Group 32 - Kodak Funsaver Camera
Our group was asked to analyze the Kodak Fun Saver single-use camera. The main objectives of this project were to analyze the components of the camera, determine their functions, and suggest improvements that can be made to the camera. Before anything else, we made some assumptions about the camera, including an estimation of the number of parts inside the camera, how the camera works, and if the camera worked at all. Then we disassembled the camera piece by piece documenting our observations and took pictures of each part in order to keep track of all of them. The approximate time for the disassembly process was about 1 hour, and was surprisingly easy because of the camera’s simple design. The disassembly process helped us to understand what was inside of the camera, and allowed us to begin to understand each components function. Also, we assumed what the manufacturing process involved in making each part was, based on any clues that we could find on the part. Most of the parts were made of plastic and manufactured by injection molding. Besides plastic, the other materials involved in the camera were metal and silicone. The use of plastic and the minimum number of parts in the camera is what makes it inexpensive, recyclable, and lightweight, which makes the camera cheap for the consumer. The reassembly process was easy given that we had all the pictures from the disassembly process. The reassembly process took us less then 1 hour. After becoming very familiar with the camera, we were able to come up with several possible improvements for the camera. This was difficult, however, because Kodak has been manufacturing single-use cameras for over 20 years, and they have managed to cut down costs in a lot of ways, which is very apparent with their current design.
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The Kodak Fun Saver single-use camera is an inexpensive means for the consumer to take pictures and is realtivly easy for the consumer to operate. It is considered easy to use because as soon as the customer has the camera in their hands, it is ready to take pictures and when they have finished the roll of film inside the camera, they simply take the entire camera to be developed and never have to deal with the film itself. The model that we evaluated for our project has built in flash capability, and can take up to 27 pictures. This model is still on the market today, and can be found in stores for an average price of only $6.50. Another large benefit of single-use cameras is their recyclability. According to Kodak's website, up to 77% of every single-use camera gets re-used. We have concluded that it is not 100% because of the film and battery in the camera, which are not re-useable after a standard useage.
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Research Members Brief Intro:
Unfortunatly, Chen, Yi-Chih was involved in an accident around Thanksgiving time and was forced to leave his classes, but before then he was a big help in our project.
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As mentioned before, the primary function of the Kodak Fun Saver single-use camera is to take pictures at an affordable price. Before disassembling the camera, it worked without any problems. Based on the feel of the camera while operating, it was assumed that it is mostly a mechanical process inside of the camera, with the only exception being the electrical aspect that must be required to operate the flash. All that was needed to operate the camera was to wind the film manually and then press the button to take a picture. The film has to be wound manually to advance to the next picture because it is a way to reduce the number of accidental pictures taken, so that someone would not end up with a picture of the inside of their pocket. To activate the built in flash, the customer must hold down a button on the front of the camera for a few seconds until an indicator light lets them know that the flash is ready.
Before disassembly, we assumed there to be roughly 35 parts made of 5 distinct types of material.
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The disassembly process was relativly simple because there were no fasteners inside of the camera, and the only tools that were used was a small blade and a screw driver, which was used to pry some parts off, but there were no fasteners inside of the camera at all, making for an easy disassembly. The step-by-step process for disassembling the process was as follows:
1. Using the blade of a small knife cut the adhesive paper that covers the slits/planes where the front and the back cover meet all the way around the camera.
2. Using a small slotted screw driver depress the locking mechanism that are present around the back cover.(located on the sides and the bottom of the camera)
3. Firmly hold the respected front of the camera down and slightly pull upward on the back casing. It should detach with a little bit of wiggling.
4. Clearly mark the cover Part 1 and set it off to the side.
5. Place the camera on the table flat on the front cover as to leave the newly revealed parts upward.
6. Using your thumb and index finger remove the spool for unexposed film that is located on the opposite side from the film cartridge, it is removed by pulling it upward.
7. Clearly mark the spool Part 2 and set it off to the side.
8. Using your thumb and index finger grasp and remove the film cartridge by pulling it upward.
9. Clearly mark the cartridge Part 3 and set it off to the side.
10. Next using you thumb and index finger grasp and remove the batter from holders. This is accomplished by firmly pulling upward.
