Top 5 Constraints: Japanese Jewelry Box

I have already instigated a design change due to constraints — I have chosen to make more of a Japanese jewelry box with a couple of hidden compartments. I made this decision over creating a mechanical puzzle mostly because of the time constraint. Often our most thought-intensive work happens at the last-minute, since, inevitably, things can go wrong. However, creating something that has that much functionality may not be feasible within the time constraint (besides, the main focus of the project is aesthetics). Focusing on the Japanese aesthetic is another major constraint for me. I want to make something elegant (hopefully to give to my mother) that also represents its culture. I have always taken an interest in Japanese culture, but all I have really been exposed to is anime — I wanted to explore beyond that. Materials are a constraint. I possess very few of the components that I want to use for this project, but I am certain that they will be easy to come by and few in numbers. Obviously I will need wood for the box. I’ll also need materials for the mechanisms that open the secret compartments, which are still to be determined. That being said, cost is a contributing constraint as well. Really high-end wood is expensive and as a college student, I can only afford to do so much. So I am setting myself a budget of around $50 for everything that I need to complete this project. Finally, skill is probably the most important constraint for my project. I am depending on being able to do a lot of woodworking, which I have done practically none of in the past. I also intend to do some wood-carving for the outer aesthetic of the box. I just picked up a carving kit for the first time a couple of days ago, so I am going to have to learn quite a bit about working with wood in a relatively short time frame.

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Jimmy Speedy
    May 10, 2017 12:14 pm

    I could not agree more of with the cost constraint. As a college student I find it hard to buy the amount of materials I feel will ensure to a solid product. I think being limited by money while trying to do something for the first time will often lead to an unpleasant experience. Sounds like you have a good grasp on how to get the project done, good job!

  • I like this project idea, I think it is a really good way to integrate the dynamic part of the project. The secret compartments are also a great idea, since the box will likely be holding valuable things. For the openings, were you thinking of a hinge design or drawers? I think both could probably work, although you might have to be creative with the secret compartments. Good luck with the build!

  • Siddharth Nigam
    March 8, 2017 11:43 pm

    I definitely agree that being college students places us in an intricate position with the cost constraint. Often times, we are restricted by a certain amount of money that we can afford to spend, even though we can always splurge more on better quality materials.


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