As a teaching assistant to the Smith Center for Design and Fabrication I had plenty of opportunities to work on my own personal projects as well as assist other students in their own projects. In this way I was able to gain experience on the different machines available in the Smith CDF with a variety of projects. All projects required an understanding of the manufacturing processes in order to properly design and pre-process the product.
Self-Centering Labyrinth Seal for Turbomachinery (Patent Pending)
Fall 2012-Spring 2013 Some images/details restricted due to Intellectual Property agreement
This part design was completed for my senior design capstone project in conjunction with my honors thesis. My capstone team and I designed a seal that would passively center itself around the impeller of a centrifugal compressor and maintain cost and performance of existing labyrinth seals. Completion of the project required extensive research on turbomachinery and personal research for DfA/DfM. The design was modeled in Solidworks and analyzed using CFD in ANSYS CFX. The design was found to be successful after preliminary testing and has a patent application pending.
As an extension I fabricated a prototype of the seal in aluminum that would be tested in a compressor test rig at the host company. This machining work was done on a lathe and CNC 3-axis mill and required custom tooling and fixturing. The final prototype met all precision tolerance specifications down to .0005”.
For my continued research project in aerial vehicle design I teamed up with another engineering student, Aaron Cantrell, to develop a remote-controlled aerial vehicle that could perform GC/MS sampling. This plane design is the result of multiple iterations - as physical flight tests proved to be the best means of validating flight readiness.
The plane was modeled in Solidworks with a flexible construction to allow rapid design changes after each test. The model was then processed using MasterCAM and routed from insulation foam. The foam body was cut out, assembled and fixtured with the flight electronics and flight control surfaces. The body of the plane was painted with thin epoxy resin and stiffened with fiberglass. The GC/MS sampler was custom designed to allow a small servo motor to expose the sampling fiber for 10 minutes and cap it after use. The whole production time from 3D model to flight test took about 6 work hours.
This project was extremely fun due to the quick turn-around and interesting design constraints. After 5 iterations the final plane was very stable and responsive in flight and was very fun to test. Although the battery life was only just enough to run the test for 8 minutes we did get some significant results after analyzing our GC/MS fibers.
For this project I was asked to create a abstract sculpture using one of a few given methods of abstraction by established artists. I decided to try my hand at a falling horse to work with the gravity of the clay and used a method of abstraction similar to that used by Pablo Picasso in some of his sculptures.
Red Cedar worked with woodworking lathe and hand carving tools
For my 3D design class I was required to construct a wooden object that represented a personal story or keepsake. I made a 150% scale model of krylon spraypaint can large enough for a regular spray can to be held inside. I felt the natural blemishes of the wood and handcarving worked well with the mass-produced disposable nature of the spray can and the ephemeral nature of graffiti art.
Small-scale Blended Wing Body RC Airplane - Summer 2011
Modeled and tested in Solidworks
CNC milled from insulation foam using 3 Axis Mill and Mastercam
As an independent research project I developed and tested a number of small-scale (160 grams or less) radio-control airplanes with blended wing-body planforms. The initial planes were assembled manually but I moved on to more rapid fabrication of new planforms using cnc milled insulation foam. Because mine was the first project at Smith to make use of 3-axis cnc machining I spent most of my time developing and debugging the process of using CAM for prototyping at Smith College.
For my final project in Strength of Materials I was required to calculate the mechanical stress of a real-world object and compare it to experimental data. This model of a femoral implant was used to find the center of mass for the paper calculations and simulate the mechanical loading in Solidworks Simulation. The implant was tested with strain gauges in an Instron Compression Tester for experimental results.