11. Clearly mark the battery Part 4 and set it off to the side.
12. Now grasp the camera in both hands and rotate the camera 180 degrees as to present the front cover upward.
13. Using your thumb and index finger remove the front cover. (it should be free from the rest of the parts)
14. Clearly mark the front cover Part 5 and set it aside.
15. Using a very small set of needle nose pliers release the tension on the copper spring that is attached to the Lens base. ( this should be accomplished by slowly removing it from the hook it is attached to and slowly allowing it to recoil)
16. Clearly mark the spring Part 6 and set it aside.
17. Grasp the top and bottom of the circuit board with your thumb and index finger and pull laterally away from the camera wiggling and the circuit board will detach.
18. Clearly mark the circuit board/flash Part 7 and set it off to the side.
19. Rotate the camera 90 degrees so the viewing lens is on the top( the respective top is upward)
20. Firmly grasp the viewing lens with your thumb and index finger and firmly pull up ward and it will detach.
21. Clearly mark it Part 8 and set it off to the side.
22. Lay the camera on its respective back with the lens facing upward.
23. Rotate the lens fastener with your thumb and index finger and pull it upward.
24. Clearly mark the lens fastener Part 9 and set it aside.
25. Remove the lens by picking it up with your thumb and index finger.
26. Clearly mark the lens Part 10 and set it off with the rest of the parts.
27. Now return the camera to the respective upright position with the picture button in the upright corner.
28. Using your thumb and index finger grasp and pull upward on the gear protector/picture capture button.( being careful not to remove any other parts in this process)
29. Clearly mark the gear protector/ picture capture button Part 11 and set it aside.
30. Using your thumb and index finger remove the unexposed film counter by pulling it upward.
31. Clearly mark the counter Part 12 and set it aside.
32. Next remove the Film advancer that is located in the top right corner it is removed by pulling it upward with your thumb and index finger.
33. Clearly mark the Advancer Part 13 and set it off with the rest of the parts.
34. Using the needle nose pliers remove the film advance locking mechanism by grasping it and pulling it upward off the shaft it resides on.
35. Clearly mark the locking mechanism Part 14 and set it aside.
36. Using the pliers still remove the revolving shaft that the other peaces were located upon. This is accomplishes by simply pulling upward.
37. Clearly mark the shaft Part 15 and set it off to the side.
38. Remove the film advancer gear that pushes the film along from the back of the frame by using the pliers and pulling laterally straight back.
39. Clearly mark the gear Part 16 and set it aside.
40. Next remove the Locking Mechanism Release Lever by picking it upward with your thumb and forefinger.
41. Clearly label the Release Lever PART 17 and set it aside with the rest of the peaces.
42. Remove the resistance spring from the top corner section by grasping it with the pliers and pilling it upward.
43. Clearly mark the spring Part 18 and set it aside.
44. Return the camera to its respective back having the front face upward.
45. Remove the lens base by depressing the locking mechanisms that are located around it with the small slotted screw driver.
46. After the locking mechanisms are depressed pull upward with your thumb and index finger.
47. Clearly mark the base Part 19 and set it off to the side.
48. Remove the metal spacer that is present by grasping it with your index finger and thumb and pulling it upward.
49. Clearly mark the metal spacer Part 20 and set it aside.
50. Acknowledge the fact that there is a peace of metal jutting upward out of the top of the frame. ( for putting back together purposes) the recoil shaft
