Product Design Specifications – Mouse Trap Elevator

The product design specifications outlined below provides a brief analysis of the motivations behind the design and how the required income is to be quantified and achieved. It also includes a description of design constraints and general operational features of the mouse trap elevator.

  1. Performance, Quality and Reliability

Importance to the Design Concept

  • It helps determine the energy efficiency of the Mouse Trap Elevator in that, minimum effort should get used in raising up the load.

  • Enhances the ability to withstand all external disturbances that may cause disruption to the applied force as well as the smooth operation of the device.

  • Assists in examining the reliability of the device in terms of portability and compatibility.


  • Performance is constrained since the lift height shall be limited based on the amount and efficiency of the energy generated.

  • It is to be powered by a standard single snap mouse trap.

  • Weight of the device should be less in comparison to that of the mouse trap.


  • The ability to use a portable power source at high efficiency as a measure of reliability.

  • Performance measure in terms of the stability of the whole elevator system thus, should be at rest along the pole at the end of the operation.

  • The capability to hold the payload at the required position by use of braking system as a measure of quality of the operation.

  1. Life-in-Service

Importance to Design Concept;

  • The mouse trap system should last for long and with minimum maintenance or wears.

  • The energy used during its operation should be transmitted for as extended periods of operation as possible.

  • The design should be free of unexpected failures for a long period from the date of manufacture.


  • Availability of high quality materials that can withstand corrosion, stress and operational fatigue.

  • The efficiency of the mouse trap spring used.

  • The frequency of use and maximum payload size should be low to minimize system fatigue.


  • Spare parts ought to be available for the next 2 years succeeding the manufacture.

  • The user should be satisfied with its efficiency and need not require additional in-service-modifications.

  • The device maybe stored for several months without it losing its capabilities

  1. Ergonomics

Importance to the Design Concept;

  • Ensures that high system efficiency is achieved by design.

  • To enable a design that offers operation comfort for the users

  • To allow for the setting up of safety precautions..


  • The primary source of energy is the mouse trap spring.

  • Ware and tare of parts could lead to system inefficiencies.

  • Safety decreases as the device is used more and more due to ware and tare.


  • The design should have a minimum or no wastage of energy.

  • The design will offer comfort to its operator without substantial physical or mental interference.

  • All the energy generated should be utilized in driving the mouse trap elevator for productive work.

Importance to the Design Concept

  • To allow for the setting up of safety precautions and operational procedures.

  • To recommend the most appropriate protective wear such as gloves and safety glasses.

  • Ensures user confidence by raising awareness on all the possible areas of operational risks.


  • The cost of special materials.

  • Time Constraints determine whether or not safety wear is feasible.

  • Availability of materials


  • The project design will avoid sharp edges that may injure its operator or even cause accidents.

  • The design will offer no substantial physical or mental interference to the operator, thus, ensure low levels of noise or sparks.

  • The design should allow for the transmission of forces in the appropriate direction to eliminate chances of injury to the operator or the observer just in case the payload moves in the wrong direction.

  1. Size and Weight

Importance to the Design Concept;

  • Ensures that less bulky design is achieved.

  • To determine the compatibility of the device to existing spare parts and elevators.

  • To plan for the most appropriate use conditions for the device.


  • The availability of light weight yet strong and durable materials e.g. aluminum base plate and rod

  • Cost implication of materials to be used.

  • The device is to be used to lift to the extent of the aluminum rod


  • The design will be light enough for easier transport.

  • The design will be compatible with other available and existing spare parts and elevators

  • The weight of the device should be less in comparison to that of the mouse trap

  1. Customer Competition and Cost

Importance to the Design Concept;

  • To ensure cost effective design based on readily available materials

  • To guarantee affordability of the device

  • Ensures that the device has a competitive edge compared to other similar lifting devices


  • Availability of cheap materials.

  • The time required to come up with a cost effective design is not available.

  • The need for the material should be high to justify high manufacture costs


  • The cost of packaging and shipping should be no more than 10% the manufacture costs.

  • The purchase costs should be not more that 90% that of alternative devices to ensure competitive edge

  • The profit margin should be not less than 25% and use of special materials must have cost justifications.

  1. Installation, Testing and Maintenance

Importance to the Design Concept;

  • To provide a detailed installation guide and operational procedures.

  • To ensure the design is not complicated.

  • To develop a comprehensive maintenance plan.


  • The cost implication of frequent maintenance

  • Time constraints

  • Availability of technical assembly drawings for ease of installation.


  • Operational temperature range should be between 100C and 550C.

  • The mouse trap can be operated under humid conditions provided special corrosion resistance materials are in place.

  • The device should not require a more than once maintenance frequency during its first year

  1. Materials and Quantity

Importance to the Design Concept;

  • To ensure the end product is free from faults

  • To minimize the chances of ware and tare

  • The end product will meet all the product quality requirements


  • Availability of the said materials

  • Cost implications.

  • Availability of technical skills specific to the material chosen.


  • It should allow for consistency in quality in case of mass production.

  • It should allow for homogeneity of material properties throughout the manufactured products.

  • Corrosion resistance maybe considered by use of special materials

  1. Manufacturing Facility/ Time-scales/Process

Importance to the Design Concept

  • Process planning involves selecting the appropriate means of production be it a machine tool, cutting tools, jigs and fixtures and presses, and establishing a manufacturing sequence.

  • There is a reduction in dependence on the operator skills as the machines run by themselves

  • Determination of the variations in the size, form and finish of the tools.


  • Manufacturing steps comes into play so as to reduce material handling that on the other hand reduces the labor cost.

  • Operational time is of the essence including the time required to carry out an individual machining process.

  • The required skills level for the operator.


  • The process or technique allows for the design to meet its performance requirements.

  • The manufacturing process should be cost friendly so as to produce an affordable product.

  • It should allow for consistency in quality in case of mass production.

  1. Standard Specifications

  • The design specifications provides substantial arguments for the possibility of large-scale production (Job Service North Dakota, 2010)

  • The manufacturing technique and processes adopted for any product will depend on the level of product information.


  • According to the design requirements, the device is required to be powered by a standard mouse trap so as to elevate a given load up a pole provided by the project assessor.

  • The device is to be powered by a standard single snap mouse trap

Design Concepts

The design concepts possible for this system include the catapult and the rocket. These are concepts that would make possible the lifting of the nominated load up the pole. The chosen concept shall depend on;

  • The weight of the overall system: The overall weight should be light for better performance. The catapult provided the lightest weight for the whole device

  • The rate of energy release: The higher the rate of energy releases the reliable the system is. A catapult’s rate of energy release is also relatively high.

  • The ease of manufacture: given that this is a simple device, ease of construction is imperative, and the catapult concept meets these criteria. Also, the higher the volume of production per year the better the concept.

  • Safety of the system: The system must be safe to operate without causing harm to the operator or any observer. The latter concept of rocket power would be relatively unsafe.

  • Cost: low cost in the production and maintenance, the better the system


Job Service North Dakota. (2010). Manufacturing, Bismarck, N.D.: Job Service North Dakota