My Engineering Design 100 Experience

Coming into the second semester of my freshman year I did not have much of an idea of what I wanted to major in here at Penn State.  I scheduled various advising appointments to try and set me on the right track, and ultimately I decided to see if an engineering major would be suitable for me.  My advisor told me to take this class because it would be a good gauge on whether I would like to try and be an engineer.  I somewhat reluctantly scheduled this class because I really did not think I would have much interest in it.  However, I was proven wrong by the time I spent in this class this semester.  I enjoyed working on both projects with my team, and also really enjoyed being able to work in SolidWorks for a good part of the semester.

I think this class definitely gave me a better idea of what I wanted to try and do with the rest of my time here at Penn State, and I will now be pursuing a life in the engineering world.  This definitely excites me, but also makes me nervous at times with the workload that I am setting myself up for.  If I had not taken this class I can almost guarantee I would be majoring in something else, and might not be as well off as I feel that I am now. I never felt overly stressed about this class, but still put in the work I need to put in.  It was a fair course that also had a few challenging aspects to it.  Overall, I am very pleased with the course and would recommend it to anyone that might be looking to major in engineering.

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The iPhone 5

A large portion of our class this year was based upon the world’s fascination with smartphones.  It seems that just about everyone has a smartphone now, and the numbers only continue to increase.  The iPhone is undoubtedly the most popular of the smartphones in today’s market, and deservingly so.  This Christmas I was lucky enough to receive an iPhone 4s, and it has definitely made my life easier.  I love the touch screen capabilities, along with being able to get my emails anywhere, and also just for pure entertainment.  I love my iPhone and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

The iPhone 5 will be coming out soon, and so I did some research to see what new features it has.  Some of the design changes is that the phone is now thinner, which is always a plus and also the screen size is bigger than the old model.  Another new feature is that there is a laser keyboard option that can be projected onto flat surfaces.  One last outstanding addition to the iPhone 5 is that there is a holographic display mode that can play videos and can also act as a projector.  These last two features of the phone are very attractive and seem amazing, but they also seem very unnecessary.  I tried to think of what situation I would ever be in that would require me to want to use these two options of a phone and I could think of one, except to maybe impress my friends.  All of these new additions can be found at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzsBwnv_dAg.

Source:

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SolidWorks Final Project

When I learned what our final project was going to be in SolidWorks I really did not know what I wanted to design.  We were told that it should be related to something that you have interest in, so I started to build off of that.  I ended up deciding to design a golf club, but not just any golf club.  I wanted to build the putter that I use when I play golf, and that is exactly what I did.  I felt that since I was familiar with it that it would help me in the design process, and it definitely did.  Not only did I find something that fit the guidelines for this project, but I actually wanted to make this specific item.

The putter itself is a Scotty Cameron Teryllium Newport Two.  The name might sound fancy if you are not familiar with golf, but it is actually a pretty standard type of putter.  It is definitely an older model putter as it was released in 1999, but can still be considered one of the better putter designs that golf has seen.

Here are some pictures of what my finished product came out looking like:

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Project Management

In engineering design 100 we were given two different team projects to complete during the semester.  We were broken up into teams of four people for both of these projects.  As with every team assignment, project management was essential for us to do a good job.

I think one of the most important aspects of project management is communication between teammates in a group.  Without communication there is no point in being part of a group.  Lack of communication isolates everyone from each other and results in a lack luster solution to whatever problem the project is addressing.  Communication in this situation does not have to be all verbal, however.  One effective form of communication for project management is establishing a work breakdown system.  A Gantt Chart is one way to assign people to different workloads and to put your project on a schedule.

I think my group did a good job for both of the projects that we were assigned.  One reason I think we were able to do so well is because we became comfortable with everyone in the group and communicated effectively.  We were able to identify the strengths of each person in our group and subsequently assign each person to a given area of each project.  In the process of working on these projects this semester we all became friends and will more than likely stay in touch with each other going forward in our collegiate lives.

