

With no luck, I attempted to ask the maintenance department and started cold calling motorsport companies.

I contacted RAM Gaskets in order to find out what material would be most suitable to fulfil my gasketing needs. I was put through to Lorna Hicks, Business Development. The following is a representation of our conversation.

I came across Demon Tweaks, a custom motorsport company in Wales.

Hi Lorna, I am an A-Level design student and I am looking for 200x200x1mm gasket.

Hello Charlie, thank you for contacting Ram Gaskets. I would be happy to help with your enquiry, which material would you like the gasket to be made from?

Firstly I checked through the RS catalogue and others (such as Hafele) within he department.

I contacted demon tweaks motorsports to find if they had anything similar, they passed me onto CPC.

I looked at the distributers of CPC products in the UK (shown on the image right). As Tom Parker seemed the more logical option between themselves and BioPharma, I called them and specified the item I was looking for (shown above right).

That’s the problem, I’m honestly not sure. I have done some research and it seems like a 1mm Graphite Gasket would be the best way to go. The gasket has to be food grade, withstand temperatures of up to 400C through metal heat conduction and pressures of up to 2Bar.

Shane had told me that this product was actually discontinued and that there may only be a couple around the warehouse, he passed me onto a colleague and I had found my dry-fit components.

A Graphite gasket would answer most of those needs however our Graphite gaskets are not food grade when used over a long period of time. We do stock a Nitrile based gasket from a company called Novus which would answer that specification though? That sounds perfect, would it be possible you could send a spec. sheet with some details? Also, is there any special requirements for the Novus gasket? Sure I’ll forward one across right away. The Gasket doesn’t have special requirements as such, just make sure there is a generally equal pressure across it and you should be fine. Can the Novus Gasket be laser cut? This is my preferred method of manufacturing the laser as it the most accurate way of achieving the perfect fit. I wouldn’t recommend it—by all means try, however I don’t think that there is much benefit between that and using a beam compass or compass cutter.

CPC are an American parent company who specialise in couplings such as mine.

Conclusion: In retrospect, I would have preferred not to be reliant on the products of another company in order to complete my own. In my search for the dry-fit coupling, I had a perfect example of not being a self-sufficient company in that if Tom-Parker was not able to supply me with one of the components—I would have had to re-evaluate my design.

Thank you, could you send across a quote to the same email address?

I shall detail an idea that I have in order for commercial production on a ‘further improvements’ page later in the portfolio.

Oh don’t worry about that, I’ll send a sheet of the Novus Gasket in the post with a couple of other samples which you can try—I’d be interested to know which of them suits your product best.

A screen shot showing an extract from my negotiations with Tom Parker Ltd. Is shown right.

I’ll make sure to email you with the results, thank you again.

Left is the data sheet I asked from Lorna.

Product Evaluation: On the following pages I shall evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the product. I shall use a variety of methods including experimentation, observation and third party analysis. I shall achieve an understanding of whether my product has successfully achieved its potential as un ultra portable outdoor cooker. I shall also make an updated version of my specification which shows the improvements and changes made to the product, and how they have been adapted to adhere to the specification. Evaluation Process: I shall be using a variety of methods in the evaluation of this product, in the hope that I can evaluate the product to a highly comprehensive standard. This will mean I have to take into account the social, moral and environmental issues arisen by the product, and how they fair relative to other products on the market. I shall also send over photos of the product to my contact at Cotswold Outdoors who shall act as my expert opinion. This will allow me to gain a professional opinion on the product and take advice on any alterations they would make. Another section of this evaluation will be my target market experiment. I will show the product to a series of people who fit within the criteria of my target market. This will allow me to ascertain whether or not the product will be synonymous with them—and therefore successful, or whether it will not suit their needs, and therefore be unsuccessful.

Experiment I: Does the product work as it is supposed to? This is the first experiment I am going to attempt on my project as it is the fundamental reason as to why I designed and manufactured the product. The experiment with comprise of me using the product in varying conditions and checking which allows the product to function at its best and what limitations the product has. I shall show my results in a report style with temperature-time graphs of the temperature of the water produced. These graphs will then be overlaid on the original temperature-time graphs for the mess tin to see whether the product produces hotter water quicker. (The curve should be steeper). Equipment: High temperature thermometer (hopefully required), Camping stove (Gas), Platypus with 2 litres of water, stopwatch, beaker to collect water, Pad of paper and a pen. (Do not connect a hose). Method: Set up the gas stove so the heat is on medium (if possible),

Expectations: Pessimistically, I believe that the product will not reach the specified temperature. This is because I think that there is too many variables to contend with for a first prototype to achieve its goal successfully. Although I have used Solidworks Simulation and some quite complicated Physics, neither of these can trusted completely, they use perfect conditions to formulate their results. These conditions are ni-on impossible to replicate, especially by nature. This causes me to instinctively the product will not work in reach the required temperature. However, I expect the gradient of the temperature time graph to be steeper than when the mess tin was used (therefore stating that I believe the water will get hot quicker, just not hotter). I am basing these expectations purely on a well-informed hunch, the science and the simulations (as previous stated) support that the product will work. I will be very interested to analyse the results and suggest improvements on the following pages.

