02:42PM | 10/07/03
Member Since: 10/06/03
3 lifetime posts

I am working on a team project this semester for a class at MIT called 2.009. In 2.009, Product Engineering Processes, students work in large teams of approximately 15 to 20 individuals to design and build working alpha prototypes of new products. We learn about product design, working within a budget, and gain unifying engineering experience.
This year, the theme is related to HOME IMPROVEMENT.

My team has selected a project that we want to work on, but we need feedback from people who have more experience in home building, woodworking, carpentry, etc. and people who could be potential customers.

Here is the description of our idea:

Modular 2D cutter

This is a cutting guide for people who don’t have as much experience with carpentry (such as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity or just a DIYer).

It consists of
- two parallel rail guides
- a bar that is connected orthogonal to the rails and can move back and forth in the direction of the rails (x direction). Attached to the bar would be some type of tool (e.g. saw). The tool would be able to travel along the axis of the bar (y direction).
- Several interchangeable tool holders that can adapt to existing tools such as circular saws, power drills, utility knives, or even just a marker
- Digital readout for position of tool. Or type in measurement and the guide will stop once that measurement is reached.

We want to design the product so that it can cut 2x4’s, 2x6’s, and standard sheets of plywood and drywall.

General Idea:
Set this up on a construction site. Place material to be cut in between the two rail guides and clamp down. Attach tool holder for desired tool. Insert an existing tool (not included with the product) into the tool holder. Cut material to desired size, using digital readout display as an aid.


What features and characteristics would you pay for or do you think others would pay for in the product described above?

Some examples are: Portablility, Ease of use, Affordablility, Safety, Modular – Interchangeable parts for different types of tools, Accuracy, Easy maintenance, Attractiveness, etc.

If you could list all the ones you can think of and rank the top three. It would be a great help, and it would give us an idea of what to focus on when we actually make this product.

Any other feedback you can offer is welcome too.

This is the link to our class website if you are interested and would like to check on our progress. <>



11:32AM | 10/11/03
Member Since: 12/27/02
545 lifetime posts
That's a speed square it already exists.


05:27PM | 10/21/03
Member Since: 09/25/03
47 lifetime posts
Sounded like a variation on a panel saw to me.

Mark Hammond

10:31AM | 10/22/03
Member Since: 05/09/01
246 lifetime posts


06:31PM | 11/01/03
Member Since: 11/06/02
1284 lifetime posts
Several tools fitting that description have already been in use,
Delta Sawbuck
Sliding compound mitre saws
Speed square
Router guide gigs


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