Source:

Devon Junkbox > Project Management

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BOF

Basic Oxygen Furnaces (BOF) were referenced to many time during many of the presentations made in class for the steel projects.  These furnaces take molten pig iron and steel scrap and convert them into steel that can be reused for production and manufacturing.  This process accounts for approximately 67% of the crude steel production in the world.  It is also one of the most powerful and effective methods for producing steel in this day and age.

The picture above shows what a basic oxygen furnace looks like.  The BOF process uses many chemical processes.  One of the biggest advantages of using BOF’s is the high production rates of crude steel.  Steel plant slag forms during the manufacturing process and is poured while still in the molten state at very high temperatures.  Some uses of this slag can be found in road construction and hydraulic engineering.

Sources:

http://www.substech.com/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=basic_oxygen_furnace_bof

http://www.arcelor-bremen.com/bof_slag.html?&L=1

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Drawing

On Tuesday in class we discussed drawing and how it is used in design.  Drawing is obviously an integral part of design, and design wouldn’t be possible without it.  Drawing lets the designer to imagination whatever they want to make and then actually allow them to do it.  It gives them a visual model for them to ultimately make a tangible 3D object.  Two of the biggest types of drawing that we talked about in class are perspective, isometric, and oblique drawing.

Isometric drawings are 3D drawing that show three sides, all proportional in dimensions, but not shown with true shape with 90 degree corners.  The vertical lines are drawn normally, but the horizontal lines are created 30 degrees to the baseline.  This method of drawing is easy for creating 3D models in design.

Above is a classic example of oblique drawing, and one that we even did ourselves in class.  Oblique drawing is used less often in drawing than some of the other methods, but can be effectively used in an engineers drawings.  Oblique drawings are done with the most distinguishing feature facing directly towards the observer.  The Cavalier method of oblique drawing is the most common form used in this drawing.  In this method, the vertical lines are normal, just as in isometric drawing, but the horizontal lines are drawn with a 45 degree angle to the baseline, instead of 30 degrees.

The above image shows what I think is a good representation of perspective drawing.  Perspective drawing is basically a drawing on a flat surface (like paper) to represent what the object looks like to the human eye.  One of the biggest ideas in this type of drawing is that the smaller the object looks, the further it is away from the observer.  There are different types of perspective drawing ranging from 0-4 point perspective.  Each of these forms adds a different element to the drawing.

Sources:

http://metal.brightcookie.com/2_draw/draw_t3/htm/draw3_2_2.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perspective_(graphical)

 

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SolidWorks Vs. Blender

This semester in Engineering Design 100 we were introduced to two very new, very interesting computer programs geared towards designing and creating 3D CAD (computer-aided design) models.  These programs, however, are in somewhat different categories overall and can’t be compared directly to one another.  In this blog I am going to discuss the experience I had with both programs and which one that I prefer to work with.

On the SolidWorks side, I really enjoyed the knowledge and ability I gained in this program during the weeks that we worked with it.  SolidWorks is quite complicated and I must admit I was intimidated when I first started using it.  Slowly but surely the tutorials gave me the basic skills I needed (like extruding bosses, cuts and fillets) to maneuver my way around the program and create some decent 3D models.  I also like the structure of what we got to do with this program.  We were given deadlines for the tutorials, the quiz, and the final project.  We were given ample time to finish all of these, which was nice to not feel rushed to finish them.  Overall I really liked SolidWorks and would be disappointed if I never got to work with it again.

As for Blender, my experience was definitely less entertaining than what I had with SolidWorks.  I felt thrown into Blender without knowing much about the program, and felt like I didn’t learn a whole lot about it.  This may be largely due to the shortened amount of time we had to work in Blender, but nonetheless I didn’t get much out of it.  The biggest problem I had with this program was the sculpt feature.  This let you use a various number of brushes and tools to try and sculpt your model the way you envisioned, but it rarely turned out well for me.  I think human error played too big of a part in this part of Blender.  This made the bottle that I was designing turn out different than I expected, and I was not totally satisfied with my end product.

So obviously I preferred SolidWorks over Blender, but as I mentioned earlier my opinion might be biased due to the time I was able to work with each program.  Even so, I think that SolidWorks is a much more organized program that helps you get your desired result.

