Yes oh yes… Finals are here and they are ready to consume our souls and devour our minds. Well, maybe not that bad, but they still are a pain to deal with and nobody really wants to take them. This semester, I have 5 finals and my first one is tonight at 7pm. It’s a French exam, but I’m not worried about it at all. The engineering classes however, will be tougher to deal with considering I have three of them back to back from Saturday through Monday. My schedule isn’t as bad as some other people’s. One of my friends has 5 finals in 4 days! Honestly, how can you even fathom that? That probably actually can consume your soul if you don’t prepare well enough. But hopefully everybody is ready and can do their best. It is now time to ride the struggle bus. All aboard!
As the semester is winding down you will find the CAD labs filled with MechE’s scrambling to finish their projects. As I mentioned in my previous post, for Mech 12 we had to design a bridge for a given set of parameters and for a specific load case (see above). The bridge had to adhere to specific size dimensions and constraints. It also had to adhere to strict performance standards, i.e. it couldn’t deflect more than 8cm and the worst stress anywhere in the bridge could not exceed 100 MPa. At first I really struggled with this task. I probably made 4-5 completely different designs spending hours making the slightest changes to try and improve their performance. I tried and I tried but couldn’t get any of my bridges below 10cm of deflection. As it turns out, I accidentally added an extra 0 to my distributed load! I was trying to build a bridge that would withstand a load 10 times what it needed to hold! I figured that since my deflection was so close to the allowable limit that I had done my loads correctly. Once a friend found my mistake and I corrected it my bridges performance drastically improved and I was well within the limits of the project. Ultimately I decided on using a K-truss design as it was simple, easy to make changes to, and performed well. Others did completely unique and non-standard designs that ended up working really well too. Anyway, from there I worked to make my bridge lighter. As I mentioned in my other post the team with the lowest combined weight won an extra 2 points on the final exam. I doubt my team will win based on what I’ve heard talking to other groups but I think we did a respectable job all together. Below are some the results I had from the load testing.
The Formula Team has had some nice progress this week in getting the car finished since the competition is in 2 weeks and this past Monday,we were able to put in the front panel of the car, which is where the front suspension and wheels will go.
Our car last week looked liked this without the panel:
Here, we were bending the pane getting it flat on all sides so that we could insert in the car:
And then this is what the car now currently looks like:
We have a lot more work to do, but we have been making good amount of progress and we hope to get the front suspension mounted on the car by the end of this week. More updates to come!
This is very interesting helicopter design
The two days ago I posted about how I tried to 3D print the bridge from Steel Bridge club this year to send as small gifts to our donors. Unfortunately, when I went to pick up the bridge that night I could not find it anywhere in Wilbur. I checked the area around all of the printers and didn’t see it. I checked the garbage can as I left and was unpleasantly surprised to find the bridge in the trash (see above). It looked like somene had stopped it fairly early on in the print. There is usually someone who sits in the lobby by the printers and makes sure that the pieces are all printing correctly. If there is a problem they stop the print to save material and also avoid damaging the printers. So what I’ve taken from this is that there was a problem with the file that the printer couldn’t print the bridge correctly. I emailed the technician in charge of the printing lab for help. I’ll update when he gets back.
So the latest news from the Formula Team is that our front panel for the car was not designed right and we made the wrong shape due to some design errors and other miscommunication. One of the problems was that we had extra curves going down two sides of the panel. So our captain, Andrew, redesigned the front panel and had the bright idea of making a template for the car since we had messed up the first time and we wanted to make sure that it wouldn’t happen again. This template here is the finalized design (hopefully) for the panel before we actually make the real one. The template is at half ratio of that for the real panel. So think about this template being doubled… That’s how big our front panel will be. Too bad we didn’t think about this earlier because we would’ve saved foam, carbon fiber, and time so that we wouldn’t mess up. The only problem now is actually buying the material because we don’t have a large enough sheet of aluminum that will fit our desired dimensions. More updates to come.
In Wilbur Lab here on campus there is an array of 3D printers open for students to use. As long as they are used for academic purposes they are free to use. However, even if you just want to use it for fun then all you have to do is pay for the plastic used, which is pretty cheap. A friend of mine printed quite a large object and he said it was only $2 and change. I’m currently printing our bridge from Steel Bridge club. We thought it would be a fun idea to send all of our sponsors this year a tiny 3D-printed model of the bridge. Hopefully it prints without a hitch. I’ve never used a printer like this before so it’ll be interesting to see if I didn’t mess it up. Check in tomorrow for the result!!!