Year 10 Resistant Materials - The Desk Tidy

The Task

You are required to design and make a small vacuum-formed desk tidy. The desk tidy will hold 5 pencils, 4 pens, a sharpener and a rubber. It may also have a small compartment to hold coins, paper clips and drawing pins.


· You will be expected to design and make a m.d.f pattern, which will be eventually vacuum formed.
· The pattern will need bevelled sides called a draught angle in order to easily remove the polystyrene vacuum- formed sheet from the pattern.
· The pattern will need to be carefully designed in order to hold the above stationary items and any small items, which you intend to place in the tidy.
· The pattern will need to have very smooth surfaces in order to achieve a good vacuum formed shape.
· The pattern may need to be made up from a number of separate pieces.
· The size of the base of the pattern is very important. Your teacher will provide sizes.
· The pattern will need small diameter drill holes drilled through it (vent holes) in order for the air to be sucked through when vacuum forming.

Programmes Of Study References

1a Assignments in which they design and make products. Taken together these assignments should require activity related to industrial practices and the application of systems and control;
3a To develop and use design briefs and detailed specifications;
3c To design for manufacturing in quantity;
3f To determine the degree of accuracy required for the product to function as planned, taking account of critical dimensions and tolerances in determining methods of manufacture;
3g To generate design proposals against stated design criteria, and to modify their proposals in the light of on-going analysis and product development;
3h How graphic techniques, I.T equipment and software can be used in a variety of ways to model aspects of design proposals and assist in making decisions;
3k To apply and apply test procedures to check the quality of their work at critical points during development, and to indicate ways of improving it;
3l To ensure that the quality of their products is suitable for intended users.
4b To use tools and equipment accurately and efficiently to achieve an appropriate fit and finish and reliable functioning in products that match the specification;
4c A range of industrial applications for a variety of familiar materials and
4e How products are manufactured in quantity, including the application of quality control and assurance techniques;
4k To apply and devise test procedures to check the quality of their work at critical points during development, and to indicate ways of improving it;
4l To ensure through testing, modification and evaluation, that the quality of their products is suitable for intended users.
5c How materials are prepared for manufacturing, allowing for waste and fine line finishing;
7e The application of scientific principles;
8d Its impact beyond the purpose for which it was intended, e.g. the impact on the environment;
8e How far it meets manufacturability and maintenance requirements.

Technical Knowledge and Understanding

· Stages of making a successful pattern.
· Stages of vacuum forming.
· Use of C.A.D
· Use of spreadsheets.

Tools and Equipment Needed

· Vacuum forming machine.
· Polystyrene sheet.
· M.D.F
· Hand tools for pattern making.
· P.V.A glue.
· Sanding belt.
· Pillar -drill and drill bits.


Using Mathematics

· Measuring and scaling up.
Using I.T

· Use of spreadsheets.
· Use of C.A.D package

Using Science
· Use of a vacuum and atmospheric pressure.
· Importance of air -tight seal.
· Properties of materials.

Using Other Subjects

Using Economic And Industrial Understanding

· Batch production.
· Careers- Pattern makers.

Year 10 Construction- Desk Tidy

The Task
To design and make a vacuum formed desk tidy. The project will have two separate components. Pupils
Will be expected to make a m.d.f pattern and use this as a vacuum forming mould in order to make the desk tidy.

Setting The Task
As part of the course students need to examine methods of manufacturing. We will use this project as a vehicle to examine Batch Production.

Main Aims
· For pupils to design and make a m.d.f pattern.
· To learn how to make a pattern which will work successfully and give good definition.
· For pupils to use the vacuum forming machine and to make a polystyrene desk tidy.

· To understand what batch production is as opposed to mass production.
· To understand the scientific principles behind vacuum forming.
· To learn how to use the vacuum former.
· To use a variety of materials and to understand the properties of materials (polystyrene as opposed to acrylic).
· To understand the importance of a quality finish in relation to patterns and mouldings.
· To further they're designing skills.


The Nature Of The Product
· Each pupil will make a m.d.f pattern.
· Each pupil will vacuum form the pattern.
· Each pupil will test their desk tidy to establish if it meets the specifications and original design brief.
· Each pupil will evaluate the desk tidy.
· Each pupil will (using a c.a.d package) design The desk tidy pattern in orthographic projection.
· Each pupil will produce a spreadsheet to cost out the project and decide upon a suitable price for his or her tidy.