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Design Ethics

Ethics can be thought about as the difference between right and wrong behavior.  Ethics can be applied to vast amounts of topics such as moral, business, and even social responsibility.  These are just a few types of ethical topics, but the one that I will be discussing in this blog is design ethics in the world of engineering.  Design ethics can stem from many different scenarios that can take place during the design process.  Some of the ethical problems can stem from lack of cognizance, the design process, and the companies or customers you are designing a product for.  There is also product ethics and process ethics.

Cognizance is the concept that you need to know about the product that you are working with or designing.  If someone does not know anything about the product they have then how will they be able to solve problems within it or even be able to pass judgment on it?  The answer is that they can’t.  Lack of cognizance is a problem that can easily take hold of people, especially in today’s world.

Ethical problems during the design process can be easily accepted by the designer.  For example, if a problem occurred during design and was spotted it could cost a company a ton of money to go back and correct the problem.  Another option for them would be to continue to produce the product without changing a thing and try and get away with it.  Also ethics can come into play with the companies and customers you are selling to.  You must be sure that these people are going to use your ideas or products for the right reasons.

Product ethics simply boil down to identifying the positive and negative social and environmental impact of the given product.  Looking at the product life cycle of a product can help when going over this part of product ethics.  Process ethics in some aspect can be looked at as how you deal with certain members that you may be working with during a project.  Make sure the project workload is divided evenly and establish some team goals that you want to accomplish with your project.

Sources:

Devon Junkbox > Design Ethics

http://www.engr.psu.edu/ethics

 

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Global Warming?

For some years now there has been spurring debate over whether global warming is taking effect here on Earth.  Scientists argue both sides of the topic very in depth, but which side is correct?  The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) thinks global warming is affecting the people and environment on our planet.

The greenhouse effect is the trapping of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere resulting in energy being absorbed and therefore trapped in the atmosphere.  This is a naturally occurring process, but human activity on Earth has caused there to be an increase in greenhouse gases that have become trapped in our atmosphere.  This, in turn, causes more heat to be trapped in the atmosphere, which has begun to change the Earth’s climate.

Recent figures have shown an steady increase in annual average global service temperatures from 1901-2000.  These increases have generally been below one degree celsius per year, which won’t yield dramatic changes in climate temperature from year to year.  However, if these temperatures continually increase over the next 50, 100 or even 1,000 years there will be significant differences that can be noticed in our climate.  So the climate changes might not have effect in my lifetime, or even my kids.  What will happen is that the change will eventually catch up with our world and will leave future generations off much worse than us.  This graph shows the trend in recent global surface temperatures.

The website I used as reference for this blog is:

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/

 

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Service Design

Today in class we talked about the concept of service design.  Service design is the planning, organizing of people, and infrastructure of a service in order to increase the efficiency of a service.  This can be as simple as brainstorming among colleagues to come up with a better way to provide a service.  In some instances a service design agency can be hired to professionally help a certain group with the service they are providing.  One quick example would be a restaurant hiring a company to redesign their menu or the layout of their eating areas.

One specific example we discussed in class was a bus system.  Here at Penn State the CATA Bus Company runs a service for people around State College.  Buses include the Blue Loop, White Loop, Red Link, and Green Link, among others.  The service that is provided is a good one, but there are ways that the system could be improved.  One suggestion was that the seating on the buses could be designed more efficiently in terms of comfort and also in terms of getting on and off the bus as efficiently as possible.  One other idea that could improve the bus services could be to put monitors around places on campus telling you the approximate time of arrival and departure of the buses.  There is one of these on campus at the CATA bus stop, and it is a convenient feature.  I would like to see these around campus more in places further away from the actual bus stops to inform students and other people what kind of schedule the buses are running on.

There are three main methodologies for designing services.  The first is determining who are the people that are needed for the actual service using analytical tools.  The second is to think of possible service scenarios, and coming up with a process or list of requirements to fulfill if during a given situation.  This can also consist of assigning different characters in your service to different tasks within’ the a given scenario.  The last methodology is the representation of the service.

The references I used for this blog are:

Devon Junnkbox > Service Design

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Service_design

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