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Drop Simulation and Testing in Computer Peripheral Hardware Development

[+] Author Affiliations
Bin Su, Sanjay Tiku, Krishna Darbha

Microsoft Corp., Redmond, WA

Paper No. IMECE2009-12401, pp. 287-290; 4 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Electronics and Photonics
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, November 13–19, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4378-9 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3863-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Drop is one of the most common user scenarios for computer peripherals like wired/wireless keyboards, mice, and webcams. Failures due to such impact events are typical examples of overstress types of failures that occur during the useful life of a product. The ability of computer peripheral devices to survive impact with minimal to no impact to product performance or aesthetics is a goal for the product development teams. Engineers have to choose the proper materials and use different simulation and test methods for creating product designs that will survive multiple drop events. Traditional product development process involves iterations of design-physical test-design modification cycles to meet drop requirements. To reduce iterations, expedite product development and reduce time-to-market, virtual drop simulations are conducted at an early stage in product development without the need for any physical samples. This paper presents case-studies on this approach to product development. Case-studies are presented for a keyboard and a mouse. The case-study shows how drop simulation results were used to inform design decisions and how design improvements in terms of material selection or actual feature changes were made early in the design cycle. The study illustrates the use of a high speed camera to capture movies of product performance in drop tests to further discover weaknesses and correlate actual results with simulations. Using a combination of simulation and capturing deformation information with a high speed camera during actual testing, the product development iterations were minimized in terms of cost and time.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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