Graphs : The graph on the left shows the temp/time taken within my product. The Graph on the right shows the temp/time taken with the mess tin. My product reached a higher temperature, quicker.

Temperature ©

Temperature Tests



80 60


40 20


0 0



300 Time



0 0





Results:: The two graphs above show the temperature of the water against the same time scale. The Graph on the right ( the original graph used in my research) shows a clear convex slope leading up to around boiling after 300 seconds. The Graph on the left shows the same variation, however a clear concave slope, whilst the gradient is much steeper. This tells me that my product reached the required temperature over a minute and a half quicker than the usual method of boiling water whilst camping. Thankfully, this means that my product has been successful in bringing the water to a required temperature quicker than normal methods. However, it does not necessarily solve the brief. The orange section beneath the points on the left graph is the point where I recognised the points were forming a plateau, and so put the pan on top of the product on the stove. I believe this had the effect of reflecting heat back against the product as it caused the water to get hotter, quicker. The yellow section beneath the points on the same graph is the point I believe the product started internally boiling. This is where the product got so hot, that the water started boiling and evaporating within the product, causing a spluttering steam to come from the outlet. I shall look further into this later in the portfolio.

Place the product onto the stove using x1, Fill the Platypus with2 litres of water, allowing the product to warm up,


Connect the Platypus connection to the product,

This has been an interesting experiment to do as it has allowed me to find out whether the product works in the way I designed it to. This experiment was the fundamental reason as to why I attempted to design the product, and although it is not the sole requirement of the product it put my mind to rest that ‘the foundations’ are secure. This experiment has also highlighted a couple of areas where the product could be improved to work better, and in some areas to work worse.

At the point of connection start the stop watch, Place the probe of the thermometer at the spout of the outlet (not in the water being collected), Record the temperature at 20 second intervals (this will allow me to form an easy to read graph with lots of points),

I am pleased that the product was successful in bringing the water to the required temperature quicker than it’s counterpart, however there is still many other necessary requirements the product must adhere to, these are mainly listed in the specification. As a result of this, I shall do a page devoted to whether the product meets the criteria stated on the specification and if not, why not.

Record the temperature until there is an obvious “plateau” in results, I shall also do a page detailing any improvements which I could make to the product to improve it’s functionality, usability and aesthetics. Place the griddle/pan on top of the product (continue recording temperature results), Continue until a plateau is reached and place a food stuff in the pan, Continue recording results until a plateau is reached, then turn off the gas stove.

Experiment II—Expert Opinion

Experiment III—Client Review

This experiment has been designed to see how an expert in the field of my product would view it and to tell me any further improvements which I have not foreseen, this will allow me to gain a comprehensive review of the product from an expert who is trained to scrutinise designs. This will prove a useful and constructive experiment which I shall endeavour to take on board any changes/alterations.

Although my client has been a mixture of myself and Alastair Humphreys throughout this development, I got in contact with him again in order to see whether he would be interested in testing the product first hand. After I received the email confirming he wanted to meet and test the product I organised a meeting and explained the idea behind the product, how it had changed since we last spoke and what adaptations I had made in order to fulfil different needs. He was pleased I used my initiative and trusted that I made only informed decisions.

For this experiment I have decided to get back into to contact with Cotswold Outdoor, the British based outdoor equipment company. This is because their product managers will have come into contact with many other products which serve similar purposes to my own, this will give me direct feedback from a retailer in the outdoor equipment area. Cotswold Outdoor are not only a leading retailer in the outdoor industry, they are also a manufacturer and design guidance company. Method: I shall send series of pages from this portfolio to a representative from Cotswold Outdoor in order for him to evaluate and analysis the product, he will be able to give me an in--depth report on the market potential of the product and will detail any problems which it could encounter when being used by a consumer. This is an important part of the evaluation because it will show me whether the project could be considered as a fully commercial product, rather than an A-Level project.

Alastair and I agreed that he could take the product to test it for a night in the Brecon beacons (as he was heading there anyway) and would post it back the following morning with an email to review the product. I felt this was the best course of action as he and others were going on this camp, and it would give the product a chance to be used by completely new individuals, rather than myself. The email I got in return is shown below.

