Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Week 25 Progress (2017-4-26)

We are now waiting on Vander-Bend to look over our interlocking column blueprints so that they can be manufactured. They've given us an estimate of $115 for the sheet metal, for 0.119 inch thickness. Assuming fabrication time will still be three weeks, we might not have it ready for the Senior Project Presentations, but it should be ready for Maker Faire.

We have all made a bit more progress on the architectural models.

Claude has been working on his Palm Tree design, though he's run into complications due to the laser cutter for his acrylic. His original pattern was designed with the laser cutter in the mechatronics lab in mind, but it still isn't working. When he showed it to Kyle Meininger, he pointed out that it would not work with the laser cutter in the advanced engineering lab as the shared laser cutter line would drop the parts before they would be properly finished. As such he is currently remaking the pattern to be on two sheets so that the necessary spacing on the parts can be possible. On a more positive note, He has confirmed that the last batch of parts from Dr. Youssefi had the desired dimensions, and the last set of 3D printed parts are in production (three pairs of the small clamps and one cap) and will just need some blue tape to ensure a snug fit with the PVC pipe exterior.

Kathlyn has obtained foam pipe and attached it to her Cat's Eye design to make it more visually-appealing.

Winter took the wooden Cat's Eye model home to paint it all white. She also had Professor Youssefi 3D print a few pieces to explain how the guideway railing will attach to the column structure.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Week 24 Progress (2017-4-19)

We've made more progress on both the architectural model and the column stub.

First for the stub, since we finally received the blueprints from our contact's team, we can have Vander-Bend manufacture our part. We signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement first with our contact, then had Vander-Bend sign the NDA. Once this was complete, we sent Vander-Bend the files. We are still awaiting confirmation of commencing construction, as well as receiving an invoice.

Claude has made more progress on his Palm Tree design. All of the clamps types have been printed and the designs effectively finalized. He is currently working on making the laser cut acrylic for the supports and guideway parts. his cutting pattern is almost done, but he ran into technical difficulties with the Mechatronic lab's printer and is contacting Dr. Barez and Dr. Obi about the Advanced
Manufacturing Lab laser cutter.

Kathlyn has been working on communicating with Vander-Bend, and has mostly finished the PVC model of the Cat's Eye. She still needs to obtain foam pipe to make it look more visually appealing.

Winter got two clamps 3D-printed by Professor Youssefi. Kevin worked on filing down the wooden model so that the clamps would fit on. The wooden Cat's Eye model is almost complete, we just need to work on footings.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Week 23 Progress (2017-4-12)

On Friday, 4/7, Winter and Kevin went to the ME computer lab to progress on the wooden model. We designed a rough model of what currently exists for the wooden parts, then designed two clamps that will be used to connect the interlocking column to the wooden structural part, because that area cannot be bolted or welded. The model is shown in the following picture:
Winter emailed the clamp files to Professor Youssefi for 3D printing, but she is still waiting on a response from him.

Next, Claude gave the completed wooden interlocking column to Winter, so it can be attached when the clamps are finished. He also completed the wooden parts for his model, and is currently trying to refine the simplified guide way for it.

Finally, we've gotten a response from Andries containing the blueprints we've been waiting three months for! After signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement (meaning there won't be specifics on this blog regarding those models in the future), we will be set to fabricate. Kathlyn has already contacted Vander-Bend and we are still looking at a fabrication time estimate of three weeks for completion.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Week 22 Progress (2017-4-5)

Over spring break, Claude and his father used the table saw to cut the interlocking columns out of 2x2 wood for everyone to use. Also, Claude finalized some of his CAD work for the "palm tree" model of our three structures for the architectural model. He recontacted Dr. Youssefi for the revised clamps, and we likely will have the new sizing prototypes on Friday. Also, He began work designing the template for the laser cut acrylic parts, which will act as the supports and guide way structures. Shown below is one of the new clamps as well as the first draft the acrylic sheet pattern.
Clamp.pngLaser Cutter.png

Winter and Kevin didn't get too much progress completed on the wooden prototype, but as a reminder, it is shown below. Next steps are to design some kind of clamp to demonstrate how the connections at the top, bottom, left, and right would work. In the next few days, Claude will give Winter a piece of the interlocking column so they can design around those dimensions.

Finally, Kathlyn worked on her prototype, which is made out of PVC pipe. She heated it over the stove, then bent it to a different cat's eye shape according to rough dimensions. The models she created are shown below, though we will probably use the top design to differentiate from the wooden model above.

Finally, we worked on our Presentation 2, which will be presented on Wednesday, and therefore the link will be posted on the blog next week. We also will work on our individual writing assignments by Friday.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Week 21 Progress (2017-3-22)

Since last week, Claude has made more progress on his architectural model designs. Below is what the simpest T-shape form will look like. The rounded grey sections are clamps, which will 3D printed. and the white portions are PVC pipe covers (which will also go over all of the brown crossbeams). Currently, we expect to use Erector parts for the brackets and for I beam connectors, though we may instead use laser cut acrylic.

On Thursday, Winter and Kevin went to the ME shop in the engineering building to try to create one of the architectural models, the "cat's eye" design, with the equipment provided there. The picture is below.

We used the bandsaw on some scrap wood in the Superway Shop to fashion this design. We attempted to sand the inside but this proved to be too difficult with limited tools. The "black box" squares are indications of where the Superway guideway would fit in, which is not part of our scope for this project. We are still waiting on Claude's father to work on the "interlocking column" prototypes, which we thought would be done by now but Claude and his father are still debating on dimensions.

We have also STILL not received any emails from Andries. We have been waiting on this since week #2. Fortunately though, Dr. Youssefi did succeed in making a pair of clamps with the 3D printer very quickly after contacting him.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Week 20 Progress (2017-3-15)

To reiterate something previously occurring, two of our group members, Kathlyn and Claude, participated in a Skype group call with Ron Swenson and Andries Louw. The purpose of this call was to share our designs thus far and to gain insight on any aspects we may have missed. Andries also showed us a new support structure design, though since this is such late notice, we may not take it into account in great extent.

We have the general dimensions for the architectural model we will be creating. This picture below is the wooden beam inside of a PVC pipe to mimic the aesthetic skin.

This picture is the basis of how we will make our design more pleasing to the eye. As of now, Claude is still working on the clamp design so we can't progress until he makes up his mind on some things. He's almost done with his design for the basic T-shape model, which we will later cover with a curved skin. After we work out how the clamps will look, he will begin to work on the designs for his cat's-eye concept. Then we can work on 3D printing everything and putting things together.

For now, Claude has this design, which we can't use because the size would make it too difficult and too elaborate in real-life application. He thought we would just make a giant T-shaped clamp. This will be refined by next week.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Week 19 Progress (2017-3-8)

Here is the link to our Presentation 1:

We had a good presentation, including what we've been working on all semester, our deliverables, schedule, and difficulties in completion. Our difficulties still remain:

1. We are waiting on Andries' blueprint to construct our column stub from Vander-Bend
2. We haven't finished clamp designs, so we can't get those 3D printed yet
3. We can't machine our wooden columns until Claude decides what dimensions he wants

Ultimately, there were hardly any questions on our presentation, so we think we were successful on that.