There & Back Again — E28: Engineering Design & Analysis
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    For an Engineering Design & Analysis class, we created a device that travels in a straight line, then returns to its starting position, with limi… Read More
    For an Engineering Design & Analysis class, we created a device that travels in a straight line, then returns to its starting position, with limited materials. Read Less
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There & Back Again
E28: Engineering Design & Analysis group project, September to December 2008.

Using limited materials, and with constraints on finished size and parts, we were to make a device that travelled a distance in a straight line, and then returned as closely to the finish as possible. The scoring system penalized teams for passing the start on the return trip, and for deviation from a straight line of travel. I was one of two leaders on our six-person team, and helped come up with specific innovations, such as the wheel design and reversing trigger mechanism. We placed in the top three in the class according to scoring, with the furthest distance travelled — by far — out of any group.
Solidworks assembly of our design. I created the wheels, and helped in final part assembly and preparation of drawings in Solidworks. In addition to my contributions in design & leadership, I was the GD&T (geometric dimensioning and tolerancing) expert in my group.
The wheels overlap so the final product fits in a 1 cubic meter box.
End view that shows the body and wheel size.
A rubber band pulls a dowel, which unwinds a string from the small axle, which drives the much larger diameter wheel. I designed a wheel that was not only large, but also had a minimum number of parts — one of the scoring criteria — the triangular supports are cut and folded in from the wheel.
Bad quality video of a test of the reverse triggering mechanism. Our design was slow, but travelled much further than any other. While the device travels, the front axle winds string connected to a second, pre-tensioned, dowel and rubber band. At the maximum distance, there is just enough momentum to release the second lever, which unwinds and returns the vehicle to the start.
My team members.