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 4th semester project

Palm sander

What was the project about?

This project was about designing a product with restrains. Whether you’re designing a car, phone or drill they all have internal component that you have to take into account when designing. For this project I had to choose an electric power tool that I had to design in the style of a brand. I chose to make a palm sander in the style of Ryobi (a power tool manufacturer).


Fist I researched the brand to find out the who the target group is, what the price range is and what the Ryobi style is. From this, I made a document where I wrote down everything I learned about the brand and made a couple mood boards. One about the target group, one about the product environment and one about the brand itself containing different Ryobi product. I took a closer look at the design DNA where I looked for common features. I then took screenshots of those features and made a collection of them so that I could easily look up the different applications.

I also researched how a palm sander worked by taking one apart. Here I took pictures of all the components and details which I added to the document for future reference.

Imagery is limited due to copyright reasons.





Thanks to the research I knew all the components that had to fit inside of the palm sander. This was very helpful during the design process because I could design, knowing beforehand, everything will fit into the housing. I also had general sizes for the different parts of the palm sander which made it easier to come up with new designs. I started off drawing side views on paper. After I had plenty of sketches, I scanned them to my computer and made 2D renders of my favorites. I chose 3 out of these renders and drew/rendered them in perspective in Photoshop as well. Finally, I chose one that I thought fit the best in the Ryobi brand.



Here you can see 3 detail renders of the palm sander. On the left image you can see all the internal components. And on the right image you can see all the grooves, holes and paths in the bottom plate that are needed for the dust collection. This bottom plate taught me a lot about in which order I have to draw a part. This was because it has so many holes, drafts and fillets and many features referencing previous features and sketches. Because of all these details my computer slowed down significantly which could have been prevented if I added all the features in the right order.


I worked on this project at the same time as the Olympic torch, so at the start of the project I had no experience with surface modeling. The modeling of the palm sander was quite difficult for me. This was because the palm sander had to be ergonomic and also had to house all the electrical components. This concept also has many curves which were difficult to draw with the surface tools. I have learned a lot about when, why and in which order you use the surface modeling tools. I also gained a lot of experience in parametric design and learned a lot about how to successfully plan a project. This was quite a big project, so a good planning and structure was really important. I am very satisfied with how the project went and with what I made.