Custom Tool Organization

Opportunities and Pain Points

A common problem faced by the users of The Shop is not being able to find the necessary tool when one needs it. This means that sometimes one spends more time looking for the right tool than actually using it. This can lead to people either misusing tools that they can readily find or getting frustrated with the current state of The Shop. We would also like to encourage users of The Shop to put tools back where they belong and as they finish using them and discourage them from leaving tools out for extended periods of time. Tools should be as easy to return as they are to find.

The greatest impact of effective tool organization and display will be in The Workshop. The Workshop contains almost all of the same hand tools that would be found in the other shops. A prototype tool organization system in The Workshop will serve as a scale testing platform for the rest of the shop.

Goals & Objectives

  • Make it easier for users to see what tools are there and missing
  • Shorten the process of tool storage and maintenance
  • Create a system of tool organization to be used in different rooms that can be scaled appropriately
  • Be adaptable enough to easily expand and replace tools
  • Make it easy to find tools quickly - no digging for tools
  • Educate people on the names of the tools

Tensions and Interactions

An impediment for the completion of this project is the lack of the vertical space inside of the shops. Statically mounting tools onto the wall might involve removing the whiteboards around the shop.

Tool loss from student use is one of the primary causes of the pain points listed above. Students tend to take tools from The Workshop for use in the Large Project Building or other classrooms in the Academic Center and then leave them in their workspace. To mitigate this problem a vibrantly colored tape will be added to the tools. This allows us to know which tools are from the shop and need to be returned. We also intend for the colored tape scheme to act as a mild deterrent discouraging people from taking tools out of the shop.

Metrics for Success

Talking to students at the end of the semester about their experience before and after the tool reorganization will allow insight into how the project has affected their experience of getting and using tools in the shop. Additionally, cataloging how many tools have been lost over the semester would give us an idea of how well our tool loss prevention methods have worked.