Thursday, May 21, 2009


1.3 Design brief produced is relevant to the task in identifying environmental hazards and establishing design specifications.

Our brief is to create a pair of speakers out of material that is either recycled or being used for a purpose other than its original one. For a recycled material we are using MDF which is made of recycled wood. We are also using carpet underlay, that’s original use is to extend the life of carpets by lining the floor underneath them. We are using the underlay to line the inside of our speakers to block the unwanted frequencies.

Environmental hazards that come from using these materials include the harmful gases produced by MDF when it is burnt or cut. The glue in MDF contains deadly chemicals which are released when burnt or cut and can cause damage to the atmosphere.

The carpet underlay is highly flammable and could easily become ignited. If this happens it could cause harm to people and the burning will release large amounts of carbon dioxide which could harm the atmosphere.

To protect against these environmental hazards we wear a mask that will prevent against inhalation of the deadly gas. Also, we use large extraction fans and open windows to remove the fumes from the work area.

Back plates and frame held together with supports

What my speaker will look like when it is finished. Except it will be better than this.

The new wood. Unsplit.

Back plates and frame held together with supports

New supports cut out

The new wood to be cut out.

In the end we couldn't use the recycled MDF because when we banged the nail into it the wood split. Because it is made of thin layers of cardboard and wood the nail just broke them down. Now I have to cut out another 50.

Supports glued to back plate

MDF supports

I used the cut out part of the inner frame for the little supporting pieces as part of the recycling standard.

Inside of the frames used for supports

Thursday, May 7, 2009


2.1 Alternative uses are identified for the materials to meet the requirements of the design brief.

Carpet underlay is mainly used under carpets. It extends the life of the carpet, reduces wear on the backing, adds to the carpet's insulating qualities, and gives a softer, more luxurious feel. A good quality underlay will help maintain your carpet's appearance and greatly improve comfort underfoot. There are two widely available types of underlay - Waffle rubber and recycled polyurethane foam chip - with satisfactory qualities available in both types.
In my speaker design it will be used to line the inside of my speakers. This is so it will absorb the unwanted frequencies that cancel out the good sound. It can do this because it is a soft, squishy material and it will channel the sound in a single direction out the speakers.
MDF is a type of hardboard, which is made from wood fibres glued under heat and pressure. It is dense, flat, stiff, has no knots and is easily machined. Because it is made up of fine particles it does not have an easily recognisable surface grain. It may be used to make display cabinets, wall-panels, storage units, bathroom cabinets, office furniture, kitchen cabinets, panel mouldings, dining sets, fire surrounds and many more.
I am using MDF because it is very dense and easy to work with. The density is important because it can insulate against unwanted frequencies and produce better sound. It will also add to the lifetime of the speakers, making them stronger and more durable.


The top, back and uncut frame

The top, back and uncut frame

Shapes to be cut out on MDF