Tools Essay

1683 words - 7 pages

A tool is something that is used in order to gain a mechanical advantage and increase power transfer. Some simple examples are hammers, screwdrivers, and knives. An ergonomic tool will give a biomechanical advantage. Such a tool should reduce the amount of force required and improve the quality of work that is done. Man has been using tools right from the time he was a hunter and a gatherer of food to gain a mechanical advantage. Since then he has also been able to make tremendous improvements and design better tools that fulfill his needs better and make him more efficient.There are many factors, or features, of a tool that are important in a good design. Some of these are performance, safety and usability (there are many other factors like handle size, material of the grip etc. but I have discussed them in my last paper). Good tools are tools that perform well, are safe for the user and are easy to use. I am a member of the Future Truck team and very often I use tools like the screwdriver and the hammer. I would define both of these tools as very good tools. Let me take the screwdriver as an example and prove why exactly I think that it a very good tool. It performs very well, it will always give you the desired result and with very little effort. A screwdriver is also a very safe tool to use. It has no sharp edges and is very light so while using it you really don't have to worry about cutting yourself or hurting yourself when it falls on your leg. A screwdriver is also very easy to use. One can use it efficiently and safely with very little practice. On my first day at Future Truck I was asked to loosen a screw on the truck. I had never used a screwdriver before that day, but within just five minutes I was able to figure out how to use it efficiently and safely.There are a number of steps that one should follow before designing a good tool. Scope of the product uses - what is the product going to be used for, environment of use, user population - who is going to use the product, possible hazards and alternative designs that would minimize the hazard. Like if we take the screwdriver again as an example. A screwdriver will mainly be used for screwing screws but it can also be used for hammering some nails (or at lest I have often used it for that and I am a user, so something like that needs to be taken into consideration), it will be used in a variety of environments, in a warm environment, cold environment, dusty environment and even in a noisy environment. A number of different kinds of people will use the product, males, females, children, disabled people etc. Some of the possible hazards of using a screwdriver could be cutting your self with its sharp edges, due to improper grip or due to improper design the user might use a lot more force than is required and over time might develop an injury like the Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. Some alternative designs that might minimize the hazard could be making the screwdriver round-edged and not...

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