Group 19 - Ford F-150 Power Wheels: Gate 3 Product Archaeology

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Component Summary


This section displays a component summary of all of the components apart of the vehicle. This section has a table that lists all components and lists their functions, how many times its used, manufacturing method(s), as well as the material(s) of the component. A picture is represented for all of the components for a visual aid

Part Number Part Name Image Fuction Materials Manufacturing Process Times Used
1 Main Chassis
G19 Main Chassis.JPG
The main chassis is the main body of the whole vehicle. It ties most of the product's components together since most of the components are connected to to chassis in some way. Polypropylene Plastic Injection Molding 1
2 Cargo Bed
G19 Cargo Bed.JPG
The fuction of the cargobed is primarily for storage. It gives the child the impression that they have their own pick up truck storage that can transport various items back and forth. Polypropylene Plastic Injection Molding 1
3 Hubcap
G19 Hubcap.JPG
The hubcap\'s purpose is primarily for the product\'s aesthetics. It covers up the wheel connection to the pin and rear axle. Polypropylene Plastic Injection Molding 4
4 Steering Wheel
G19 Steering Wheel.JPG
The purpose of the steering wheel is to allow the user, specifically a child, to able to manuever the vehicle when operating and driving it. Polycarbonate/ABS Plastic Injection Molding 1
5 Seat
G19 Seat.JPG
The function is the seat is to allow the user to have a confortable spot to sit in while operating the product. The user is also held in place while the vehicle is in motion. Polypropylene Plastic Injection Molding 1
7 Hood
G19 Hood.JPG
The hood provides a cover for the front compartment of the car where the battery is contained. It provides protection to the battery from the environmental elements. Polypropylene Plastic Injection Molding 1
8 & 9 Seat Belt
G19 Long Seat Belt.JPG
The function of the seatbelt is to provide protection for the child. The seatbelt would hold the child in place if the product came to a sudden stop. Since the vehicle only has a top speed of 5 MPH, only a two point seatbelt is provided. Nylon Woven together by an automatic machine 2
10 Rear Wheel
G19 Rear Wheel.JPG
The rear wheels provide the rotational energy from the electrical output of the motor and gearbox. The rotational energy from the tires propels the vehicle forward or backwards in a one planar motion. The tires treads also provides high traction for the given tire material. Polycarbonate/ABS Plastic Injection Molding 2
20 Front Wheel
G19 Front Wheel.JPG
The front wheels connected to the front axle are free to rotate and used for the steering of the product by the user interacting with the steering wheel and steering column Polycarbonate/ABS Plastic Injection Molding 2
11 Front Grille
G19 Front Grille.JPG
The front grille\'s purpose is mainly for the product\'s aesthetics to make the product look and feel more like an actual F-150 to the child, which the front grille was modeled after. Polypropylene Plastic, Polycarbonate plastic for fake headlights Injection Molding, plastic lights and light casing put on the grille by hand 1
12 Grille Support
G19 Grille Support.JPG
The grille support contains a two hitches that provide towing capabilities for the vehicle with limited amounts of weight due to the material. Polypropylene Plastic Injection Molding 1
13 Steering Column
G19 Steering Column.JPG
The purpose of the steering column is to translate the user\'s rotational force of the steering wheel to turn the front axle and tie rods. This in turn allows the vehicle to manuever. Steel Die Casting 1
14 Pin
G19 Pin.JPG
The pin is struck through a hole in the back of the steering wheel, through a hole in the steering column, which held them together. This allows all energy to be transferred between the two components. Steel Die Casting 1
15 Rim
G 19 Rim.jpg
The rims' primary function is for aesthetics. The look of the rims are meant to resemble the rims of an actual vehicle. The rims give the child a more realistic impression of what a car's tire looks like how how the tires are pieced together. Polypropylene Plastic Injection Molding 4
17 12 Volt Battery
G19 12 Volt Battery.JPG
The battery provides electrical chemical energy that powers the vehicle at maximum voltage of 12 volts. The battery provides energy to the reat motor when the pedal is pressed by the user. The battery can also be charged using a battery charger plugged into an electrical outlet which inputs energy to the battery. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Plastic Casing, Lead-Acid base, copper circuit Casing made from Injection molding, chemical process used for inside 1
19 Side Skirt
G19 Sideskirt.JPG
The function of the side skirt is mainly for aesthetic purposes, but it also provides the child a step to get in the actual vehicle. Polypropylene Plastic Injection Molding 2
22 Rear Axle
G19 Rear Axel.JPG
The rear axle takes energy from the rear motor andgear box and outputs the rotational energy to the wheels, which also provide rotational energy. Steel Die Casting 1
23 Gear Box
G19 Gearbox.JPG
The function of the gearbox is to take rotational mechanical energy from the rear motor and provide rotational energy to the rear axle. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Plastic, Gears inside are polypropylene Injection Molding, gears assembled inside by hand 2
26 Gear Shifter
G19 Gear Shifter.JPG
The gear shifter\'s function is to assign the amount of energy and direction to the motor. It requires user input to signal it to either low speed, high speed or reverse. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Plastic Casing, Copper plug Injection molding for casing, plugs die casted 1
27 Rear Motor
G19 Rear Motor.JPG
The rear motor takes electrical chemical energy from the battery and also the user input from the gear shifter to provide mechanical rotational energy for the gear box and axle. This can either be clockwise or counterclockwise, depending on the gear shifter. Steel Casing, Steel components inside Casing and gears die casted, then assembled together by hand 2
28 Battery Holder
G19 Battery Holder.JPG
The funtion of the battery holder, is to keep the battery in place in the front compartment, while the vehicle is in motion. Polycarbonate/ABS Plastic Injection Molding 1
29 Front Axle Assembly
G19 Front Axel Assembly.JPG
The purpose of the front axle assembly is to take the rotational energy of the steering wheel and steering column and turn the two front wheels to allow maneuverability. Steel Axle, Polycarbonate/ABS plastic wheels, polypropylene frame Die Casting for steel, Injection molding for plastic 1
30 Pedal
G19 Pedal.JPG
The pedal takes user input when pressed down that sends an electrical signal to the battery which causes the chain of converting energy from the battery and gear shiter to the rear motor. Polypropylene Plastic, Steel Nail, Copper Plug Injection Molding 1
34 Radio
G19 Radio.JPG
The radio provides a working FM radio for the user to listen to music. This also provides the feel of an actual car to the child. It runs on four C Alkaline batteries. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Plastic, Copper Wire, Polypropylene Wire Casing Injection molding for casing and buttons, circuit boards put in by hand, various radio buttons put on by hand 1
36 Dashboard
G19 Dashboard.JPG
The dashboard provides a support and insert spot for the steering wheel, radio and windshield and holds them all together. It also provides the product\'s aesthetics for simulating an actual vehicle\'s dashboard. Polyproylene Plastic Injection Molding 1

