Money Management

Ok, this doesn’t have much to do with mechanical engineering, but it’s an important topic for today anyway.

As we all know, it’s Black Friday. Woohoo! Big sales everywhere. However, as a poor college student, it’s important to realize just how much money you have. I have a credit card, and it’s super tempting to start buying all this stuff with money that I don’t actually have.

While some items may be on massive sales, saving you hundreds of dollars, it’s also important to realize whether or not you would actually get those items if they weren’t on sale. Many times people buy things for the sold reason that they are 50% off, yet they go on to never use it.

I’ve done that far too many times in the past. So do yourself a favor this Black Friday. Think before you buy things. Your wallet will appreciate it.

Applying to Iaccocas

Everyone I’ve talked to who has gone through the Iaccoca internship has told me it was one of the best experiences of their college careers, which has gotten me pretty excited. I’m applying to two Iaccoca Internships myself, one in Stockholm and one in Amsterdam.

If you don’t know what they are, Iaccoca internships are just internship positions available internationally. But what about the cost, you may ask. I’ve got some good news for you, all of it is covered by Lehigh. You’re basically getting paid to go abroad and gain working experience. How cool is that?

Anyway, the application process isn’t too bad. There are cover essays, as usual, as well as a resume, which I need to build, and two letters of recommendation. The letters of recommendation are probably the hardest ones to get, especially if you’re not too close with any of your professors (like me).

 

Engine Cycles

In Thermodynamics, we’ve started studying more cycles. Specifically, engine cycles. This is a pretty interesting point, as you can clearly see examples of these types of cycles in real life. We’ve studied the Otto Cycle, the Diesel Cycle, and more.

The key difference between these cycles is how they bring in heat. In the Otto cycle, heat is brought in at a constant volume, whereas in the Diesel cycle, heat is brought in at a constant pressure.

There are only two equations that we needed to learn, however, which were the two new thermal efficiency equations. Most of it is now being able to visualize and understand what is happening at each phase of the cycle. The easiest way is through creating graphs of the process path of the cycle.

 

MatLab woes

I thought I was done with MatLab after ENGR 10, but I found out that was nothing more than wishful thinking. In ME-17, we started with Excel, which was simple enough. There wasn’t much coding behind it, rather, we just learned how to use the different functions that already existed in Excel.

With MatLab, however, we had to code some stuff. Most of it consists of reading data from an imported text file, and then writing code to create a chart with that data, and then being able to print out that table along with averages, etc.

It’s gotten pretty complicated now, however, and we have to be able to call functions and stuff as well. I don’t really understand it. Here’s to hoping that it becomes a bit more clear in the future.

Solubility Charts

We’ve made some headway in MAT033, and we’ve moved beyond stress-strain diagrams, which was a pretty easy section for me as a Mech E major as most of it was review. We’ve moved back into unfamiliar territory with solubility charts.

In essence, these charts look at certain alloys at different temperature and then identify what phase it is in. With this information, you can tell the weight percent of each material in the alloy, whether it’s a liquid or solid, etc etc.

Here’s a picture of one of the solubility charts we need to be able to interpret.

fe-phase-diagram

It looks quite complicated, but in actuality, it’s not that bad. There also exists three-phase points, where it goes from one phase to two phases. Actually, now that I think about it, it’s pretty bad.

Putting it together

In a previous assignment, I was tasked with creating an exploded view of an assembly, that is a view where all the parts are separated in a way that makes it clear where each individual part is supposed to go. Then, I launched the drafting application in NX and placed the assembly in a draft. I then added a parts list to it.

This assignment was the culmination of the past few weeks of work. It was a bit difficult, as I didn’t have any tutorials to guide me through this one, and there were a few mistakes, but all in all, I think it came out alright.

h9a4

Creating Parts Lists

One of the most important aspects of a draft is the parts list. It’s a detailed table that includes the name of a part, the size of the part (diameter, length, etc), what the part is made of, and how many there are.

It looks simple enough to make, but everything in NX is tied together. If something in the creation of the part goes wrong, the parts list will be wrong as well. If you want to include what the part is made of in the parts list, that needs to be integrated into the part beforehand as well.

Here’s an example.H9A2.PNG