51. Mark this recoil shaft part Part 21.
52. Count the internal frame as a part as well.
53. Mark the internal frame as part 22 and set it aside.
54. The camera is completely taken apart.
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|Part #||Part Name||# Required||Material||Manufacturing Process||Estimated Cost||Function||Image Before||Image After||Solo|
|1||Back cover||1||Plastic||Injection molding||$0.05||Protects internal components|
|2||Spool for unexposed film||1||Plastic||Injection molding||$0.05||Holds film that has yet to be exposed|
|3||Film cartridge||1||Caseing is Plastic||Injection molding for case, film wound inside dark room||$0.50||Holds film that has been exposed and ready for processing|
|4||Battery||1||Caseing is metal||Die cast caseing, acids poured inside||$0.25||Supplies power for flash circuit|
|5||Front cover||1||Plastic||Injection molding||$0.05||Protects internal components|
|6||Small copper resistance spring||1||Copper||Heating and wrapping||$0.01||Helps hold flash circuit in place|
|7||Flash circuit||1||Silicone, solder||Drilling, etching, and soldering||$1.80||Charges the flash||Front|
|8||View finder||1||Plastic||Injection molding||$0.10||Allows for user to see what they're taking a picture of||Front|
|9||Lens fastener||1||Plastic||Injection molding||$0.05||Fits over front of lens to hold in place|| |
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|10||Lens||1||Plastic||Grinding and polishing method||$0.15||Focuses image for clearer picture|
|11||Button||1||Plastic||Injection molding||$0.05||Tells camera to take a picture and get ready to wind the film|
|12||Unexposed picture counter||1||Plastic||Injection molding||$0.10||Displays to user how many pictures they have left in their camera|
|13||Film advancer||1||Plastic||Injection molding||$0.10||Gear turned by customer to advance film|
|14||Film advancer locking mechanism||1||Plastic||Injection molding||$0.05||Locks into part 15 while winding film to tell film to be advanced|
|15||Revolving shaft||1||Plastic||Injection molding||$0.05||Rotates part 16|
|16||Film advancer gear||1||Plastic||Injection molding||$0.10||Moves now exposed film into film canester, designed to interlock with holes in film|
|17||Locking mechanism release lever||1||Plastic||Injection molding||$0.08||Allows for film to be advanced after button has been depressed||Front||
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|18||Resistance spring||1||Metal||Heating and wrapping||$0.05||Assists in locking the film advancing mechanisms after film has advanced||File Lost|
|19||Lens base||1||Plastic||Injection molding||$0.10||Lens rests ontop|
|20||Metal spacer||1||Metal||Injection molding||$0.05||Used to help hold lens base in proper position|
|21||Recoil shaft||1||Metal||Injection molding||$0.05||Interacts with part 17 and helps with the locking/unlocking of winding mechanisms||Not Applicable||Not Applicable|
|22||Internal frame||1||Plastic||Injection molding||$0.20||Provides frame for all other components of the camera to rest on or in||Front||Not Applicable||Not Applicable|
For the most part, the parts in the camera were relativly cheap, which help make the single-use camera so low in price. We assumed that the largest cost item was the circuit for the flash. We made this assumption because of its complexity compared to the other parts, as well as the fact that it was one of the few parts in the camera that was not made out of plastic. The prices for the other components were assumed based on their size, relative complexity in terms of manufacturing, as well as the material that they were made out of. Also, it was important to remember that the total cost for the parts had to be less then the price in the stores, which we had found to be around $6.50.
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Below is a step-by-step process for reassembling our camera. The process was not an exact reverse process of the disassembly, however it was very close as is outlined below:
1. Start by taking Part number 22 which is the internal frame and place it flat on the table with the respective front facing up.
2 Replace the metal spacer Part number (19) by returning it to the post in which it resides on. Making sure that it lays at a tangent to the hole made for the lens.
3 Now that the metal spacer is on take the lens base unit (Part Number 20) and put it on the frame. Attaching this peace involves the lining up of the locking mechanisms and just slightly pushing so they come together.
4 Now that the lens base is on there is now the post for the little copper resistance spring (part 6). It is reattached to the post in the lower right corner or the lens base and to the post in the section slightly above the left corner.
5 Now that the front is for the most part is done rotate the camera so the respected top is facing up.
6 Re-insert the resistant spring (Part number 18) it has the hole inserted around the large post in the right hand corner.
7 Since the camera is sitting up right you can now put the film advance gear back into the back side of the camera. It goes into the slot that is right about the opening for the viewing area. This part number(16) just slides into the slot.
8 Now replace the rotating shaft (part 15) being careful when you put it back threw the designated hole you must also make sure that it lines up with the hole in the gear that was replaced in the step prier to this.
9 Now put the film advancer locking mechanism (Part14) back onto the same shaft that the resistance spring is located on. Making sire that the rounded end when you are finished is in contact with the recoil shaft (part 21). (the more finished side will be the top of the part)
10 Now replace the film advancer gear (Part 13) it is returned to its position on the shaft that also contains parts (21, 18).
11 Now replace the picture remaining counter (part 12) by lining up the hole on the bottom with the top of the revolving shaft and slightly pressing down.