Product Analysis


In this section group 19 took five of the most important components of the Ford F-150 Power Wheels and broke it down into multiple sections. These section being the compenents function,as well as the components form which talks about the shape, material and complexity of the object into depth. Lastly, this section talks about the Manufacturing Methods that were used to create these components.

Main Chassis

Figure 1: Main Chassis

Component Function

The main chassis is the main body and frame of the entire product. This component connects and holds all of the subsystems together, such as the steering, radio, gear shifter, and axis listed more in depth in Gate 2. The main chassis is what the user actually sits in during operation of the product. It performs multiple functions in a sense that multiple subsystems are attached to it. For this reason, the main chassis’ associated flows are all of the subsystems’ flows linked together.

The environment that the chassis performs in is up to the decision of the user, but most likely to be exposed to outdoor elements. Fischer-Price has advertised the product to be able to stand up to rough outdoor terrains, due to it being modeled after the actual Ford F-150 vehicle.

Component Form

The general shape of the main chassis is modeled after the general shape of the Ford-F150 pickup truck. This means it is at roughest description a rectangular prism with certain cutouts for different components, such as the wheels, cargo bed, seat, and wind shield. The main chassis is axis symmetrical, like a lot of car bodies. The body is primarily three dimensional, since there are a lot of different shapes to fit in all of the product’s components. The general size of the component is 45 in. x 30 in. x 13 in.

The component’s shape is coupled to the function it performs by being a rigid body with access points in which other components can be applied to. By allowing to other components to fit in with the shape of the chassis, proper flow of the subsystems can occur.

The component weighs roughly 18 lb.

The material that the chassis is made from is most likely Polypropylene Plastic. The reason for this is that it is mostly flexible. Manufacturing decisions did impact it because the Fischer-Price had a wide variety of plastics to choose from and this type of plastic may have been more suitable to the needs of the component. A specific material property needed for the main chassis to function is a material that is flexible enough to create a smooth ride for the child when it operates on rough terrains, but not flexible enough to not deform. Global factors that influenced the decision of the material are the resources needed to create the polypropylene plastic. Societal factors include choosing a plastic that is safe for the child to be operating in and making skin contact with. Economic factors play a large role with the manufacturer since Fischer Price would want to choose a plastic fits in with safety standards as well as minimize the cost of production, which would mean a larger profit. Also the manufacturer would want to minimize the amount of material in the component. Environmental factors influence the decision because plastic can contain hazardous chemicals which would not be safe to the child if ever burned. Plastic is also known to degrade very slowly and the recycling process is a difficult one.

Aesthetic properties of the main chassis, like stated before, are to resemble that of an actual Ford-F-150 pickup truck. By looking like an actual truck, a child that is interested in vehicles would be drawn to the product. The main chassis is colored a dark navy. This makes it resemble the actual color of a Ford F-150 truck, which can also be produced in this color. The outside of the main chassis has a glossy surface finish, also making it resemble the actual truck. The dark color can also be suited to not show dirt and mud as much, since the product is advertised to operate on rough landscapes. The inside of the component is smooth, but does not have the same glossy finish of the outside. This is mostly for aesthetic purposes of looking like the actual vehicle. A functional purpose of the glossy finish is that a very smooth surface finish would less likely for a child to receive an injury. The rougher inner surface of the chassis is to provide more grip for the child to ride in the product.

Manufacturing Methods

The manufacturing method that was used to make the main chassis was most likely injection molding. Evidence that supports this is that injection molding is a common method to mass produce plastic components such as toys, which the product is. The main chassis also contains rise marks and parting lines on the side, which further supports the evidence of injection molding. The material choice did impact this decision because injection molding is primarily used for plastic. A good surface finish is also a common characteristic of injection molding. The shape also impacted the decision for injection molding because it would have taken longer for other processes, such as machining and forming, to create the shape of the main chassis. Injection molding is suitable for complex geometries.