Dear Charlie, This stove is a huge leap forward in expedition technologies! When I saw the initial drawings I thought it was a great idea, although I didn't believe it would


Dear Charlie,

actually work as well as you suggested. I did some research [ In between our last contact and

Camping stoves are prime targets for space and weight saving as they are only used for a few minutes a day when backpacking. So what a backpacker ideally needs is a super-efficient stove that uses the minimal amount of fuel to cook up an evening meal. Better still, the stove needs to be lightweight and compact enough to pack down into an unobtrusive corner of a rucksack.

testing the product] and eventually came to the conclusion that an A-Level project couldn’t

The idea behind your product looks like it could challenge the best around, thanks to its unique design. I like that its radical new design includes the in-built, heat exchange ripples under the pan. The key objective of this feature is to improve efficiency, to save on fuel – helping to save the planet – and to allow you to carry less fuel, which means a lighter pack weight. To improve efficiency, would you consider a windshield and dedicated pan system?

work as well as a Mira Shower. I didn't think much of it when I first used it at home, but whilst using it on Brecon Expedition it suddenly showed it's true value. It boiled the water we needed for our tea in less than a third of the time that a conventional gas burner did! (impressive on it's own), however I managed to cook my evening meal at the same time!

This could come neatly packed into a stuffsack with space inside for a gas canister too. Well ready for a brew on the mountainside. I imagine the kit assembled very easily in a workmanlike. The walls of your stove would help trap the warmth around the stove on all sides, and protects against cold winds.

It's value improved even more when the next morning we discovered that the gas burner we

Well Done!

saved us! All we needed to do was use your product and within ten minutes our breakfast was

used the night before was nearly out of gas! A disaster normally, not with a Solaris though, it


So, in all it was a brilliant , but that underrates the stove, it would love for it to now be used as my primary cooking stove. It does weigh quite a bit but when you realise you don't carry fuel it actually cancels out and makes any other method of cooking look old fashioned. Great Work! Alastair Humphreys

Conclusion: This page has given me insight into the thoughts from a third-party as to how the product works and whether it works as well as it should. The response has been on the whole positive, Frank Bennett from Cotswold Outdoors said although they wouldn’t be looking to take on a project such as this at the moment, with further development and improvements on some of the products weaker areas, they would be interested to retail if I were to choose to bring it to market.

Category 1.0 1.1 Age 1.2 Socio-Economic Group 1.3 Gender 2.1 Colour 2.2 Finish 2.3 Texture 3.1 Strength 3.2 Volume/Capacity 3.3 Size Constraints 3.4 Capabilities 4.1 Performance Requirements 4.2 Durability 4.2 Planned Obsolence 4.3 Operational Requirements

4.4 Predetermined Production Process 4.5 Product Life Span 5.0 Social/Moral Issues 5.1 Recycling 5.2 Re-Use 5.3 Material Selection 6.1 Safety

7.1 Retail Margin 7.2 RRP (Recommended Retail Price) 7.3 Amortisation 7.4 Variables 8.1 Brand Image 8.2 Fashion Additional Requirements: 1.1 The product should hold the water for 20 second minimum

Specification The Sizes The Product must be suitable for men between the age of 21 - 55. The product must be suitable for most socio-economic groups but be primarily aimed at the middle and upper class. The product must appeal primarily to men. The product must be made and show the materials it is made from however incorporate the brand colours. The product must look aesthetically appealing yet be resistant to the weather. The product must feel smooth to touch, yet rugged. The product must be strong enough to support itself against drops, damages and wind. The product must be able to boil at least 1 litre of water. The product needs to weigh less half the average amount of fuel a multi day camper carries and fit within the same space. The product must be able to be taken apart and fit within easily within a rucksack. The products materials must withstands heats of up to 600°C . There must be an option to replace parts within the product. The product must last for a 3 year period before any upgrade is available. The product must be able to be carried and lightweight. The product must bring water to above 90C.






Yes Yes

8 7

Yes Yes Yes

9 8 10

Yes Yes

6 8



The product has been designed for the target user within this age bracket, it was specifically designed for them. The product has been priced fairly high within the outdoor equipment pricing status, this means that people should see it as a premium product which only people within the middle-upper class would be able to afford. The product has been designed with other male products in mind, such as climbing and barbequing equipment. The majority of the product still shows the original milled surface of the Aluminium, the only areas where a ‘covering finish’ has been applied is the 9 orange screws circling around the top face of the product. The gasket was supplied in the orange colour. The Aluminium/stainless steel/gasket will not corrode or tarnish when under normal weather conditions. The top surface of the product is made from sanded aluminium, giving the product a firm, solid feel. I tested the design on a Solidworks simulation from a 1 metre drop on a completely inelastic surface, there was only 0.002mm deformation. Since this test I have inadvertently dropped, scraped and tarnished the product. There has been no faults as of yet. Due to the nature of the design of “flowing water” the product can boil as much water as needed, dependant on fuel levels. The product weights 0.318kg. A camper would usually carry up to 1kg of fuel for a multi-day trip (This is shown in the research section of the portfolio.

