/ ice axe project
Have a think about a modular system where the length, straightness or curved shafts, different picks, spikes and adze etc can all be swapped about so you have a true, do it all axe
ice climbing or walking? I think it would be relatively easy to make a CFRP shafted axe for a walker which would be mega light and strong
Novel alloy (BMG, HEA, SIM/GUM metals)?
Novel features (incorporated flask, shaver, heated tip, heated handle.....)?
First, start off with why the world needs a new 'futuristic' ice axe design. What are the problems posed by existing models? What are their limitations?
There's no point in designing something futuristic for the sake of it. Good design will always solve problems in existing products and move forward.
So answer them for us, which issues with existing designs are you looking to tackle? What features make a tool futuristic?
Are you expected to make a tool or simply do a design study?
shape memory alloys?
> shape memory alloys?
The combination of shape memory alloys (usually "set" using heat) and handwarmers sounds like a fun one ;-)
Do kids these days not know how to use google? and they say that the quality of education in this country is going to pot!
The thing that bothers me more about these type of posts is the lack of effort put in by those starting the threads to answer their questions themselves, why think when someone else will do it for you. And they don't even make an effort to ask a sensible correctly worded/structured question, adding stupid little winking smiley faces and crap like that.
Sadly, I've encountered undergraduate students taking the same approach to getting work done.
> What features make a tool futuristic?
heat it up and it will boing into a vicious curve for steep water ice and a self sharpening vitreloy/bmg pick ;-)
I know ice tools aren't safe for kids but I think that is going a bit far!
One idea design wise is to look at the ergonomics of grips... not all hands are the same size, and having to grip over hard due to too big or small a shaft will result in getting "pumped". You can purchase rucksack in multiple back sizes, so why not axes in multiple hand sizes? I can think of a few different ways to achieve that principle.
What techniques to you have access to? What raw materials are available? If you're doing this for res-mat (or whatever it is these days) and have to make the finished product not just a mockup then bear in mind you're going to have to make the pick from a suitable grade of stainless steel bar stock, shape (could cut it, could forge it), grind and heat treat it, and if you make the shaft from cold formed metal you'll also need to release any stresses...
I'd check that the facilities and skill base required are available before you get in over your head.
I wonder has anyone ever tried a deadblow head on an ice tool. I don't do any icicle bothering so I could be totally wrong but it strikes me as something worth considering.
cue new thread on how can I drill my fly and fill it with lead shot......
I note that the concept of irony does not appear to be taught anymore.
Not when you teacher looks on here and sees that we've done the work for you and that you can't construct a sentence properly it won't.
Mind you, at least you've shown a bit more gratitude than some of you classmates, so that's in your favour.
Maybe I'm just jealous because all we got to make at school was a money box out of balsa wood.
I can see where asking the question "What features would you like to see in a novel ice axe", as a questionnaire, giving a list of options &c, and then collating the data into a useful format (e.g. you find out that out of a sample of 100 respondents, 20% of people would like shape memory alloys, 30% would like a built in handwarmer, 30% want the oil-filled design mentioned, 20% are happy with existing designs) would count as primary design research (from the marketing side, at least).
That said a simple "tell me about ice axes", which your question boils down to, is actually secondary if not tertiary research - you are asking other people (one remove) what they consider an ice axe to be, i.e. learning from their experience of other designs or sources (second remove).
Primary research, as done by a manufacturer, would probably consist of: 10% asking the market (by, e.g., looking at sales figures) what people would buy, 50% testing the properties of different materials (e.g. how stiff/strong are these alloys that we are considering?) and 40% making and testing prototypes - i.e. generating and testing hypotheses. (these numbers are just a guess plucked from thin air)
There are also probably marks available, (and if there are not then there really ought to be), for spelling, punctuation and grammar. You may wish to take advantage of them!
"Hi im a year 10 student who needs some advice and ideas on making an ice axe. Come on guys help me out! ;)"
Does not count as primary research!
That aside, the fact that ticking boxes for an A* rather than learning all the skills you can and making the best damn product you can is the focus of your course is exactly why the education system is broken.
You won't neccesarily appreciate this, but the way things are now, you won't really start learning much of use until you leave the classroom and start doing... That applies double if you go to uni
It's harder than you'd think apparently
OP: what about stowable finger rests?
Thanks guys. This thread really has been most amusing!
Although I have learned more about "primary research" than about futuristic ice axes.