Global factors influenced the decision because injection molding is a commonly used process for manufacturing around the world, so Fischer-Price has already performed and improved the process. Societal factors include creating jobs for people in order to perform the injection molding process. Economic factors once again play a large role since injection molding is cost effective for a high volume production of components, which this product did undergo. The main chassis’ specifications were also probably reviewed multiple times, since design revisions can be expensive due to the fact the mold initially costs a lot. Environmental factors include the power actually needed to perform the process. The process of injection molding also holds the possibility of hazardous chemicals in the air where the process is actually taking place.

12 Volt Battery

Figure 2: 12 Volt Battery

Component Function

The 12 Volt Battery of the product is the primary source of energy. The lead-acid battery provides electrical chemical energy that powers the vehicle at the voltage of 12 volts. This is done by a chemical reaction occurring within the battery. The battery acts to the product as an engine acts to the actual Ford-150. The difference is that the product runs on electrical energy rather than gasoline. Providing energy is the only function that the battery needs to perform. The battery is also rechargeable and can be charged using in battery charger that comes with the product using electrical energy from an outlet and inputting it into the battery. Several flows are associated with the battery. When the pedal of the product is pressed down by the user and the gear shifter in a certain position, it sends a signal to the battery to provide electrical energy to the rear motors through wires. The rear motors produce mechanical rotational energy to the gear box, rear axle and tires, which causes the vehicle to actually go in motion.

The environment that the 12 volt battery was meant to function in is an isolated one. The front compartment and hood are used to keep the battery out of the reach of environmental elements. Although the casing of the battery may be able to protect the chemical process of the inside, it is possible for environmental factors to affect and harm the battery. A battery holder is also used to keep the battery in place during motion so a bump when driving does not damage the battery casing.

Component Form

The general shape of the component is a cube. It is also axis-symmetric. The battery is primarily three dimensional since its height, width, and depth are almost all equal to each other. The dimensions of the component are a 5.375 in. x 5.5 in. x 4.25 in.

The component’s dense shape is coupled to the function because although it has a low energy to weight ratio and low energy to volume ratio, it allows the battery to supply high surge currents. This allows for a high power to weight ratio.

The component roughly weights 12 lb.

The material that the 12 volt battery is made out of is most likely Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene plastic. The reason for this is that ABS plastic is commonly used for electronic equipment casing, such as computers. The component does contain electronic parts inside of it. Manufacturing decisions impacted this because material needed to be able to protect the electronic and chemical components inside the battery from the environment that could harm the battery’s function. A specific material property needed for the battery to function is that the battery’s plastic should protect it and also not corrode due to the lead-acid reaction. Global factors that influenced the decision to use the material of the battery include using a material that can be sold and transported to different places without the battery being damaged over time. Different environments of transported such as an area of higher temperature may affect the material of the battery, ruining its function. Societal factors once again deal with the issues of safety. The material needs protect the hazardous material of the battery from the child operating the vehicle if for whatever reason the child were to make skin contact with the battery. Long term exposure to tiny amounts of led can lead to brain, kidney, and heart damage as well as learning problems in children. Economic factors play a big role for the decision of materials since the manufacturer wants to minimize the cost of production by minimizing the amount of material used. Also a material that failed to protect a child from the hazardous materials could mean a lawsuit to Fischer-Price somewhere along the line. Environmental factors are perhaps the largest influence for the material of the battery. Although the lead-acid battery recycling is one of the most successful recycling programs, 40,000 metric tons of led ends up in landfills every year, which is harmful to the environment and to people.

The 12 volt battery does not really contain any aesthetic properties. This is because the battery is not really meant to be visible since it is in a closed, isolated compartment. The only aesthetic purpose of the battery is to be able to fit inside the front compartment neatly. The battery is a light gray color, which does not really have a functional reason behind it. Gray may have been the cheapest color to make the battery. The component has a smooth surface finish. This is mainly for functional reasons so that the user, most likely the parent of the child can pick up the battery to charge it or if there are any problems with it.

Manufacturing Methods

The manufacturing method that was used to make the plastic casing of the battery was most likely injection molding. Evidence that supports this is that injection molding is a common method to mass produce plastic components. There are also marks and parting lines near the top of the battery which further suggests injection molding. The electric and chemical components that produce the energy of battery were probably put in by hand by someone wearing protective clothing. The material choice impacted this decision because injection molding is primarily used on plastic materials. Injection molding also creates a smooth surface finish, which the battery casing does have. The shape of the component did not really play a large role in the method selected since making a cube shaped casing could have been done easily using other methods, but may have been faster using injection molding.

Global factors that influenced the decision to use injection molding include the fact that Fischer-Price has already done the process before for their other products so they have a solid method down. This means materials used to perform the process would be easy to obtain. Societal factors once again include creating jobs. Also societal factors include safety issues since injection molding can leave part weaknesses. This would not be good since the battery contains dangerous materials inside and a crack in the casing can expose these materials to the user. Economic factors influence the decision since it is economically feasible to mass produce plastic components. Environmental factors once again include the power needed to perform the process and the possibility of hazardous plastic materials where the injection molding is occurring, which would be harmful to workers.