Yes No Yes ? Yes Yes

10 6 10 3 8 2

There are no components which are fixed to one another permanently. All components can be cleaned/replaced if need be. Though the product has not reached this temperature, it has reached all the other operational temperatures required. All parts of the product can be replaced and cleaned if one is damaged. Wait and see. Though none of the materials should degrade over this time period. The product fits easily within the users hands, can be tied to the outside of a rucksack and weighs only 0.318kg. The product can bring water up to 90C, however this takes practice. Further development should allow the user to achieve this much easier.

The product must have protrusions for a frying pan to sit on. The product must have the least manufacture time/skill as possible The product must be marketable for 5 years. The materials must be sourced from legal sources. The product must be recyclable. Certain parts must be re-usable for later versions of the product. The product must made of materials in which the properties of the materials exceed the demand. The product must make aware the user that the entire product is hot whilst in use. There must be no sharp corners/edges. The Product must contain Health and Safety Guidelines, giving all relevant information about the 'danger points' There must be an obvious connection between the parts of the product which are hot and dangerous. The product must hold all boiling water. There must be a profit margin >35% The Product must be priced between £50—£60. The product must make a profit after the first 0.5 seasons. There must be additions/variables available for the product, possible colours etc. The product must reflect a clean, modern yet rugged brand The product must be made of metal and finished with a chrome/lookalike finish.

Yes Yes ? Yes Yes Yes

2 8 5 10 5 8

A frying pan can sit comfortably on top of the product however the stability is questionable when moving food in the pan. Aluminium casting, although expensive to start with, requires very little manufacturing time from a labourer. In theory, the product could be marketed for longer, with additions being made by the components rather than a full change. My Aluminium was sourced by the Head of the Aluminium federation of the UK. Aluminium is 98% recyclable. Though this number is increasing. All components can be separated and re-used on other models.



So far I have been unable to test the product in extreme conditions and therefore do not know the answer to this spec.

No Yes

1 4

I have used the product in the past and inadvertently picked it up whilst it is still hot. The only corner without a milled radius is on the underside of the where the product fits onto the stove.



If the product were to go commercial health and safety guidelines would be included with the product.

No Yes Yes No No

1 10 8 10 2

The product does not show which/that the components are hot. This is shown on further developments of the product. At no point is the user in contact with any water within the system. On the costing page, the profit margin for myself would be up to 75% The product has a probably RRP of around £40 The product would have to have a full “season” before it amortised.

No Yes

8 8

The product has the ability to have a variety of different colours and variants, however this prototype does not include any. The mixture of blacks, silvers and oranges gives the product a rugged yet precious feel.



The product is made of metal and has the ability to be chromed or anodized.



The water takes 29 seconds to pass through the product at normal working conditions.



The product has the ability to self-sustain the water flow, therefore making the user obsolete apart from setting the system up.



Since the rubber rings have been replaced, the product can be re-used over and over again.



This is so the water has a greater chance of reaching the necessary temperature.

This is too allow the water to get the most heat/time possible. This allows the user to leave the hydration bladder whilst the mug of water fills 1.2 The product should be able to draw water through itself up. 1.3 The product should be able to be re-used without This means the user has only got to pay once, creating a better trust within the the components needing to be replaced. company. 1.4 The product must have the centre of water flow around the orange circle. So the water is flowing over the area where the stove is at it’s hottest.

Experiment IV:


After I had tested the product for two days (detailed on the previous page) I decided that I should evaluate how well the product coped in terms of the aesthetics and how easy the product was to clean. This involved me taking apart the product and noting if anything has changed since it was first put together, this included different coloration, shape or size.

As shown on the previous image, this was not the case. As I unscrewed each of the screws (with relative ease) 6 of the rubber rings had stuck to the top face of the product. This meant that the heat had causes them to stick to the surface or they were subjected to enough pressure to become temporarily stuck. Though this is a minor problem, it meant that the rubber ring portion of the product would have to be rethought because if the user requires new rubber rings every time he/she uses the product, they will not develop trust within the brand.

Method: Use a 3mm Allen key to unscrew each screw each screw and release the pressure from the rubber rings equally. This required me to unscrew screw “A” by a small amount to release the pressure from the gasket and then do the same procedure to the screw on the opposite side of the circle. This is because pressure should be exerted on the gasket equally for it to work most efficiently, pressure should also be released equally to retain it’s durability. This is shown on the image below.

The image above shows the three main components of the product separated from each other (with the rubber rings still stuck onto the top surface of the product for good measure).

Expectations: The product should have unscrewed easily whilst the rubber rings should have been almost attached to the screws. (They should have been able to be re-used). I can also imagine that though the product was under pressure, the gasket should release easily from the product without difficulty.

The gasket (middle) has discoloured slightly from when it was first used, the saturation of the orange colour seems to have decreased slightly. There is calcium build up where the gasket is closest to the connections (in the same place the lime scale has built up on the lower component). In a way, this is a pleasing result because there is no Lime scale built up within the product itself, so if the gasket could be pressed slightly tighter, there would be no need for the user to take the product apart to clean it, simply clean the connections instead. The result is also pleasing because it shows the Gasket has not been damaged by this build up (which Lorna admitted that the Graphite gasket would).

