Reflect – Make an Impact

Video of the completed product: Lighted Hand-cranked Spinning Toy Figurine

My project, the Lighted Hand-cranked Spinning Toy Figurine is a Chinese-New-Year themed decorative device that has spinning gears and cranks and lighting systems that light up the lanterns. This device both transfers and converts energy. For the hand-crank and gear part, energy transfer is demonstrated. Kinetic mechanical energy is transferred through the hand of the user to the crank, and to the gears, letting the figurine to spin. Throughout this process, thermal energy and sound energy is lost through friction. If the crank always touches the gears at the top, then energy will be smoothly transferred to the gears and to the figurine. At the back of the device, energy converting is demonstrated. Solar radiation is received by the solar panels and is transformed into electrical energy. Then electrical energy is transferred to the LED lamps through the wire. The electrical energy then is converted into light energy in the lamps. Throughout this process, thermal energy is lost. Therefore, overall, my device works well.

During the production of the product, I was successful in the part of the lighting part. The lights light up well when the solar panels face the sun, and the hand crank turns well 95% of the times. The measurements were also all well done, which allowed me to assemble everything in a neat way. The physical appearance of this device looks aesthetically appealing too. The energy transfer was well demonstrated. Overall, this product meets most of my expectations.

The areas that I need to improve in the product will be to correct the hand crank. Because the hand crank does not touch the top big gear when placed in a specific angle, the result is that it doesn’t work occasionally. The solution to that would be to put a barrier to stop it from tipping to that angle. However, because of the time limit, I wasn’t able to perfect this area. If I had the chance to redo this project, I would certainly change this part.

This project was a challenge to me, however, both the project and my goal was well accomplished. This device functioned well overall, which met my expectations.

After surveying users, they found this device aesthetically appealing. The pig is neatly painted, and the wooden pieces are all cut in straight lines.

My project also has its purpose – for the upcoming Chinese New Year. Red curtains, red clothes are all symbolic to the Chinese New Year. Since the New Year will be the year of the pig, I created a pig figure. Potential clients might be those who would like to decorate their room with festive decorations for the upcoming Chinese New Year.

This toy can be easily played with and doesn’t have any potential safety hazards like opening flames. All of the electrical systems are at the back of the device, which users would barely come in contact with. This toy would be safe for the user. Also, all wooden pieces are polished with sandpaper, which prevents sharp edges from harming the skin of fingers.

Also, this device is environmentally friendly. I chose to use solar panels instead of batteries because they support the environment, isn’t energy consuming, and they are safer.

Put together all with strong adhesives, this product is also durable because it is strong and doesn’t break easily. At the back are solar panels that provide electricity for the lamps, this helps to show that this device uses renewable energy source (solar power).

Because the idea of this device was all designed by me, this product is also completely original.

Overall, throughout this project, I have completed the Define and Inquire, Develop and Plan, Create and Improve, and lastly, Reflect. I have also followed the creating cycle. I have completed Define and Inquire, Develop and Plan, Create and Improve, along with sharing, critiquing, and making an impact. In the experience of making this device, not only did I learned these skills, but I also experienced in using different tools. Despite that occasionally the hand crank wouldn’t function as well, this project still met my goal of creating a decorative toy for the upcoming Chinese festival. Inspired by the fact of it will be the year of the pig, I decided to make a pig figurine. Happy early Chinese New Year!