Gear Shifter

Figure 3: Gear Shifter

Component Function

The primary function of the gear shifter is to assign the amount of current and the direction of the rear motor. The shifter was made to look like an actual vehicle shifter by giving the user a choice of three gears. The lever on the gear shifter must be moved by the user to the selected gear. The three gears are normal speed, high speed and reverse. The normal speed gear causes the product to move in motion at a lower speed, since the lower current causes the motor to rotate at a lower speed. The high speed gear assigns a higher current, causing the motor to rotate faster, therefore causing the car to move faster. The reverse gear changes the direction of rotation of the motor, causing the vehicle to move in the opposite direction. Assigning the amount of current and direction of the motor is the only function of the gear shifter. The flows that are associated with the gear shifter include user input that signals the amount of current to the rear motors which rotates the gearbox, rear axle, and rear tires, causing motion of the product. The flow starts with the user pressing down the pedal and producing electrical power from the battery.

The environment that the component functions in is inside of the vehicle along with the child operating the product. This means, like the main chassis, that the gear shifter would be exposed to the environment most of the time if the child uses the product outdoors. The copper plugs that send the signal to the motor are not visible though, meaning that exposure to the environment may affect the gear box’s electrical signals.

Component Form

The general shape of the gear shifter is a rectangular prism base with a vertical rectangular prism lever. A horizontal cylinder is the handle attached to the lever. This makes it resemble the shifter of an actual vehicle. Notable properties of the shape include the plugs that protrude from the bottom of the base and that the lever is free to move from the three switches. The gear shifter is primarily three dimensional due to the several three dimensional shapes that make up the component. The dimensions of the base are 3 in. x 3.25 in. x 1.75 in. The dimensions of the lever are 2.375 x .5 x .5. The cylindrical handle has a radius of .5 and height of 1.5 in.

The gear shifter roughly weighs 1 lb.

The materials that the gear shifter is made from is Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene plastic for the casing and copper for the plug. The reason for this is the ABS plastic is used for casing electronic equipment, with the gear shifter does contain. Manufacturing decisions influenced the choice of material because suitable plastic needed to be chosen to protect the electric components and switches. A specific material property that is needed for it to function is plastic that is rigid enough to stand up to the lever being continuously adjusted. The child using the product will most likely being shifter the gears a lot and the material should not be worn out or deformed so easily. Also the copper used for the plug must be able to transmit current effectively. Global factors influence the decision of the material due to the availability of the resources needed to create the ABS plastic. Societal factors include the safety issues of a material being suitable enough for a child to make constant hand contact with. The gear shifter is meant for user interaction so the material must not be harmful to make skin contact with. Economic factors, as always play an important role in choosing a material. Like other components, Fischer-Price will try to minimize the amount of material used to produce the component in order to minimize the cost of production. The must also be durable enough to not break after heavy usage. Since the gear shifter is an integral part of the product, a defective gear shifter can lead to sale returns from dissatisfied customers. Environmental factors are the slow recyclability of plastic, which is harmful to the environment. This may cause the manufacturer to minimize the usage of plastic on the product and component itself.

The gear shifter does contain aesthetic properties. As previously stated, the gear shifter is meant to resemble the actual gear shifter of a real automobile. Although a real automobile’s gear shifter contain more than three gears, the general idea of a shifter is kept for the product’s three gear shifter. The gear shifter’s aesthetics purpose to let the user know what gear the vehicle is actually in. There are sticker labels on the gear shifter for each of the three switches. The component has a black base, and a gray lever and handle. The sticker labels are red, green and yellow. The color of the base, level, and handle don’t really have reason to them other than to match the color scheme of the vehicle and perhaps resemble the actual F-150’s gear shifter. The multi-colored sticker labels are for the child to distinguish the difference between each gear. Like most of the components on the product, the gear shifter has a smooth surface finish. The serves a functional purpose as the child needs to be able to grip the gear shifter multiple times without any risk of injury. The surface finish may also provide grip for the child’s hand.

Manufacturing Methods

The manufacturing method used to make the gear shifter was injection molding for the casing and die casting for the copper plugs. Evidence that supports this claim is that injection is used for the mass production of plastic components and die casting is used for metal components. The gear shifter, like the other components needed to be mass produced. Riser marks on the casing and the smooth surface finish of the copper plugs further suggests the manufacturing method used for the component. The casing was made in two parts and was assembled together with the copper plugs most likely by hand. Like stated above the material of the gear shifter influenced the decision to use the methods to produce the component. The shape of the material impacted the method selected because although the gear shifter’s outside does not look complex, the inside contains several shapes, holes and switches. Injection molding and die casting are good for complex geometries.

Global factors that influenced the decision to use injection molding and die casting are, since they are common processes, Fischer-Price has already performed and improved the method to perform them. Materials and workers needed to perform both processes would not be difficult to obtain. Societal factors include the issues of injection molding creating part weaknesses. A weak gear shifter that breaks easily might damage Fischer-Price’s reputation since component is needed for product to actually operate. Economic factors influence the decision since it is economically feasible to mass produce plastic and steel components with injection molding and die casting. Environmental factors include the power needed to perform both processes and the possibility of hazardous plastic materials where the injection molding is occurring and hazardous metal materials where die casting is taking place. These materials are harmful to both the workers and environment.

Rear Motor

Figure 4: Rear Motor

Component Function

The function of the Rear motor on the Fischer-Price Ford F-150 is to convert the Electrical Energy from the 12-Volt battery (received through the wires) to Mechanical Rotational Energy. This is the only function that the rear motor does, but the function itself varies. The motor contains different flows. For example; the motor receives an electric signal from the battery as well. This signal assigns the motor how much power is supposed to be outputted as well as the direction that the motor will spin in (clockwise or counter-clockwise). This signal is derived off of the position that the gear shifter is in, designated by the user. The three possible signals that could be sent to the motor are High Speed, Low Speed and Reverse Speed. This component is only incorporated in one out of the three subsystems that were stated in Gate #2. The subsystem that the motor is contained in is in the pedal subsystem. In this system the motor is the most important part of this subsystem because without it the vehicle would not be able to convert the electrical energy received from the battery to rotational mechanical energy which in turn would move the vehicle after transferring the energy though the gearbox and rear axle.