The upper component of the product has taken less deformation and discoloration than the other two components however the change that it has undergone is probably more obvious due to it being the most visible portion of the product. There is a series of small scratches over the top surface ( this is shown on the image below). There is also a carbon/soot residue creating arcs around the screws, I can not definitively explain this matter though apparently it is because the heat would have tarnished the Aluminium though I do not understand why this would not have happened at other areas on the product.

The lower section (right & below) has darkened considerably since it was first assembled, this is shown when comparing it to the upper section (left). The reason for this could be due to dirt from the gasket rubbing off or a reaction between the hard water and the top surface of the aluminium (I shall discuss hard water later). The image (below) left shows that the groove has so far remained un-altered. The image (below-right) shows where a considerable amount of calcium has built up (lime scale), this could be due to the area where the product was tested containing a high amount of calcium (hard water) or due to the face that the water would be constantly holding a small amount of water (pressure difference) and that this water could be affecting the cork gasket between the component and the product and therefore causing Lime scale. Either way, it does not look hygienic to the user and I list improvements to decrease this. It washed off with water and a cloth. Conclusion: This experiment has allowed me to pin-point key areas of improvement within the non-working– lifecycle of the product. These improvements are very important in order for the product to fulfil it’s full potential if it were to go to market. A method which I believe which could improve the product would be to change the route of the water to accommodate a symmetrical amount of screws on the upper surface, this would help sandwich the upper and lower components against the gasket (as there would be an added screw) and it would also improve the over all aesthetic. Another improvement would be to replace the rubber rings with shorter screws, therefore the replacements would not be needed after each clean. I am pleased with these results and I shall go into further detail of the improvements on another page later in the portfolio.

Proposed manufacture method for proposed manufacture method: Clamping The first step involves clamping of the two halves of the die. Each die half is first cleaned from the previous injection and then lubricated to facilitate the ejection of the next part. The lubrication time increases with part size, as well as the number of cavities and side-cores. Also, lubrication may not be required after each cycle, but after 2 or 3 cycles, depending upon the material. After lubrication, the two die halves, which are attached inside the die casting machine, are closed and securely clamped together. Enough force must be applied to the die to keep it securely closed while the metal is injected. The time required to close and clamp the die is dependent upon the machine - larger machines will require more time. This time can be estimated from the dry cycle time of the machine. Injection The molten aluminium (which is being constantly heated in a furnace or crucible) is transferred into a chamber where it can be injected into the die. The method of transferring the molten metal is dependent upon the type of die casting machine, whether a hot chamber or cold chamber machine is being used. I shall talk about the difference in this equipment in the next section. Once transferred, the molten metal is injected at high pressures into the die. Typical injection pressure ranges from 1,000 to 20,000 psi. This pressure holds the molten metal in the dies during solidification. The amount of metal that is injected into the die is referred to as the shot. The injection time is the time required for the molten metal to fill all of the channels and cavities in the die. This time is very short, typically less than 0.1 seconds, in order to prevent early solidification of any one part of the metal. The proper injection time can be determined by the thermodynamic properties of the material, as well as the wall thickness of the casting. A greater wall thickness will require a longer injection time. In the case where a cold chamber die casting machine is being used, the injection time must also include the time to manually ladle the molten metal into the shot chamber. Cooling The molten metal that is injected into the die will begin to cool and solidify once it enters the die cavity. When the entire cavity is filled and the molten metal solidifies, the final shape of the casting is formed. The die can not be opened until the cooling time has elapsed and the casting is solidified. The cooling time is estimated from several thermodynamic properties of the metal, the maximum wall thickness of the casting, and the complexity of the die. A greater wall thickness will require a longer cooling time. The geometric complexity of the die also requires a longer cooling time because the additional resistance to the flow of heat.

Evaluation of my design process: Throughout this project there has been many areas which I believe have deserved my focus and some areas where I believe that that I could have focused on another aspect and reached the same conclusion quicker. In this section, I shall evaluate whether I believe my time was spent well and effectively on certain parts of the project in comparison to other areas where I believe I could have made more of difference to the final outcome. At the beginning of this project when I started researching into existing products which serve similar purposes I believe I would have been more effective to look further into the Jompy stove. I believe that if I were to have focused my ideas around this existing product, looking at improvements and ways in which the Jompy failed, then my initial design ideas would have been quite similar to my end product anyway. I think it would have been beneficial to have looked at one specific outdoor stove which serves a similar purpose to my product and looked in detail at how it works and where it’s downfalls were. This would have allowed me to gain a better perception of the market and probably would have lead me to choosing Aluminium sooner in the portfolio.

