Saturday, February 12, 2011


In this post I am going to look back on my project and think about how effective my design skills were and if I would change anything I’ve done during this project. I will also look in detail at my final design to see if it really is viable as an alternative locking mechanism to what is already being used in households around the world

I think that this would be a very desirable concept for use in elderly people’s homes. The reasons I feel this to be the case are:
  1. As people get older their children inevitably begin to look after them and I think that this locking mechanism is very secure due to the addition of the vertical bolts and the fact that there is more than just the key and pin system for unlocking the door (magnets).
  2. The lock is also so familiar to the older generation that they would barely even notice the change but it would really help them especially during the winter when there is a risk of the door jamming leaving the elderly person outside in the rain and this will prevent that situation from arising.
  3. The discreteness of the lock would mean that the elderly person would not feel belittled by the fact that they need to be helped with the front door as it impacts so little on aesthetics and other people aren’t aware that the help is there.

Feasibility (Technical Factors)
I am torn on this question for many reasons, which include:
  1. I think this locking mechanism is very feasible as the technology in it is not new and it is all used in applications similar to this one. This means that it would not be difficult to convert these technologies for use in the application I have specified.
  2. The way I have designed the lock in my Solidworks drawings did not take into account retrofitting (the lock I have designed would have to be built into the door during manufacture).  This is because I made the housing a single piece so a carpenter would not be able to install it using the same mortising techniques that they are used to. The door would have to be cut and glued back together and this would greatly reduce the strength of the door and offer a risk to the occupants.
  3. The assembly would be very difficult again because of the single housing part.
  4. I think that if I solved the housing problem this would be a very feasible design and I would have no problem at all putting this into my house, in fact I would encourage it.

Viability (Economic Factors)
I think that this mechanism would be very economically viable because:
  1. This lock is not far from what is already on the market apart from the solenoid. As the current locking alternatives are relatively inexpensive and my mechanism only includes an extra solenoid I don’t think that my mechanism would end up cost much more than the current competitors.
  2. Security is always such a huge factor when it comes to elderly people that I feel that families would be willing to spend the money on a lock that will keep their loved ones as safe as possible and I feel that my lock offers that.

My Opinion
I am happy with the project and how it turned out. There were of course problems during my project but overall I am satisfied with the finished product.

The parts I am happy with are:
  • I think the lock really fits it’s purpose and it is definitely fulfilling a need that is out their as I feel that too many elderly people have problems opening their front doors due to the doors weight and the risk of jamming in wet weather.
  • My Solidworks drawing really shows off my design perfectly. I am very happy that I modelled it to a standard that really gave a clear view of how the mechanism works and the physical properties of the mechanism.

The parts I am not as happy with are:
  • I think I have made my design too bulky and almost impossible to retro fit into older doors. I do not feel like it would take much changing to get it to a feasible alternative to the classic dead lock. As I said before I think it would just mean changing the housing.

What would I change if I was to do it all again?
There’s not a whole lot that I would change really.
  •  I feel like I came up with a very good idea for helping the elderly. 
  • My research was good but I could maybe have spent a little bit more time researching so that I would have realised that a single housing would not be effective. 
  • I think that I came up with 3 possible solutions that could have all been used as my final design. 
  • I am delighted with my Solidworks drawing as I was not sure if I would be able to model my design effectively but I definitely communicated the design well so the time was very worthwhile. 
  • I think that my notes and the means by which I have explained the design also work very well.

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