Given that the output of the motor is rotational mechanical energy and heat, the recommended operating environment for the motor would be under normal conditions so that overheating and deformation of the metal and other areas of the motor does not occur. Also since the motor is in an isolated system with the wires and gearbox, it can be said that ideal working conditions would to remain in equilibrium and also would want to negate outdoor elements which could interfere with the subsystems final outcome.

Component Form

The General shape of the motor is in the shape of a cylinder. Off one of the ends of the cylinder is the rotating head which stands as the output for the motor. Its shape is also in the shape of a cylinder, but much smaller than the main body of the motor. This part is axis-symmetrical. The dimensions of the component are are radius of .75 in. and height of 2.25 in.

The component has a very dense cylindrical shape because torque must be created to get a mechanical energy output. The shape of the rear motor has to do with solenoidal properties.

The component roughly weighs about .5 lb.

The motor is made with several materials. First the motor has a casted Steel casing, inside the motor there is also copper for the coils and wiring and a different type of metal for the magnets. Manufacturing impacted the choice of materials selected. The areas that were taking into account for choosing the metal in the motor is primarily strength and secondarily weight. Steel was chosen for the casing because the strength in steel is adequate enough to withstand durability tests for this product. As far as the wiring is concerned, copper is a perfect choice for the wires because it is an excellent conductor. Also the plastic and Magnets were chosen accordingly for performance and weight. Economic factors also played a major part in picking the materials for this type of motor in this vehicle. The motor needed to meet durability standards so steel was chosen for the casing. The reason that it was chosen was for the reason that it is the cheapest most durable and cheapest metal that would make sense in mass-producing this part. Also, Copper was used because although it is fairly expensive, the perforce rate in Copper is well-above average and not much Copper is used in the motor as a whole. With Global factors taken into consideration, the ease at which this company could access these materials inside the United States affects which materials are used on the motor. With the output of this component are being only heat and mechanical work, Environmental Factors do not become an importance because this is a safe component in use. Societal Factors are that jobs will be created because of the parts needed for this component as well as the assembly of the motor itself.

Aesthetic Properties on the motor are minimal. The finished motor uses the original steel casing with no paint on it to minimize final costs. This shows that the motor is not intended to be seen by the user. Although the motor have a reasonable finish on it, the motor is located underneath the vehicle and is out of sight unless the vehicle is flipped upside-down.

Manufacturing Methods

Various manufacturing methods were used to achieve a finalized motor. The cylindrical steel casing was made by the die-cast method. The reason that die-casting is used is because although there is a high initial cost for the mold, it will in turn be cost effective because the motors will be produced on a high volume. Also, the part is small-sized which falls into the proper die-casting envelope due to the size constraints that it contains. The evidence that shows that die-casting was used on the casing is that there is a parting line that goes all the way around the cylinder. The copper wire, unlike the steel casing is manufactured by the Drawing method. With drawing being the primary manufacturing leader in making wire, this is evidence enough to say that drawing was used for making the copper wire.

The four factors were also responsible in the selection process of the manufacturing method used for the parts in the motor. Societal factors are evident in the final decision of the manufacturing methods used because both of these methods used are performed in controlled safety areas. Economic factors are considered in the final decision because the cost to produce these parts on a mass volume can differ in millions of dollars depending on the manufacturing method used to produce them. Social factors can also be considered because it creates more jobs for people to create these parts with the dyes as well as people to make the dyes. Environmental factors can also be considered because the pollution in creating the parts from these types of manufacturing methods is important. Both these methods are good on pollution emissions.

Rear Wheel

Figure 5: Rear Wheel

Component Function

The primary function of the rear wheel is to convert the rotational mechanical energy received from the rear axle and convert that energy to a planar mechanical energy so that the Ford F-150 can move. The wheels depending on the rotation can either move the car forward or reverse. Also due to the grooves in the wheel the secondary function of the wheel is to deliver max traction for the material to the user while the vehicle is in operation. Without the rear wheels the vehicle would not go anywhere and there would nothing that would be transferring the rotational energy from the axle to the ground, in essence creating movement.

The wheels are meant to perform in all conditions, but the wheels will obviously perform best under ideal conditions and driving surface. There is a groove pattern on the wheel surface that makes direct contact with the ground that is meant to gain maximum traction for the plastic wheels. Given that the plastic has a very low coefficient of friction, the groove is meant to raise the coefficient of friction value so that better traction can be obtained.

Component Form

The general shape of the rear wheels is in the shape of a cylinder. It’s axis-symmetrical with the exact center of the rear wheel containing the insert for the rear axle so that proper rotation can be obtained. Also the shape is a three dimensional shape which has a radius of 6.5 in. and a depth of 6.5 in.

The wheel properly exercises an excellent shape to couple the functions that the wheels contain. To start, the treads on the tires demonstrate the attempt to achieve on of the wheels primary functions, and that is to grip with the driving surface. With the rear wheels not being just two smooth cylinders and instead having these treads it will be much easier for the user to drive and not have to worry about having the wheels slip on the driving surface. Also, the fact that the wheel is in the shape of a cylinder makes them roll much easier than if they were in the shape of a cube for example. Those are some ways how the wheel demonstrates its proper shape to couple with the functions that it must undertake in a working condition.

