Group 11 - Kodak Waterproof Camera

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Executive Summary

The purpose of this project is to effectively disassemble and reassemble a Kodak underwater disposable camera. In this undertaking our group will report and comment on things such as: how the product works, why it was designed in such a way, and possible improvements to the product among other things.

Group 11: Kodak waterproof camera


Jeffrey Weir -------------- (Project Coordinator, Disassembly, CAD Model)


  Thomas Troy  --------- (Assembly, After Assembly, Webpage Technician)
      Bin Pan  --------- (Introduction, Executive Summary)
     Rex Chan  --------- (Editor, Picture Upload)
 Andrew Simon  --------- (PowerPoint Presentation)

Before Disassembly

The camera was brand new before disassembly began and so was fully functional. As a guess our group thought there would be about 40 parts comprising the camera. Also it was thought that the camera would be made primarily from plastic with some other materials such as metal alloys and glass. The camera is all mechanically powered and through a series of mechanical mechanisms exposing the film to light which, in turn, enables it to capture the image on the film.

Disassembly Procedure:

Disassemble Procedure
Number Process Image 1 Image 2
1 Remove the outer film advance wheel and o-ring by prying it out with a knife.
2 Remove the outer seal (blue rubber covering) from the outer two halves.
3 Separate the front and rear outer casings containing the camera. This can be done by applying a lateral force of opposite directions to each side of the case while simultaneously prying the halves apart using a knife tip or small flathead screwdriver.
4 Separate the front and rear cover of the camera itself by prying them apart.
5 Remove the film and the film spindle.
6 Remove viewfinder plastic piece using a knife to pop it out.
7 Remove the film counter and film advance lock.
8 Remove the camshaft and sprocket.
9 Remove the film advance gear.
10 Remove the shutter lever and spring using a knife as needed.
11 Remove the lens holder and the outer lens.
12 Remove the shutter system holder and shutter spring.
13 Remove the shutter and eyehole gingerly.
14 Remove the inner lens from the camera body.
15 Remove the film window and the resistance piece from the camera body.

Parts List

Number Part Name Number Required Materials Manufacturing Process Picture Picture
1 Wrist Band 1 Rubber Injection Molding
2 Outer Film Advance 1 ABS Plastic Injection Molding
3 O-Ring 1 Rubber Injection Molding
4 Outer Seal 1 Rubber Injection Molding
5 Front Outer Casing 1 Clear Plastic Injection Molding
6 Rear Outer Casing 1 Clear Plastic Injection Molding
7 Front Cover 1 ABS Plastic Injection Molding
8 Rear Cover 1 ABS Plastic Injection Molding
9 Main Frame 1 ABS Plastic Injection Molding
10 Film Canister 1 Multi-material Multiple
11 Spindle 1 ABS Plastic Injection Molding
12 View Finder 1 Clear Plastic Injection Molding
13 Frame Counter 1 ABS Plastic Injection Molding
14 Film Advance Lock 1 ABS Plastic Injection Molding
15 Camshaft 1 ABS Plastic Injection Molding
16 Sprocket 1 ABS Plastic Injection Molding
17 Film Advance Gear 1 ABS Plastic Injection Molding
18 Shutter Lever 1 Clear Plastic Injection Molding
19 Spring 1 1040 Steel Shaping
20 Lens Holder 1 ABS Plastic Injection Molding
21 Outer Lens 1 Clear Plastic Injection Molding
22 Shutter System Holder 1 ABS Plastic Injection Molding
23 Shutter Spring 1 Metal Alloy Shaping
Small spring.JPG
24 Shutter 1 1040 Steel DieCasting
25 Eyehole for Shutter 1 ABS Plastic Injection Molding
26 Inner Lens 1 Clear Plastic Injection Molding
27 Film Window 1 ABS Plastic Injection Molding
28 Resistance Piece 1 1040 Steel Diecasting

Post Disassembly

In this camera there were a multitude of parts with differing shapes and functions. We believe, for instance, that the shutter eyehole was shaped in such a way so as to make it easy to assembly and make the camera function well due to the proper size of the eyehole. Many other parts such as the camera body were shaped and designed a certain way to make sure everything could be assembled without the need for fasteners. This design has big advantages in reducing assembly time which, in turn, will lead to a reduction of manufacturing costs for the company. Other pieces such as the film advance wheel had to be shaped in that way to perform the function of winding the film (teeth locked into the film canister). As far as materials go we believe they used primarily plastic due to its inexpensive nature, light weight, and ease of molding. These plastic parts such as the camera body, various gears, clips and camshaft were ideal to make out of plastic. They, unlike the shutter for instance, don't need to be particularly strong because there are no forces of large magnitude acting on them or acting on them in a way that could cause failure in the product. However, pieces like the shutter and the two springs were found to be more advantageous when made out of metal. The spring associated with the recoil of the shutter needed to be made out of metal because plastic is not elastic or very strong. The shutter also was designed out of metal because a plastic shutter of equal dimensions might wear out or break. Due to the small size and insufficient cross-sectional area, the shutter simply had to be made out of metal. Lastly the lenses were made out of plastic rather than glass because Kodak was trying to minimize costs. Plastic was acceptable for the lenses because of the nature of the disposable camera, with scratches of the lenses most likely not being an issue worth considering.

