Table of Contents
Client Statement (Need)
You've been contacted to develop a potato planting device for three farmers: Barry Robinson, Anita Augusen, and Reid Ockerman. The farmers want to be able to sit on their back porches and launch potatoes into their fields, so the launcher needs to be able to meet the following criteria:
- Must be remotely activated
- Must be able to impact a target at a particular location with variable range, good repeatability, and high accuracy.
- Must demonstrate the ability to achieve impact at a minimal radial distance from the target.
Your mission is to design, and build a potato launcher, with completed design documentation by the end of this quarter using only the allowed materials and supplies. After submitting your finished product and related design documentation, you will be encouraged to participate in the competition demonstrating all results during the spring quarter.
There are a number of goals for this project. As student engineers, you are probably most focused on the goals associated with the design problem itself. However, the ME department views the educational goals as being more important than the design goals of the particular problem. The ME Department views the design problem simply as a means of achieving the educational goals. Please review the list of Design Project Objectives below, and use that to extract information about your design problem.
Design Project Objectives
The RIT Mechanical Engineering Department has identified nine educational outcomes, that every graduate of our program is expected to be able to demonstrate at the time of graduation, these are referred to as BS Mechanical Engineering Program Outcomes (MEPOs). This design project is expected to help you lay the foundation for several of these expected educational outcomes. The outcomes focused on here, and specific assignments associated with each of them are listed below.
Primary Learning Outcomes for This Project
- MEPO 2. Design a system or a component to meet a set
of customer specifications and constraints, as well as to
define and write the requirements of the design.
- Understand a rudimentary engineering design
process consisting of needs assessment and concept
- Understand an Objective Tree
- Your primary goal is to develop a product to meet the design specifications and documentation requirements in accordance with the points scoring method documented later.
- Your secondary goal is to support the development of the FAMILY of products, so that your alliance of design teams achieve the best possible product and design specifications and documentation requirements in accordance with the points scoring method described later.
- The primary market for your product is the ME First Year Engineering Design Competition to be held in the Spring Quarter.
- The secondary market for your product is the RIT Innovation Fair to be held in the spring quarter.
- Understand a Function Tree
- Understand and apply a Brainstorming Method
- Understand and develop a Function Means Matrix
- Understand an Objective Tree
- Understand a rudimentary engineering design process consisting of needs assessment and concept design
- MEPO 4. Use the techniques, skills, and modern
engineering tools necessary for engineering practice; and
be able to apply mathematics, science, and engineering
principles to mechanical engineering.
- Apply knowledge learned from other courses (such as math, science, engineering, and liberal arts) to a mechanical engineering design problem.
- Use modern tools such as CAD packages, spreadsheets, manufacturing processes, and data acquisition systems to practice engineering
- MEPO 7. Participate in multi-disciplinary teams.
- Understand the Values (Expected Behaviors) and the Norms associated with those values when participating in team activities in mechanical engineering at RIT
- Understand and apply knowledge of team dynamics in a project setting
- Understand and apply the principles of situational leadership in a project setting
- MEPO 3. Identify, formulate, and solve mechanical
- Identify the underlying physics and chemistry problems that must be solved
- Apply basic knowledge from physics and chemistry to formulate one or more problem statements
- Solve and Document the scientific problems in the context of the design problem
- MEPO 5. Understand the impact of engineering
solutions in a global and societal context, the
professional and ethical responsibilities associated with
the practice of engineering, and contemporary issues
facing mechanical engineers.
- Understand how to design a device within externally imposed constraints, typical of design codes and standards
- Understand health and safety impacts of engineering designs on various stakeholders
- MEPO 6. Design and conduct experiments, as well as
analyze and interpret data.
- Create a plan for testing your design as well as underlying assumptions
- Conduct experiments in accordance with your plan
- Analyze the data from your experiments
- Interpret the data from your experiments, to draw conclusions in support of your design
- MEPO 8. Communicate effectively by written, verbal,
and graphical means.