The weight of this week is roughly about 4 lb.

The wheel is only made out of one material, being polycarbonate/abs plastic. In choosing this material, the workers had to consider the four factors as well as the durability of this material and the performance that the wheel would have with this material. With this type of plastic being reasonably light and durable enough, this material is a very valid choice for the material of this wheel. Weight and durability testing are essential because if the wheels are too heavy it will hinder the vehicles performance, and if the material is not durable enough, it won’t hold up to the wear and it will break or deform. As far as the four factors are concerned all four had to be considered when determining the material being used for the rear wheels. As far as the economics are concerned, the money cost of the material is very important, especially when this component is going to be mass produced. This plastic is much cheaper when in comparison to types of rubber and lightweight metals which were probably other viable options as a material for the wheel. As far as environmental factors are concerned, when dealing with this material, it is a non-toxic material which is good for children, but recycling this plastic is a problem because recycling plastic is a tough process. Societal Factors are that jobs will be created because of the parts needed for this component as well as the assembly of the wheel itself. With Global factors taken into consideration, the ease at which this company could access these materials inside the United States or from countries that the United States frequently trades with affects which materials are used on the wheel.

The component has a reasonably important aesthetic part as part of the F-150 as a whole. The wheel is painted black and the rims also painted gray to resemble the color of a normal rubber tire and rims on a real size Ford F-150. Also the tire is textured to give it a rubber-like appearance and to minimally increase the traction on the wheel which means that the texture of the wheel is for both functional and aesthetic purposes. On the other hand the rim has a very smooth texture on it to resemble the texture and smoothness of a rim on the real-size Ford F-150.

Manufacturing Methods

Only one method was used on the wheel. All three parts of the wheel which are, the tire, the inner rim, and the outer rim used injection molding to develop the parts of the component. In all three parts separation lines are visible; this shows that these parts did indeed used injection molding as the method of manufacturing. Due to the fact that injection molding is mostly only used for plastics it narrowed it to this. Die-Casting could obviously not be used because this process is only for metals.

The Four Factors were also likely to be discussed in when trying to decide which manufacturing should be used. Societal factors are evident in the final decision of the manufacturing methods used because injection molding is performed in a safe working environment. Economic factors are considered in the final decision because the cost to produce these parts on a mass volume can differ in millions of dollars depending on the manufacturing method used to produce them. Social factors can also be considered because it creates more jobs for people to create these parts with the dyes as well as people to make the dyes. Environmental factors can also be considered because the pollution in creating the parts from these types of manufacturing methods is important. Injection molding is good on pollution emissions.


Group 19 has given a complexity rating to each of the 5 components explained above from a scale of 1 to 5.
1 describes the lowest complexity, while 5 defines the highest complexity.

Component Complexity Rating
Main Chassis 1
Rear Wheel 2
Gear Shifter 3
12 Volt Battery 4
Rear Motor 5

To define this scale of complexity, Group 19 assigned a different rating to each of the 5 components. The most complex and least complex components were considered. The three remain components were then rated accordingly to the range of complexities determined. The three categories of product function, product form and manufacturing methods had a significant influence on the complexity ratings of each component.

The main chassis was given the lowest complexity rating due to the three categories of analysis. The main chassis primarily had the function of holding all of the subsystems and components together. This function was deemed a simple function. The product form of the chassis was roughly a rectangular frame, which does not fall into the category of complex geometry. Also, the main chassis only contained one material, polypropylene plastic, while other components contained more than one material. The manufacturing method of injection molding influenced the complexity too. Although most of the components were produced through injection molding, the main chassis didn't have to be made in separate parts and put together by hand, like some of the other components.

The rear wheel was given a complexity rating of 2. This means that even though it was deemed more complex than the main chassis, it is still a generally simple component compared to other components. The function of the rear wheel was to produce rotational energy from the motor and gearbox. This function is more complex compared to the function of the chassis but not as complex as the components that had more connecting flows. The product form of the tire was just roughly a cylinder, which is not a complex geometry. Like the main chassis, the rear wheel only contained one material, Polycarbonate/ABS plastic. The manufacturing method of injection molding of the tire set it apart from the chassis in the fact that the rear wheel also contained a cap and rim which would be made separately using the same method. The parts would then have to be assembled together, making it more complex than the main chassis.

The gear shifter was given the moderate rating of 3. This means that the gear shifter was the in between the range of complexities. The function of the gear shifter was to assign a certain current and direction to the motor. This function was activated by user input to switch the gear shifter and press the pedal. The function was deemed to be complex compared to the functions of the chassis and wheel. The product form of the gear shifter was more complex due to be made of up multiple shapes. The rough shapes of the gear shifter were a 2 rectangular prisms and a cylinder. The material of the gear shifter also affected the complexity rating since it contained two materials: ABS plastic and copper for the plug. The manufacturing methods for both materials would have to be injection molding and die casting for plastic and metal respectively. Two manufacturing processes is more complex than only one. The gear shifter would also then have to be assembled together.

