Yesterday during our normal lab time, my team and I finally got a chance to meet with our middle school students that we’ve been working for the past several weeks. Unfortunately only one of them could attend but we still had a nice time together. Our student brought with her the 3D printed model that she printed at the middle school and it turned out even better than we expected! Initially we were afraid that the wings would be too thin or that the spacing of the bases wasn’t the best, but after holding it in hand we feel much better and aren’t worried about that now. We asked her if there was anything she would like changed and we were lucky that she said she was fine with the way it was. Although she did want us to change the colors around in the solid model, she wasn’t a fan of the bright green and pink.
While the middle school students we here at Lehigh they did a small tour of the workshop and saw how to operate the water jet used to cut plate and sheet materials. When the students were in the lab with us we showed them the general process on how to make parts using 3D CAD software. We were given a sample piece to make with them, a team nameplate and display stand (seen below). We will 3D print this display stand which will be part of the race day competition later this semester. We came up with the team name Stratosphere, we thought it sounded cool and related to our design well.
Yesterday we made further progress with our mold design. We finalized our pin locations and pin lengths. We also adjusted our runner and gate sizes. All that’s left now is to get our mold design approved by Prof. Angstadt. He’ll inspect our whole design and check for any errors we could have made. There is only one aspect of our mold that concerns me. On the movable mold plate, the top half of our plane is sitting on an extrusion instead of sitting in a cavity. I’m afraid that when the mold plates separate the top half of the plate will want to stay stuck in the stationary half of the mold. This would be a big problem since the stationary part doesn’t have ejector pins. We left some of the pin lengths short so that the cavities fill with plastic and will hopefully keep the plane attached to the correct mold but we’ll have to see if Prof. Angstadt thinks that’s a viable solution. We are going to try and get our mold approved before the end of the week. More updates to come.