At the point where I was in negotiations with Tom Siddle and Altek at the start of the portfolio, I believe that I would have benefitted by taking a risk and trying the Aluminium earlier on. If I would have taken the risk with the material (in hindsight, I know now it works) then I would have come to the conclusion that Aluminium works and potentially would been in a position to have created a number 2 working prototype, incorporating some aspects of my further developments. This would have hopefully pushed me closer to a successful final project. Because of the unsure aspect of whether the Aluminium would work, I was hesitant to start ordering milling tools and spending money on the risk that it would not work. In hindsight, I should have taken the risk and assumed that it would work. I think some of the tests on the Solidworks simulations page were interesting but not particularly necessary, such as the 1m drop test. It did show that the product would have sustained itself in a 1m drop, however—it would have been a fair assumption that it would have anyway.

I think if I were to have looked further into the opportunity which was provided for me from Altek then I would have been able to attempt casting a version of my product. This would have been a good opportunity to have another set of manufacture processes within my project and also teach me aspects of the design process which would have been otherwise unknown.


If I were to have focused on other similar products then there would could have been a more dynamic aesthetic than what is present at the moment.

After the cooling time has passed, the die halves can be opened and an ejection mechanism can push the casting out of the die cavity. The time to open the die can be estimated from the dry cycle time of the machine and the ejection time is determined by the size of the casting's envelope and should include time for the casting to fall free of the die. The ejection mechanism must apply some force to eject the part because during cooling the part shrinks and adheres to the die. Once the casting is ejected, the die can be clamped shut for the next injection.

I believe my CAD development was a very effective part of my design process, it allowed me to evaluate and change sizes, dimensions and features of my product easily.

Trimming - During cooling, the material in the channels of the die will solidify attached to the casting. This excess material, along with any flash that has occurred, must be trimmed from the casting either manually via cutting or sawing, or using a trimming press. The time required to trim the excess material can be estimated from the size of the casting's envelope. The scrap material that results from this trimming is either discarded or can be reused in the die casting process. Recycled material may need to be reconditioned to the proper chemical composition before it can be combined with non-recycled metal and reused in the die casting process.

I believe my first hand experimentation and investigation has allowed me to get true, honest values which are true to the conditions which I would be using my product in; rather than simply using information on the internet. I believe my choice of client was good, Alastair has trusted me with my own design license throughout the project yet has given me some good input in key areas. I believe my resourcefulness in terms of finding components, contacts and self-teaching CAD has been invaluable and very effective.

In conclusion: I have thoroughly enjoyed designing and manufacturing this product. It has taught me so many new skills which in other circumstances I would never have gained. Throughout the entire process; including times when I have been out of the department, I have always had minor improvements on my mind, whether they were different channels for the water to flow through or changing the colour of the metal. This project has taught me brilliant skills in time-keeping, industry-like work ethics and most of all it has given me the opportunity to combine two of my favourite activities, Outdoor and Design. Hopefully, I shall continue with product design over the coming years and will always keep this project in my mind. I believe there is great potential behind this idea and will hopefully follow it through even after these A-Levels.

Product Improvements: Throughout this project I have been making decisions about the aesthetics, function and manufacture of this final product. These decisions have been influenced by a variety of aspects such as aesthetics, strength or limiting manufacture processes. Because of these limiting factors I have not been fully able to design the product to the best of it’s potential, more so the best of my potential within A-Level circumstances. On this page I shall show my ideas for possible improvements and changes which; in a real world scenario, would have a greater positive impact on this project then I have been able. Design for Manufacture: Although the product has been cut using a 4.5 axis milling machine, I never fully used the rotary function to the best of its ability, this meant that the product is completely designed with a draft angle of between 90 and 0 degrees. The aspect of the design will allow me to create a mould for the product which would work in the process of Low/High pressure die casting. I have shown my method for tooling the male and female moulds below.

After I had set the values shown on the previous step, I clicked the rebuild button and I both the positive and negative portions of the mould, perfectly fitted together with a gap in the middle as space for the Aluminium. These moulds could be produced using the milling machine available, however because of the complexity of the shape within, it would need to be produced from hardened tool steel which would not be able to be cut.

I then used the parting surface tool which allowed me to make the “imaginary” separation between the features along the parting line which will be cast by the male portion (green—positive) and the features which would be cast by the female portion (red—negative) of the mould. This is causing the colour bleed in the centre of the product where both “surfaces” are acting along the exact same set of coordinates. I set the diameter of the moulds to 200mm (as shown by the white outer on the image).

Firstly I selected the most complicated out of the components (purely for the purpose of this hypothetical scenario). I then had to decide best possible line for the two moulds to part, I achieved this by selected the Parting Lines tool on the Mould Creation toolbar. I then stated that the “pulling” part of the mould should be pulled normal to the top plane (upwards), I then used the draft analysis tool to check which areas of the project were at an assessable angle so there would be no obstruction when the cast is pulled from the mould. The results were that the majority of the top face was green, the sides were yellow and the bottom face was red. This meant that green could be cast from a male mould, yellow could be cast from either and red could only be cast from a female mould. This allowed me to create the parting line (shown in blue around the outer edge of the product. I then used the shut-off surfaces tool which placed a 0.025mm thick layer of Aluminium in the middle of the product, this was simply because the cost of tooling around the edge of the edge of the inner circle would have been much more expensive then to simply leave the material in there and mill a very thin layer out. The shut-off surfaces tool automatically selects a hole within the product which would need to be filled then gives me options as to which action I could take to solve the problem.

