Engineering 121 is an introductory class designed for mechanical engineers. We learned how to use a variety of machines and softwares, which was focused through applications called design challenges. Along with our design challenges, we also performed mini assignments
In groups of four, we disassembled an alarm clock for which we then did a parts analysis, bill of materials, structured assembly, exploded assembly drawing, and we had to provide possible design improvements. My group disassembled both an analog alarm clock and the ‘Sunrise Alarm Clock’.Design Challenge 3: Mech Machines
For this project we were paired in teams of four to design a ‘disarmament system’ which would allow for our group to safely transport and dispose of warhead. Our warhead was a helium balloon, the disarmament chamber was a glass container, and our system transported the balloon 60ft from the starting point to the chamber then popped the balloon once it was safely inside. Our group called ourselves ‘the men in black’ and we developed our disarmament system using a combination pvc pipe and string. Our system was graded upon whether we were able to successfully disarm the warhead, and if disarmed how fast we were able to do so. We had four attempts to successfully disarm the warhead three times, which when we completed we used our final trial to get as fast a time as possible.Design Challenge 4: Happy Meals
Our fourth design challenge required us to design and create a low-cost happy meal toy which would not only be safe for children to use, but also be appealing as well. Our toy design had to fit within a 5x5x5 in3 cube, contain no choking hazards, while also be injection moldable for mass production purposes. This design challenge had us split into groups of three, where we used Solidworks as our main tool to design and 3D print our product. Our team designed an Olympic themed basketball mini-game, which allowed children to build a catapult which launched basketballs into a hoop. In spirit of the Olympics, our basketballs were themed by nationality, which also allowed for our toy to have a collectable feature. We performed multiple character maps, created a production cost analysis to determine the profitability of our toy, and developed a business strategy for how we would begin toy production. Once all this was complete, we then had to develop a poster presenting our toy to the class, explaining how it worked, its critical to fit dimensions, and our marketing plan.
The final design challenge consisted of building a Rube Goldberg machine which would transport a golf ball through multiple passes without any physical intervention once the ball is released. Although each group for this challenge had about twelve students, these groups were split into four subgroups of about three students each. Each subgroup needed to create two passes for the golf ball, each of which involving a circuit component, and one involving an Arduino component. My group decided to make a Mario themed machine, with each subgroup focusing on a different Mario world. Within our subgroup, we chose to cover the desert world (World 2), for our two passes. Our first pass used a photoelectric sensor which released a solenoid that tossed up sand, while also creating a light display inside the pyramid, and our second pass used a switch which released an electromagnet that propelled the ball forward. When building our passes, we also had to coordinate with the teams directly before and after our passes to make sure that our components would connect properly so the ball would not stall. We had to combine all of the machining skills and circuitry skills we had obtained in our previous design challenges for this final project. When testing our completed machine, each of my subgroup’s passes were functional and performed multiple times during the final testing.
This engineering class has allowed for me to begin exploring what life is like to bring ideas into reality. I have become competent using machines and software which I previously had never heard of such as a Tormac, Lathe, and Solidworks while I also improved my skill in using machines like the water jet and laser cutter. I learned about ideation processes such as character maps, how-why charts, and drawing in perspective. I gained experience working in teams on project-based work and communicating with team members so that all objectives are met before our deadlines. Overall, I have really enjoyed this class, and I would love to give a big thank you to Dr. Rebecca Simmons for teaching me this semester because her class has helped me grow as a student, and as a person.