Tuesday, April 25, 2017


The design for the wooden Cat's Eye is almost complete. Following last week, Kevin and I searched the Superway shop to find seven screws and nuts to bolt the clamps onto the structure. Once those were found, I painted the whole thing white to be more visually-appealing. The painting took a while so that the layers could dry properly. We also got a few more pieces 3D printed by Professor Youssefi as well, to simulate the guideway rails. Next class period, we will discuss footings and figure out which screws to use to bolt the guideway to the structure.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


This week, Kevin and I have progressed a lot on the wooden Cat's Eye design for the architectural model. On Friday, April 14th, I picked up the 3D-printed clamps from Professor Youssefi. They turned out exactly as intended, though Youssefi did recommend that we create fillets on the edges so that the printer wouldn't make the edges so sharp.

After obtaining the clamps, we realized that our wooden model was a bit too thick and had to be filed down so we could fit the clamps on. On Tuesday, April 18, Kevin went to the ME machine shop to use their files to work on the design. Finally, we attached the clamps as pictured.

Our next steps for this are to finalize the design for Maker Faire. This means we will use class time together to brainstorm ideas for the footings, or some way to make it stand up. We will also discuss what to use as a guideway, since that isn't exactly in our specifications, but it is an important part. If we have extra time, we will see what kind of solar panels could fit on top. After class, I will work on painting the model so it looks more cohesive.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


On Friday, April 7, I went with Kevin to the ME computer lab so we could continue our work on the wooden design for the architectural model. In the lab, since he doesn't know how to use SolidWorks, I had him measure out all the dimensions while I input them into SolidWorks to make a rough design of the existing model. Then, we brainstormed ideas for clamp designs to hold the wooden structure section to the interlocking column. As a reminder, due to the properties of the steel within the interlocking column, we are unable to weld or bolt to it. Therefore, we will use clamps, which we can bolt to itself.
This is what our first iteration of the model looks like. The wooden sections already exist, we just need to fabricate the clamps. We plan on having Professor Youssefi 3D print them. I emailed him on Friday, and now that it's the following Wednesday, I've sent him a reminder email. The clamps for the center and top are shown below. The center clamp picture is shown from the outside (visible to public), the top clamp picture is shown from the inside (invisible to public). There will be two of each clamp piece so that two will attach to each other.

Monday, April 3, 2017


Because I went out of town for Spring Break, I didn't accomplish too much in terms of project progress. Before break, I worked on the wooden model with Kevin, then painted the black box section. (this process is more detailed in last week's blog post). We need to make a few modifications to the design including cutting out a slot for the interlocking column to fit through. Claude's father has already fabricated this so Claude will give it to me in a couple days. Then we need to design some kind of clamps to showcase styles of attachment for such a shape as the cat's eye. Because the main part of the design is created without interlocking column, we will be able to weld and bolt to the design as much as we want.

This week, we worked on our Presentation 2 which will be presented on Wednesday, April 5. It will be graded on the following sections:
Project Summary/Context, Current Status of Design, Detailed schedule for the semester, Budget, and Engineering/Professional Improvements. The parts I'm working on are Project Summary/Context and Detailed schedule. For the Summary, it's essentially another recap of Spartan Superway's outline and goals that we reiterate during every presentation, as well as our subteam's importance to its goals. Our schedule will outline everything we need to do in the next two months to finish successfully, well before Maker Faire.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Since most of our project is dependent on Claude's designs and his ability to finalize decisions, we're moving at a slow pace currently. He's still hung up on the original T design and finalizing SolidWorks issues, so Kevin and I decided to get started with the "cat's eye" design. We found a board of wood in the Superway shop and figured it would be easiest to use a tool such as the bandsaw to cut out the intricate beam design of the cat's eye. We couldn't figure out how to work any of the equipment in the Superway shop, so we went to the ME shop on campus on Thursday evening. Their equipment wasn't much better.

This is one of the "cat's eye" versions that we went with in the shop. We figure the guideway method of attaching beams could be used to connect the cat's eye to the guideway. The black blocks are where the guideway would go if this were fully developed, but we have no input on what goes in that area, according to the scope of our subteam, "Supports and Railings." We used a bandsaw and drill press to saw the general shape of the design, then sanded the edges to the best of our ability using the belt sander and hand files. I later painted the black boxes.

We are still waiting on Claude's father to manufacture the interlocking columns for the project. We expect it'll be a quick process, because his father owns equipment that is much better quality than the school's. Claude is still finalizing the dimensions, but once the columns are completed, we will leave room for it to fit where the slit in the wooden design above is.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


This week, there wasn't much happening. As I thought before, I figured I would be fabricating the wood beams to create the architectural model. As it turns out, Claude is going to have his dad make them so they're "more precise" using his equipment, which is much better than the ME lab's equipment or the machines in the Spartan Superway shop (which we're not sure if it works or not). Claude is still working on his designs.

To be honest, I feel like my hands are tied. We (the rest of the team) can't progress until we have these designs to fabricate, but Claude insists on making the designs the way he sees fit. So it's been a couple months now that we've been in this designing phase but I don't see anything coming together yet. I need to begin fabrication or we are not going to finish in time. Claude mentioned just making one architectural prototype and laser-cutting the other designs (cat's eye) but I think this would look tacky and simplistic compared to what the other subteams of Spartan Superway are working on.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


We gave our Presentation 1 on 3/1/2017. This is the link to the presentation:

I worked on the section including the Gantt Chart and Bill of Materials. Our schedule depends on our contacts Andries, Vander-Bend, Youssefi, and Claude for finishing the dimensions.

This week I had planned on machining the wooden columns for our architectural model, but Claude wasn't able to finalize the size that he wanted for them. I can't continue until he does so, because he's already planned to design the clamps. He said that if I manufacture them, he may decide that he wanted them to be a different size and I'd have to redo them. Seeing as the wooden prototype I made last semester took 6 hours to get halfway through, I will be waiting until he decides what he wants. Until then, there are wooden beams waiting to be manufactured in my bedroom.