- Prepare an engineering drawing package (consisting of part drawings and assembly drawings) documenting your final design
- Prepare a poster communicating your design results using written and graphical means
- Present your design verbally to a review panel
- Maintain a logbook of all activities, calculations, experiments, and efforts associated with your contributions to the design project.
In addition to your peers and instructors in the course, several other parties have a vested interest in the design project that you are working on. These stakeholders, while they may not be your customer, certainly have an impact upon the way your will design and deliver your product. If you design a product without considering all stakeholders, you may not achieve a successful design. Your stakeholders include:
- RIT Student Body
- RIT Faculty and Staff
- RIT Public Safety Office
- RIT Risk Management Office
Design Objectives for The Potato Launcher Project
- Scoring and Points
- Each team will be comprised of approximately 8 students.
- Multiple teams will be grouped together to form an alliance.
- There will be points associated with the design of each team, and of the alliance.
- There will be points associated with the launch results for each team, and for the alliance.
- The design (conducted during winter quarter) will be scored and judged as a competition.
- The launch (conducted during spring quarter) will be scored and judged as a separate competition.
- Accuracy Points will be scored for the accuracy each launch attempt (including failed launch attempts).
- Definition: r 2 = ( Impact Point - Landing Zone Center ) 2
- Definition: R 2 = ( Launch Circle Center - Landing Zone Center ) 2
- Definition: Accuracy Points Per Launch Attempt = 100 points ( 1 - r / R )
- Failed launch attempts will be scored zero Accuracy Points.
- Impacts within 1 ft radius of the specified landing zone will score 100 Accuracy Points
- Declining a launch attempt will result in zero Accuracy Points
- Each design team will be be allowed no more than five attempts launch a potato towards a landing zone.
- Declining a launch attempt will not adversely influence the repeatability score (The Accuracy points will not be included in the standard deviation calculation).
- The team may decline an individual launch attempt by stating "We decline this launch attempt."
- Every one of the three landing zones must be targeted for at least three launch attempts by an alliance.
- Repeatability Points will be scored for the smallest standard deviation in Accuracy Points across the five launch attempts.
- Repeatability Points =
- Three landing zones will be expected for each alliance.
- Landing Zone One will be located a distance of nominally 150 feet from the Launching Circle.
- Landing Zone Two will be located a distance of nominally 200 feet from the Launching Circle.
- Landing Zone Three will be located a distance of nominally 250 feet from the Launching Circle.
- Each attempt, including failed launch attempts, to impact Landing Zone One will score 50 Range Points.
- Each attempt, including failed launch attempts, to impact Landing Zone Two will score 75 Range Points.
- Each attempt, including failed launch attempts, to impact Landing Zone Three will score 50 Range Points.
- Declined launch attempts will score zero Range Points.
- Competition Scoring
- The total Team Score is the sum of five Accuracy Point scores, one Repeatability Point score, and five Range Point scores.
- The total Alliance Score is the mean of the Team Scores for all teams on the Alliance.
This objective tree illustrates the primary learning outcomes as the objectives for the project.
Establish User Requirements
- The user (or farmer) must be able to launch the potatoes from a point outside of the launch circle.
- The user (or farmer) must be able to launch a single potatoe at one of a number of pre-selected ranges or target/planting circles
- Personal safety is paramount, and must be considered at all times during the design, fabrication, testing, and competition
Design Constraints for The Potato Launcher Project
- Each team may spend no more than $20 for supplies in addition to those included with the kit of parts.
- Teams may barter with other teams on their alliance for items within their kit of parts.
- Kit contents.
- 10 inches 4" SCH 40 PVC
- 10 inches 2" SCH 40 PVC
- 5 feet 1.5" SCH 40 PVC
- 5 feet 3/4" SCH 40 PVC
- 1 4" PVC Coupler
- 1 4" x 1.5" PVC bushing
- 1 4" PVC FSxFNPT clean-out adapter
- 1 4" PVC MNPT threaded plug
- 2 #8 x 2-1/2" machine screws
- 1 Roll duct tape
- 1 Roll electrical tape
- 1 Bag party balloons
- 1 Drinking straw
- 1 Coffee stirrer
- 1 Piece foam weather stripping
- 5 rags
- Each design team will be staffed with approximately six ME students.
