Wednesday, February 15, 2017

2/15/2017 Blog #16

this week we started marking all of the metals and have cut a few. We ran into a quick problem with dimensions but should be able to fix shortly. Another problem arose, however, and it is regarding the bending of the metal. Kevin from the Track Manufacturing Team took some of the cut metals home to bend, but the bending reacted differently from the previous metals. We have confirmed the metal numerous times and could not figure out why. Thus far, we have researched aging, heat treating, and length of metal, but cannot find anything that answers our dilemma. We will be sending an e-mail to CoastAluminum, VanderBend, and a materials engineering professor of ours to try and find out the answer. Also, we have asked the Solar Team to swap the older metals in storage with our newly bought metals, but even so, we will not have enough material - currently, waiting for them to reply.

Jez and AJ have signed up for a Tig Welding class, officially. Also, we will be working on the support post with the Solar Team today since the design they have seems top heavy. We also established a Gantt Chart for all of the subteams so that we all know what days each team will need to be done with their respective parts because we are heavily reliant on each other.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

2/8/2017 Blog #15

over the winter break, our team ran into a problem when 3D printing the U-brackets because the hot end of the 3D printer broke. And since Jez (the owner of the printer) was not in town, we delayed fixing it until he returned. Other than that, we also obtained a quote from CoastAluminum for some pieces of aluminum. We then obtained approval from Eric to make the purchase.

When we returned from winter break, we followed up on the quote and the parts we ordered - the shipment will be arriving today the 8th of February. We have also set up a tentative Gantt Chart on the white board in the design center to follow for the next month and a half (since we need to be done by the 22nd of March). Jez and Andrew will also be signing up for a Tig Welding class, February 18 for future production. We also coordinated with the other teams to align dates and necessities.

In the coming weeks, we will be manufacturing the new parts for the 12th scale track and solidifying the dates whilst coordinating with the other sub-teams.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


In the last week we have worked on the last presentation and final report. I spent a few hours on the final report working on the abstract, executive summary, and other parts. I did research on previous final reports. I also coordinated with my group to make sure we have everything ready to present to Eric. Eric asked for our 3D model of our new brackets and a CAD image of the bogie making the clearances necessary. I mentioned to the group that we should a little bit more to show, just to help give an idea to show our direction.

Blog #14

This week our team worked on presentations and the first draft of the final report. We finally received the PLA filament and will begin printing the brackets as soon as possible. We also fixed a few tiny details and placed four bogies on the track to show clearances. Afterward, we did a FEA on the ALU-6061 corner bends and the PLA U-Brackets. We researched PLA to determine effectiveness of infill percentages as recommended by Michael Kemp. This week, we will be presenting and afterward, we will be talking to Eric, Furman, and Ron about what we have done thus far. We will also be submitting our individual evaluations this week.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Blog #13 11/30/2016

This week we got our Bill of Materials approved by Eric and have ordered the PLA filament from Amazon for under $100. The filament should arrive today and be sufficient for 30 castings of our U-bracket which Jezreel has volunteered to 3D print for us with his printer throughout winter break. We will be printing them at 70% ink-fill (heeding Michael Kemp’s advice, who suggested 70% is approximately the same as 100% ink-fill). After we print the first one, we will be comparing it with the previously printed 100% ink-filled one to see differences. Since it was Thanksgiving weekend, we did not burden ourselves with too many tasks. However, we were working on presentation #3 and starting our final report. For the first draft of our final report that is due this Friday 12/2/2016, we will be working on it throughout this week so that we have less to do for the final draft of the final report. For the coming weeks, we will be working on the final report and planning for the beginning of next semester.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

11/23/2016 Blog #12

this week, we created a Bill of Materials which we e-mailed to three people: Eric Hagstrom, Michael Kemp, and Neil Shankar; they are responsible for approving our budget. Jezreel went ahead and found the PLA filament on Amazon which was the item needed for our Bill of Materials. We also dimensioned the overall dimensions of the track to make sure it fit the given area when presenting at Paseo Prototyping and Maker's Faire which is within a 15 by 15 feet area, which it does. It also allows other teams to know approximately how large the track is (13 by 13 feet). On Friday, Jez and I went to see VanderBend to obtain answers. Having gone to VanderBend, we saw the many things they were able to accomplish so that our minds were unshackled from only the experiences we have had with countering the problems we've encountered. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


This week we maintained contact with Kearny Foundry and realized the price was too expensive ($1400 for mold and 30 castings), especially since they will not be able to machine the press fit or holes either. It would be more expensive to let another company finish off the machining that we needed done, but if we simply 3D printed, it would solve the problems of needing to ask two companies for help and it would save tons of money. The process would take about half of the time (two to three weeks instead of four) and would eliminate the need to find a machining company or create a repeatable drilling process. We have also been trying to organize a visit to Vanderbend Manufacturing for our group and several others to get quotes, contacts, and answers. Vanderbend has been communicative. They have seen our designs and give us some feedback. We are still waiting to hear back from them on a quote.

This week, our goal is to start the final report and complete a bill of materials for all of the things we need to 3D print. Fortunately, one member of our team (Jezreel) has a 3D printer, so we would be able to print it in the weeks of winter break.