"will get me an a*" that's questionable, just like the information you could gleam from asking random punters on an open forum. So the countries education hasn't gone to pot, just to correct that for you.
> "will get me an a*" that's questionable, just like the information you could gleam from asking random punters on an open forum. So the country's education hasn't gone to pot, just to correct that for you.
Well, I think it is a great idea to ask people who use ice axes what they think of them. As for this not being a valued piece of research; I think the number of responses says it all. You have no doubt learnt a lot about ice axes, and a lot about how people treat each other on forums such as this.
1. This forum is probably the best place to contact ice axe users in the UK for a year 10 student who isn't regularly/ever spending time on the hills.
2. I hope some of the commentators here have emailed you with some useful advice.
Some of the comments that are saying this isn't valuable research should be ignored. First thing to do when you know very little about a subject is to ask someone who does. Well done.
I'm afraid, other than saying well done for trying to contact some ice axe users I personally can't help with your design. From reading the above posts, I would however say, ice axe users tend to be an obnoxious bunch on the whole, so maybe my measly input could be to request painting your design with smiley faces.
"First thing to do when you know very little about a subject is to ask someone who does"
No, the first thing to do is try and answer the question yourself, drawing on what resources you have available. This chap clearly has an internet connection and could easily have typed something as simple as "ice axe design" into google, throwing up "About 1,740,000 results (0.33 seconds)", many from trustworthy sources like the manufacturers themselves that are describing what are considered the useful and novel features of their products.
At which point, once you have some background information allowing you to construct sensible questions you go and ask people to help you fill in the blanks.
The inability of people to help themselves to any degree due to what I see as laziness really pisses me off, especially when these people can't be arsed to write a coherent sentence and then get mardy about it.
Latest tools are made with ergonomic handles and are designed to be used leashless. Most climbers that aren't hotshots, or professionals, are afraid to go leashless.
To answer this need there is an eye where you can clip a lanyard (see grivel lanyard) product to.
The link here can be problematic:
1)If it's too big the carabiner is across from your hand and a hindrance. 2)Sometimes when your hand is not on the handle the crab can even walk on your handle and get stuck there.
Some people get round that by threading that eye with wire (wedged) or thin rope (knotted).
Can you design a link that tick the following boxes:
1) is easily clipped AND unclipped.
2) is as strong as the lanyard for an eventual fall (they haven't got high fall ratings anyways)
3) does not impede hand placement.
4) does not freeze.
5) is small and unobtrusive.
There are lots of other features to think off in this light.
Have you ever handled an axe? Could you try somewhere round you? (indoor, outdoor...) That will help your understanding and surely can be included in your research paper.
If you just copy and paste the problems/ideas pointed out to you here, you might get the A* (or not), but you will have gain little. However, if you think through and use all the suggestions, then you will get something out of it. GCSE can be an empty ticket or a meaningful one, depending on how you tackle it.
BTW, this post should also teach you a bit about banter, cynism... not necessarily a bad thing boy-o!
Way to go and encourage a young mind! You must feel so proud! You big big men!
To the op, you clearly don't need this interjection from me as you are showing more maturity than them, but I couldn't help myself.
Good luck with the project, my main issue is that I want a straight shaft for plunging but a curved shaft for when swinging. What about some mechanism like on the tiltable patio umbrellas. Probably naff but a thought.
> Way to go and encourage a young mind! You must feel so proud! You big big men!
> To the op, you clearly don't need this interjection from me as you are showing more maturity than them, but I couldn't help myself.
> Good luck with the project, my main issue is that I want a straight shaft for plunging but a curved shaft for when swinging. What about some mechanism like on the tiltable patio umbrellas. Probably naff but a thought.
In reply to twm.bwen (& ClayClay):
It occurred to me after I posted previously that the teacher is probably the one who suggested a visit to UKC, presumably assuming we'd all be graciously helpful, and the students are just doing as they were told.
I reckon if we'd come across them in person at a wall or crag, clipboards in hand and with eager, dewy-eyed inquisitiveness, we'd all have been more inclined to help, or at least less willing to pour scorn.
So my apologies, at least, to the op and classmates, for being too ready to snear and be dismissive. It's the Internet's fault. Also not being able to think of any useful suggestions for potential improvements probably doesn't help, in my case.
It does occur to me that, were the students asking questions in person, they'd be less likely to come across as cocky know-it-alls - but, thinking back to when I was that age, that is sort of the default setting for 14/15 year olds, so some allowance should probably be made.
Good luck with the project, let us know how it turns out
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