The 12 volt battery was given a complexity rating of 4. The component was was concluded to be more complex than most of the other components. The function of the 12 volt battery is to convert electric potential energy to mechanical and rotation energy through the motor, gear box, rear axle, and tires. The chemical reaction inside the battery and the function to convert it makes the part more complex along with the several flows connected to the battery. The product form of a cube did not make it seem complex, but the insides of the battery tell a different story. There are several parts inside the battery that function together, making the battery its own system. The material of the battery also makes it complex since there are multiple materials: ABS plastic, lead-acid base, and copper circuits. The manufacturing method of producing the battery was also deemed complex since injection molding was used to make the casing and the circuits and lead-acid base was probably put in the battery manually. This process is also a hazardous one to workers.

The rear motor was given the highest complexity rating of 5. Group 19 deemed this component to be the most complex component of the product. It was difficult to distinguish if it was more or less complex than the battery though. The function of the rear motor is to product rotational mechanical energy from the electrical energy battery and from the user signal of the gear shifter and pedal. The motor's energy then flows from the gearbox to rear axle to rear wheels. The function is very complex but the battery's function seemed to be slightly more complex. What distinguished the rear motor as more complex than the battery was its product form. Although looking like a simple cylinder, the inside of the motor contains several small and intricate parts and magnets that make it function. Like the battery, the motor is a complex system. The material of the motor also makes it complex due to it containing steel, copper wire, and propylene wire casing. The manufacturing method also makes it more complex than the battery. The steel parts would be die casted, the copper wire would drawn and and the wire casing may have been made from extrusion or injection molding. All of the small intricate steel parts would then have to be assembled together in a very small area by hand.

The component interactions of the product can be broken into three categories. Group 19 has given these interaction a complexity rating from 1 to 3.
1 is the least complex and 3 is the most complex.

  • Joined Interaction - 1
  • User Interaction - 2
  • Transfer of Energy Interaction: Complexity - 3

Joined interaction is the simplest of interactions on the product. This interaction is the interaction of two or more components that are physically fitted together. An example is the seat being attached to the main chassis. All the interaction does is connect several components with either screws of plastic fittings built into the component.

User interaction was given a moderate complexity rating. This is the interaction of the user operating the product on the actual component itself. An example would be the user changing speed using the gear shifter. This interaction creates an electrical signal to the product to perform a certain function, making it more complex than physical interaction of components.

Transfer of Energy Interaction was given the highest complexity rating. This interaction describes the several flows and transfer of energy between complex components of the product. An example is the 12 volt battery which interacts with the motor, gear shifter, pedal, rear motor, gearbox, rear axis and tire through a complex flow system of chemical, electrical, mechanical, and rotational energy, along with user interactions. This interactions is definitely more complex than the previous two interactions due to the complexity of energy flows.

Solid Model Assembly


In the solid model assembly one of the group memebers used their trained skills in Computer Aided Design (CAD) and created one of the components 3-D using CAD software. The component that group 19 decided to CAD was the Wheel from the vehicle. The three parts in the wheel are also brought together in an assembly to show how this component is put together.

Solid Models

Pro-Engineer was the main preference of software chosen for the Solid Model Assembly. This CAD software was chosen by Doug Long for a variety of reasons. First of all, he has past experience and knowledge of Solid Modeling from 3 classes he took while in high school where he used Design CAD and Solid Works. Also, he currently has an internship position where he has regularly been using the software AutoCAD since the beginning of summer. But, Doug chose not to use any of these software’s and instead chose the unfamiliar program of Pro-Engineer. The reason for this choice was because he knows that the company he currently has his internship with regularly uses this software in their Engineering Departments. Doug knew it would be useful to broaden his technical skills and learn Pro-Engineer in order to satisfy the requirements that would be needed for an internship in one of these Engineering Departments. Also, he knows that there is a CAD course he will have to take in his junior year, so he realized that this would help him gain knowledge in the material and software beforehand.

For the decision of what part to complete a Solid Model Assembly on, the group thought the assembly of a wheel of the Power Wheel would be a good choice. The reason for this was because of the selling attraction and unique function of the F-150 Power Wheel having “Monster Traction”. If the Power Wheel was too have superior traction and be able to drive through mud, grass, and gravel then the wheel would be an important part. The wheels for this F-150 would have to include a unique design that would enable the vehicle to gain more traction and not slip over these surfaces. Creating a solid model of the F-150 wheels could help visualize possible design revisions that would make improvements to the traction of the wheels. So looking at the wheel assembly design in more detail and creating a Solid Model Assembly of it seemed like an acceptable idea to our group.

Part Name Solid Model Front View Solid Model Rear View
Wheel Cap
Figure 6a
Figure 6b
Figure 7a
Figure 7b
Rear Wheel
Figure 8a
Figure 8b
Rear Wheel Assembly
Figure 9a
Figure 9b
Rear Wheel Assembly Exploded
Figure 10a
Figure 10b

Engineering Analysis


In the Engineering analysis section the group used the analysis process to break down a key component in the vehicle step by step according to the process.

Analysis Process

G19 PSD.jpg
G19 A.jpg
G19 E.jpg
G19 CS.jpg
G19 D.jpg

Design Revisions


In this section, Group 19 has reviewed different design revisions that could possibly improve the overall functionality of the product. Four of the most feasible design revisions are stated below. In thinking of these revisions, the four factors were taken into account: global, societal, economic, and environmental.