The advantages of using High pressure die casting as opposed to using the milling method which I used to prototype the product is that I can achieve excellent dimensional accuracy over a much greater volume of products (typically it is 0.1mm for the first 2.5cm then 0.02mm for every 1cm after that) without having to replace the tools (dependant on tooling material). I can achieve a pre-finished surface on all faces of the product without postmanufacture finishing processes. I would achieve must higher production rates (above 10,000 to amortise). The process would involve a high capital cost due to the high tooling cost in milling a series of hardened tool steel moulds, though because of the much greater production rates this could be regained relatively quickly.

I used the tooling split tool to separate the positive and negative portions of the mould, this ensure that there would be no excess material above or below the product and made sure the depth settings were adequate to cover the entire product. The upper left corner of the image were the boxes which allowed me to program the values for the thickness of the positive and negative moulds. Beneath this is information which has been automatically set due to the steps I took on the parting lines/surfaces and shut-off surfaces.

I shall base the following pages on market potential and the production costs of my product on using this method of production, mainly due to the reasons shown left, though also because I believe this would be the most efficient, most economically viable and most life-like method to produce this product.

Solaris Assume 2 medium skilled labourer.

The product will be classed as ‘Outdoor Furniture’. Assume medium scale batch production of 1000 units per batch. Therefore 5 batches per year. Assume 5,000 units per year.

Assume 8 hours work time between 8:00am and 5:00pm inclusive of breaks, 5 days per week. 4 Days for the machine to produce 1000 products. 4 Days for 1 med skilled labourers to package and brand the products as they are finished on the machine. 1 Final day to package and brand the remaining products.

Prototype Cost £ A) R&D £ 80 B) Materials £ C) Machine £ D) Storage E) Wages Labour £ F) Wages Admin £ £ G) Energy

Administration will be required in terms or secretarial/order management/accounting. Assume company to work 2.5 weeks Assume administrator at £16K/Year Administration cost £769.25 for total TOTAL £769.25/5000 = £0.15 / product

The workers simultaneously check quality and then finishes. Day 1-4 Full day of HP Die casting consisting of;

This production plan is solely for the Aluminium casting procedure.

Clamping, Injection, Cooling, Ejection, Trimming

Product cost comprised of:

Full cycle time is 4-5 minutes therefore 12/hour. Therefore 288 if the machine is running 24 hours therefore 4 days needed to produce 1000 products.


Day 5 Final branding & Packaging


Projected production is 1000 products in 5 working days assuming no delays.


5000 products takes 25 days to produce.

Wages Labour

Salary for medium skilled worker is £20k pa

Wages Administrative

Working year is 52 weeks (4 weeks holiday)


Labour cost is:





Assume energy costs of £60 per day to melt the Aluminium depending on furnace efficiency rates. Therefore this figure may vary slightly high/low.

H) Packaging I) Advertising


Spread over 5 week = £60 * 5 weeks

J) Transport


TOTAL/PRODUCT =300/5000 = £0.06 per product.

K) Gasket

£ £

Assume packaging to be £10 per item

Assume most of the advertising is trade based and internet based, these costs are negligible as they would be using sites such as Amazon, or Ebay before looking to expand.

Source internet, rental of site in light industrial building approx. 150 sq. m in Kendal.

Plus VAT (17.5) = £235 (cost of the PROJECT to me as a Pupil)

600 products at 200 products / 4 cubic m fits on 5m x 5m foot print (thus scale of building appropriate)

Assume £10.00 extra waste for commercial prototype as no access to materials store as available in school.

Total Storage cost £6k pa

Prototype cost (ex VAT) = £210.00 Assume design and production of prototype takes 5 weeks for a specialist CAD designer (ability to design and make)

For the 5 weeks of production out of a 52 week year 5(6000/52) = £577.00 Per Product = £577.00/5000 = £0.15 per product

Salary cost of designer is £3125.00 (for 5 weeks in a 52 week year) Total cost of Research and Design (R&D) £3125.00 (Salary) + £210.00 (Prototype) = £3335.00 Aim to recover over 3 years of product life span.

After having spoken to Altek Aluminium casting I have managed to get an approximate quote for the cutting of hardened tool steel billet. The figures below show my working: £100,000 for the machine, the company would look to re-coup this cost over a 10 year period therefore £10,000 per year. My total cost would be approximately £1000 per die.

3 years * 5000 products = 15000products

Theoretical estimate from manufacturer & do not reflect reality.