- Each design team, and each member of each design team, is expected to exhibit the positive aspects of the behaviors indicated in the Team Values and Norms rubrics throughout the project, to the best of their ability.
- Each design team must use their launcher in conjunction with a provided launch frame.
- Only kit-provided propellants, igniters, and energy related systems may be employed.
- The range controller (competition manager) has final authority on all safety concerns, and may make the statement "We decline this launch attempt." for any launch attempt by any team.
- The range controller will inform each team when they may initiate each launch attempt.
- All individuals must remain outside of the Launching Circle during each launch attempt.
- The launching circle will be five feet in diameter.
- All launchers must be delivered to the delivery point no later than 12:00 noon on Friday of week 10 of winter quarter. No exceptions.
- No modifications may be made to the device or the design after being delivered, and up to four hours before the beginning of the competition, in the spring quarter.
- Each team will have no more than 10 minutes for five launch attempts, including measurement.
- Each alliance will have nore more than 30 minutes for all launches within the alliance.
- The competition date will be determined at a later date, and is subject to weather and favorable launch conditions.
The design team must design and construct a device to achieve the following functions.
- Load a potato into a launch tube.
- Charge the combustion chamber with a controlled quantity of fuel.
- Aim the launcher to achieve a specified heading, and range.
- Ignite the fuel to initiate a launch sequence.
- Have a fail-safe method for aborting a launch after being charged with fuel.
Establish Design Specifications
If the customer objectives are the fuzzy wording of what the design should be, then the specifications are the more defined wording of what the design should be. In most real-life product developments, the custoemr need arrives at the egineer by way of the marketing research department, or customer feedback and focus groups. Usually, the needs can be quite vague. For the purpose of this design problem, you have a very well defined set of objectives for the potatoe launcher project, which you can translate into specifications quite directly. We will not spend a lot of time on this topic in this foundation course in design, but it will be a major focus in your cornerstone design course.
- Each team must be turn in a Function - Means Matrix by the end of week 5.
Each team must provide at least three options or means by which each function could be accomplished.
|Required Function||Option 1||Option 2||Option 3|
- Each team must be prepared to discuss their chosen design concepts by the end of week 6.
- Using the function-means matrix, the team should be able to discuss the factors which influenced their chosen design concept.
Model or Analyze Design
- Each team must include the statement and solution of at least one chemistry problem in their final design presentation and documentation.
- Each team must include the statement and solution of at least one physics problem in their final design presentation and documentation.
- Each team must include the statement and solution of at least one calculus problem in their final design presentation and documentation.
Test and Evaluate Design
- Each team must include the results of a least one experiment in their final design presentation and documentation.
- Each team must include a complete drawing package in their final design presentation and documentation.
Refine and Optimize Design
- Each team must discuss how they have refined their design in their final design presentation and documentation.
- All teams within an alliance may freely exchange information, data, and documentation with other teams in their alliance.
- All contributors to each document must be acknowledged. You may NOT plagiarize information, but teams may elect to collaborate and share joint authorship.
- Every member of every team must participate in the verbal presentation.
- Every team member must complete a peer evaluation of the members of their team, and submit a peer evaluation form to their instructor.
Team Values and Norms
The team values clarify the behaviors expected of each engineering team member as they interact with other members of their team, and their clients. Each design team in mechanical engineering at RIT is expected to practice these VALUES (the expected behaviors of every team member) and and to conduct a peer assessment of student performance against the team NORMS (the expected levels of performance measuring those behaviors).
- Each team member will be prompt and arrive at the team meetings on time. If an unexpected conflict comes up, the absent team member will notify at least one team-mate prior to the expected absence. An absent team-member should confirm that a team-mate has received their message (in person, voice mail, email, etc).
