Prompt: You are in an office and the annual Office War is about to begin. You have less than an hour, a desk (w/ pullout drawers), rolling chair, computer, keyboard, mouse (old roller-type), mouse pad, stapler, staples, three hole puncher, desk lamp (old fashion bulb), rubber bands, paper clips, pushpins, envelopes, printer, printer paper, clicker pens, No. 2 pencils, a white eraser, highlighters, 15 ft. Ethernet cable, scientific calculator, engineering pad, corded desk phone, a gallon water jug, a tin of Altoids, a hot cup of coffee (in a ceramic mug), and a frozen 4 lb. steak. It’s either you or them, and remember you are a mechanical engineer, not a tinkerer. Go!
NOTE: DO NOT try or create any of these ideas at home. This is purely for fun and we will not be held responsible for your actions! Enjoy!
Well, let me first of all state: I am a lover, not a fighter. I often help those around me to the best of my abilities and in the case of a real office war, I would probably lose as a result of my being too caring; I truly could not hurt a fly. With that being said, I have decided to explore a scary side of design to help me survive this Open Mind.
So with an hour to go before all chaos ensues, I would start with creating basic but effective weapons. The frozen steak found in the freezer would make a great blunt attachment to a handle of some sort; one leg of my rolling chair could be broken off to create a handle with good material properties. I figure a chair leg is designed to support relatively heavy loads and to resist bending under loading. Attaching the steak to the leg could prove difficult but rubber bands or the phone cord would have to do. With this combo, I have now obtained a caveman-style blunt weapon for close combat!
Another basic weapon I could fashion quickly is a slingshot or crossbow. I have a number of pencils, pens, and rubber bands to create the structure while the push pins, paper clips or other sharpened objects could act as ammunition. I would have to double up the pencils in areas of high stress especially since I will be pulling back on the attached rubber bands. Incorporating a channel to guide a fired projectile could help with control and repeatability. Overall, a slingshot or crossbow would be easy to make and allow for long range defense/attacks.
So far I have a means of defending myself and attacking if need be. My mind now goes to protecting my resources and securing my cubicle fort. An electric fence could be erected around the perimeter of my safe zone. The wires from the Ethernet cable, keyboard, mouse, and computer can be collected for the live wire. The drawer slides can be removed and used as the ground poles. The voltage can be supplied by the computer power supply/wall outlet providing about 120V. Without a person in contact with the fence, the circuit is grounded by the poles. With a person in contact with the fence, the circuit is completed…Bye-Bye intruder!
Would I stand a fighting chance in an office war? I think so!