Figure 11: Plastic wheels

One of the many changes recommended is on the plastic wheels. The plastic wheels maybe cheap, but it does makes for a very uncomfortable and noisy ride, especially on hard surfaces. As such, we recommend a change from plastic to rubber wheels. Although rubber wheels would be more costly than plastic wheels, it does on the other-hand absorb the impulsive force from the bumps on the road, and also leads to better grip on the road as compared to the original plastic wheels. With the vehicle able to have better traction, the car is allowed to make faster turns without turning over, thus increasing the overall quality of entertainment for the user. An environmental concern that the rubber wheels bring up is they are more environmental friendly than plastic as they allows for a quick decomposition if the Ford is to ever be discarded. Economically, the Ford would be slightly less economical with the rubber wheels as it sacrifices price for comfort and quality. Adding rubber wheels instead of plastic ones have a positive impact on the society. This is because it trains the user to get used to rubber wheels at young age. This teaches the user to properly estimate the maximum speed that he or she can go at a certain bend or turn. As a result, this would reduce the future number of slips and slides made by the user. On a global level, adding rubber wheels would allow the user to go on off road terrain. The user would learn the differences between living off road and on road environments. This is important today because a vast number of driver drive on off-road conditions. In terms of serviceability, the plastic wheels is slightly easier to service. This is because the Ford does not move as such high speeds. This results in slower wear and tear on the rubber wheels. As such, the only concern is the difficulty in cleaning the wheels, in which the plastic is slightly easier, as rubber wheels would have more complex threads resulting in more dirt getting in between grooves. This modification would greatly increase the performance as it allows a quicker and sharper turn.

Figure 12: Energy connections

Another modification group 19 suggests, is to improve the overall speed of the vehicle. The Ford is currently equipped with a mere 12V battery which has to power not only the car, but also the user as well as whatever the user puts on the car. This could greatly slow the Ford. The group recommends adding another battery or getting a larger battery as the power source. As this is only a battery and not actual fuel that people use for actual cars, it most definitely good in terms of a global concern. This is because a battery is much more available than fuel. From the economical view point, an addition of a battery to a vehicle is most definitely a plus, as a battery is ever ready and can easily be obtained. However, it has a negative impact on society. The user would get used to the high speeds of the vehicle and therefore, would get used to driving at a faster pace. This could result in a higher accident rate in the long run. It also have a negative impact on the environment as people would be throwing away an additional battery. As such, this would pollute the environment at a faster rate than before. In terms of cost, this modification would increase the manufacturing cost of the Ford. However, adding another battery would definitely make the Ford outshine its competitors as the Ford would provide much more entertainment for the users. Servicing would not get any more difficult than checking an additional battery, which would not take up more than a minute of anyone’s time.

Figure 13: False side doors

Another recommendation group 19 has for the Ford F-150 is the installation of proper doors. This prevents the user from being injured while in the process of getting in and out of the vehicle. Also the user will be less likely to fall out of the vehicle while it is in motion. Apart from that, this gives a better feel and experience for the user as it would mimic a real car. Installing proper doors instill good habit while young, as they would be more aware not to damage the car doors by slamming or abusing them. A global concern would be that the user will get used to how wide a door can open or how many ways can a door open. This allows the user to get used to today’s new and expensive cars, where the doors may slide upwards and not necessarily the normal way. Installing a moveable door on the Ford has almost no effect on the environment. The only addition would be a metal rod to act as the pivot for the doors, and this is entirely degradable and recyclable. In view point of the society, this modification can be seen in a positive light. Teaching the users to properly open car doors and not slamming them shut since a young age would not only instill better manners, but is also better for the car as they will not damage the components at the edge of the doors. However, this has a minor negative impact in the economical point of view. Adding doors that move would increase the manufacturing cost and reduce the maximum number of Fords produce due to a longer build time. The modification would slightly complicated servicing the Ford. Due to constant abuse from the users, the door would have to be made durable and tough enough to withstand that. The pivot point of the door also have to be properly protected to ensure the door would last as long as the other components of the car. Although proper doors does not affect the Ford’s performance in any way, it does heighten the user experience and satisfaction.

Figure 14: Cargo bed

Last but not least, a change could be made to the capacity of the cargobed. Currently the cargobed is unable to carry much load due to two main reasons. A load placed on the back of the vehicle would result in a shift in the center of gravity. A large enough load could topple the car. The second reason is that the cargobed is small. Therefore, it is recommended that a larger cargobed is used. This would also mean shifting the back wheels further back to maintain the car’s stability. This poses no global concern as it would only require more plastic for the longer cargobed. It would be more economical, as the same vehicle would be able to carry a larger load. Besides that, this modification would result in better impact on society. This teaches the user to be practical when purchasing a vehicle, and not to only look at the looks of the car, but also its functionality. It also makes the user more aware of the types of cars that he or she may want. Not all cars would have a large storage area, such as a large cargobed, and this would make the user aware to one of the many factors that he or she may look for in his or her car. This modification is slightly less environmental friendly as discarding the Ford would result in discarding more plastic. However, plastic is recyclable and parents should be reminded to recycle the Ford if it is no longer wanted as the Ford is mostly made up of plastic. This recommendation would increase the manufacturing cost of the Ford as people would have to resize the molds for the body of the Ford. However, this would only be a onetime cost. A larger cargobed poses no threat to the overall serviceability of the Ford. It is as easy to clean and maintain as a small cargobed. In addition, moving back the wheels to suite the larger cargobed would result in greater stability. However, it affects the overall performance of the Ford negatively, as a larger cargobed would mean a larger load, thus lower speed, but greater traction with the increase in weight.


[1] Fisher-Price. F-150 Power Wheels Manual Model K8285. 2007.
[2], 12 November 2010
[3] Fischer-Price Website, 15 November 2010
[4], 13 November 2010