The Kodak disposable camera, while designed in a very methodical manner, could have some possible improvements made to ease assembly/disassembly and to the components comprising it. One thing that is worth considering was the product's inability to be disassembled with great speed. The camera had one way snap fits that made it easy to assemble but harder to disassemble. It is possible that the camera had more snap fits than necessary as well. This inability to disassemble the camera fast can't prove a failed product design however because of the lack of knowledge we have about how they typically take these cameras apart (do they use a machine?). The last major improvement we believe would be making the film window a part of the main body of the camera. We found that it had no advantage to be detachable except if the camera body were to be used for more than one of Kodak's disposable cameras. If this were the case standardizing the camera body and just changing the film windows between cameras would be beneficial probably.


Assembly Procedure
Number Process Image Image Image
1 Clip the film window to the main frame.
2 Place, in order, the inner lens concave up, eyehole, shutter on the front of main camera frame.
3 Place the shutter system holder, and the outer lens concave down onto the front of the main frame. Connect the shutter spring from the shutter to a hook attached to the main frame.
4 Snap on the lens holder on the main frame to hold everything in place.
5 Place spring on top of the main frame. Place the shutter lever on top so that has resistance from the spring.
6 Place the sprocket into the slot on the back of the main frame and place the camshaft onto the top of the main from so it pins the sprocket in place.
7 Place the spindle it the left side on the back of the main frame and the film canister onto the right.
8 Place the resistance piece on the front of the main frame.
9 Place the film advance gear, film advance lock and frame counter onto the top of the main frame.
10 Snap the view finder on top of the main frame to hold steps 5 - 9 into place.
11 Attach the rear cover to the back of the main frame and the front cover to the front of the main frame.
12 Place the front outer casing onto the front of the camera and place the outer seal on top of the outer casing. Snap the rear outer casing onto the back of the camera.
13 Place the o-ring onto the bottom of the outer film advance and snap this onto the top of the outer casing.

After Reassembly

This product works by using a series of gears and springs to open the shutter to take pictures. The shutter starts off covering the hole that allows light through. When the film advance gear is turned, the camshaft turns the sprocket moving the next film slide in front of the window. The shutter lever is also moved until it locks into place by the film advance lock. Once the camera is aimed at the desired image, the shutter release button is pushed releasing the film advance lock. The lever is then moved which opens the shutter for a very short amount of time. The springs allow for the shutter to be open for less then a second before it closes again. In this short amount of time, light enters the hole imprinting the image on the film. The film advance gear is turned again to take a new picture. This product still runs the same as it did before we disassembled it.

Analysis could be used in many ways to design a better product for market. Chief analyses that would need to be considered would be: strength of parts, moving dynamics, cost of manufacturing parts, assembly time, materials and ergonomics. When analyzed these constituents could be optimized to maximize the potential profit made by the company. In order to ensure product success and potentially save the company enormous amounts of money it would seem reasonable to do many product tests to guarantee quality. In disassembling and reassembling the product it quickly became apparent that the reassembly was a reverse process of the disassembly with the exception of not needed any tools when placing the components back into place during reassembly. The camera was both fully disassembled and reassembled with no problems other than that of the time required to do this. For this product we had a few design recommendations. Firstly we would like to see the main camera body mold have a smaller amount of plastic used. We feel this would decrease the cost of the product and would not decrease the strength of the product enough to make it not functional under reasonable conditions. Secondly we would like to see the camera comprised of fewer parts. Parts such as the film window didn't need to be separately injection molded and then clipped into the main camera body. It would have been easier and possibly more cost effective to include the film window in the mold of the main body. Another advantageous design change would be to make all the plastic parts aside from the lenses out of the same color plastic. This could possibly save in costs because the different plastics might give rise to slightly higher costs due to the differences in the plastics. We do realize that the plastics are probably of different colors to make it easier and faster for a human to assembly the product (more analysis recommended). As far as design features go we would like to see this camera be designed in such a way so that only one hand would be required to fully operate it. This would be great for those interested in using the camera for scuba diving (divers often need one hand free to monitor their gauges). Also we found the viewfinder to be quite unnecessary for a majority of those using the camera as it would most likely never be used in an underwater setting. Lastly we would like to see instructions that are more pictorial and bigger to add to the ease of use.

CAD Drawings

Shutter plate.jpg
Lens 1.jpg

Lens and Shutter Eyehole Assembly

Camera front.jpg
Camera iso.jpg
Camera top.jpg


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