£3335.00/15000 = £0.22 per product

£1000/5000 = £0.2 per product.

Plus VAT @ 20% = £40.5

Assume the cost of renting the machine to be All inclusive £250 per day therefore £250*25/5000 = £1.25 per product.

(0.236+0.15) * 5000 = Mass of 1 product * no. of products, = 1930Kg of Aluminium required, therefore almost 2 Metric Tonnes. 2 Metric tonnes = £1700 worth of Aluminium

Assume annual salary of designer = £30k

- £ 83.0 £


Manufacturer adds 75% margin = £25.935

Probable price £40

Storage for products costs £6K pa.

Assume cost of prototype to be £200.00 inclusive all models, materials, paper and printing costs.

10.0 0.50

Retailer adds 30% margin = £33.72

Weekly cost 40k/52 = £769.2 £3846.6/5000 products = £0.8 per product.

3.00 £ - £ - £

Product with colourful, high quality protective covering.

2 workers at £20k 5 x £769.2 = £3846.6 Total Labour Cost


Company Cost £ 0.22 £ 0.34 £ 1.25 £ 0.20 £ 0.80 £ 0.15 £ 0.06

£1700/5000 = £0.34 per product

Assume transport to be 1 day @ £300 per day for a van delivery, per batch Total per product = £0.3

0.30 15.82

Improvement I:

Improvement II:

The lower section of the product should have a symmetrical groove pattern (along the line perpendicular to the flat face). This will mean that the screws will have an equal area to pressurise the gasket. At the moment, the product is missing the top left screw because of the formation of the groove, if the grooves were to be symmetrical then in turn, the screw placement would also be symmetrical meaning that the “weakness” (which is resolved by clamping at tightening) would be at least reduced and therefore stop any chance for leakage.

As previously stated, if I were to go into full scale production with this product I believe it should be High pressure die cast. The process is much more cost effective than milling each individual part and would save time in the production process. Aluminium casting cycle time is minutes, whereas milling would take hours. The process would allow me to have an pre-finished part which would only need to be trimmed on a set lathe.

The screws are shown on the image in an asymmetrical pattern however they are all equal distances apart. The groove itself is a 4mm distance between the walls, increasing the size from the 3mm groove on the current prototype. This is explained further on another panel on this page.

One of the main problems which encountered when I was using the product was that the water seemed to get too hot. This caused a spluttering of steam to come from the outlet. This phenomenon was caused because the water was internally boiling within the product, meaning that it was expanding and turning into gas. A possible improvement which could combat this would be to make the groove wider, so they held more water.

Improvement III: Earlier on in the manufacture process I purchased a seemingly rare part from Tom Parker Ltd. The component is a water tight, dry-fit couple. The component was the only one of it’s kind in the UK and was relatively expensive. The component has achieved its goal of working with high temperatures and has not once leaked in any of the test I have run with the product, If my product were to go into production, I believe my product would be more successful with a purpose built, similarly designed component which would not have to be purchased from a third party retailer.

At the moment, there is a small volume of water which is passing over the large surface area, this volume of water requires “x” energy to get to near boiling. By increasing the about of water in the grooves, the energy required also increases. If I assume that the stove is producing an almost constant about of thermal energy, then by increasing the water volume, the water should stay a little colder.

When I was testing the product, as previously mentioned the water was boiling internally, this created steam which was spluttering out of the outlet pipe. The steam was also spluttering down the inlet pipe, this is a problem because the platypus hose is not designed to take water at temperatures above 40C.

This should mean that the user can turn the stove onto full power, whilst the water still stays as a liquid, rather than turning into steam.

To improve this fault, I would mill a component which is: Dry fit—therefore male and female can be disconnected without water spraying everywhere.

Improvement IV:

Quick-connect—the user should only have to pull the male end to disconnect the couple.

I believe the product would benefit from being thinner altogether. This would involve widening the grooves however this would be possible as there is a quite a lot of unused space between the groove fins.

One-way—the component should feature a one-way check valve, meaning that no hot water can travel back down the Platypus water hose.

Making the product thinner would also allow me to make the product more lightweight, it should reduce the material costs as less Aluminium would be being used. The screw which I purchase could also be smaller. I believe this would be a necessary improvement to the product.

Conclusion: This page has allowed me to detail some of the improvements which I think would be necessary to create a second prototype. With a product as complex as the prototype shown above, there would be many more tests and improvements which would be needed to be developed before production.

I have enjoyed making this product, it has combined my passions for the outdoors and my love for design in a mixture that I would never thought possible. I have enjoyed making a producing a product with the thought if it will even work.

Aluminium—The component should be created from the same alloy as the product. This is because when two dislike metals have water and energy running through them, catholic erosion can occur which tarnishes the more reactive metal. Lightweight—the component used is just lighter than the product itself. This could be an advantage of AL.

Mezzo Portfolio  

A-Level Design Portfolio