12 Now that all or the mechanical /interface parts have been replaced that are in the upper right hand corner now we replace the gear protector/picture capture button (part 11). (It just slides over the top and when the locking mechanisms meet with there appropriate spaces just push down a little and it will be locked back into place.)
13 With the camera still in its up right position replace the viewing lens by lining up the lens and pushing it down in its appropriate spot.( the lens is made so that it only fits one way ) once it is fit in it will not be held in place by friction.
14 Now rotate the camera so that the respective back is once again on the table with the lens base facing upward.
15 Now replace the lens (part 10) by lining it up with the round hole that is in the lens base and setting it on it with the curved portion facing upward.
16 Now that the lens is on the base take (part 9) the lens fastener and line it up with the holes around the lens with the respective fasteners that come out of the piece. Insert the fasteners into the depressions and turn the piece slightly in the direction that it will let you so that you may lock the lens down to the camera.
17 Now for the hard part take the circuit board/flash (part 7) holding it in the position with the flash facing up insert the long metal section right below the lens holder and wiggle the piece until it becomes flush with the lens base. You might have to insert it at a slight angle and then when you are pushing slowly decrease that angle until it is flat with respect to the frame. (The flash should sit in the upper right hand corner facing you when the camera is in this position.)
18 Now that the front of the camera has been reconstructed place the front cover (part 5) over the frame and rotate the camera so that the front cover is now facing the table and the back unfinished portion is now facing upward.
19 Now reinserts the battery (part 4) to the two prongs that have now been replaced now that the circuit board/flash has been replaces. The battery should set with the positive end on the 2 pronged side and the negative end on the one pronged side.
20 Now replace the film cartridge (part 3) with sets on the right hand side in its little slot. The canister goes in with the protruding peace up and the respective bottom down it just sets in place there.
21 Now replace the unexposed film spool (part 2). It goes into place with the larger end up and the smaller end down so that it may rotate in the slot that the internal frame has provided for it. The pieces will not fit the other way so if you put it in wrong you will know.
22 Now it is time to replace the back cover (part 1) line the back cover up with the front cover. There will be several locking mechanisms around the outer edge. Once they are lined up just push. They will lock and the front( part 5) and back cover (part 1) will be locked together.
THE CAMERA IS BACK TOGETHER
After assembling our camera, it is clearer how the camera works. Many of our original predictions proved to be close to accurate. The camera does in fact operate in a very mechanical way, with an exception for the flash. Also, our original predictions of the number of components and the types of materials proved to be very close to the actual numbers found inside the camera. Unfortunately, these single-use cameras work on a film available basis, which means that because there was no new film available, the camera no longer functions after being put back together. However, if new film were available to put in the camera, there is definitely reason to believe that the camera would still operate as it did before we took it apart. This is because all of the parts fit into the camera just as they had appeared before we disassembled any part of the camera. Some analysis that could be performed on this camera would be to test the cameras durability. Simply, the camera would be able to be run through some potential scenarios, such as high falls or being exposed to very high or low temperatures for extended periods of time to discover how the camera would hold up to those types of conditions.
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What Can Be Improved On Our Model
Kodak has been manufacturing single-use cameras for nearly 20 years, so they have come a long way with their cameras, and it definitely shows. Finding potential improvements for the camera was a difficult task, and we were not able to come up with any improvements to the camera structurally or in the way that it operated because Kodak has already eliminated fasteners, switched to cheap plastic materials, and have a very simple design and therefore simple production. However, here is a list of a few improvements that we think could benefit the customer.
1. Could offer more then 27 pictures so that multiple cameras would not necessarily need to be purchased for long vacations
2. Quality of single-use cameras pictures are notoriously not as sharp as regular cameras, this could be changed by offering higher speed film in the cameras, which currently is 800 speed.
3. Has a limited flash range of only 4 to 10 feet making pictures of large objects difficult, could improve this range by increasing the capacitor size in the flash circuit.
4. Because single-use cameras are very popular with vacationers, portability is an issue, and while the camera is already small in size, a belt clip attachment could benefit hikers who wish to take photographs.
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On November 20th, 2006, our group gave a presentation to our MAE 277 lecture. The power point presentation we gave is available here:
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The animation above shows the front and back covers (part #5 and 1 respectively) as well as the main internal frame(part #22). It was generated using Autodesk Inventor.
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Research group Of The Project - University At Buffalo
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