- Each team member will complete their tasks thoroughly and completely, so that the work does not have to be re-done by a peer on the team. If a member does not know how to complete a task, feels overwhelmed, or needs assistance then the member notifies peers, and seeks assistance either from a peer, the faculty guide, a faculty consultant, or another person.
- Each team member completes their work accurately and in a way that can be easily checked for accuracy by peers and the faculty guide. All work is fully documented and easy to follow.
- Professional and Ethical
- Each team member gives credit where credit is due. All work completed includes citations to appropriate literature, or sources of assistance. If a team member has gotten assistance from a publication or individual, then that assistance or guidance is fully documented in the reports prepared. Each team member is honest and trustworthy in their dealings with their peers.
- Each team member will contribute an equal share to the success of the project.
Team Norms: Peer Assessment Rubric
At the end of the project every team member will conduct a peer assessment of their team-mates. The rubric below indicates how each team member will assess each peer. These 'Norms' reflect how each team member expects their peers to meet the team 'Values'. The instructor will use this peer assessment as an input to the grading process for the course. Note that ME students will be asked to conduct assessments like this for most design projects that you will be involved with throughout your time at RIT. The rubric, or assessment guide, shown below should guide each student as they complete their peer assessment form to submit to the instructor at the conclusion of the project.
Peer Assessment Form
Every team member should complete a peer assessment form for each of the team values, and provide a norm (or grade) for each student on their team. Each student should rate each peer with a grade of 'Unsatisfactory', 'Needs Improvement', 'Meets Expectations', or 'Exceeds Expectations' at the end of the project. Any grade of 'Needs Improvement' or 'Exceeds Expectations' must be accompanied by a paragraph of justification. For example, if you feel that one of your team members was late every class, and really held your team back, you have to prepare a written statement supporting your grade.
|Value||Unsatisfactory||Needs Improvement||Meets Expectations||Exceeds Expectations|
|Punctual||The team member has had one or more unexcused absences or tardy arrivals to a scheduled team activity. The team member is not notifying others of conflicts with meeting times, or has allowed other committments to impede the member's duties to this team. The team member is detracting from the performance of the entire team.||The team member has had one or more unexcused absences or tardy arrivals. The individual could and should have done a better job at notifying (in advance) a peer of the absence or tradiness. At the current time, the problem has not caused significant harm to the team, but this behavior needs to improve. It is not unusual for a team member to receive this rating a couple of times during the project.||The team member was prompt and present at every team event this week, or any absences were excused in advance. If there was an unexcused absence or tardiness, then the team-mates agreed that the reason disclosed after the fact was indeed unavoidable. For example, a member is in a fender bender on the way to campus, and was unable to contact a team-mate about being late. The absent member caught up with a peer as soon as practical, and informed them of the problem.||Not only is the team member always prompt and present, but the member clearly plans ahead for excused absences (such as job trips) and insures that the absence will not adversely affect the team's performance. The member notifies the team of heavy loads and external conflicts (such as exams in other classes) that COULD have an adverse impact on the team, and works with the peers on this team to make sure that the information flow from the member to and from the peers is smooth even in such cases.|
|Thorough||The team member has not completed the task assigned, or has submitted a response that is clearly insufficient. The work will need to be re-done by another team member in order for the team to move forward. Some of the work may have been done, but it was incomplete. The team member is detracting from the performance of the entire team.||The team member made some progress towards the task assigned, but not as much progress as should have been accomplished. The work may be done, but the other team member's have no way of checking the results, because the supporting documentation is incomplete. The team member is getting behind on the tasks that need to be completed. The team member needs to make up the missed work during the next evaluation period.||The team member has made solid progress towards the task assigned. The task is complete, and is well done, though it may need some additional work and refinement to be fully complete. The assignment may be incomplete, but the team member has clearly made a good effort towards getting the task done. In retrospect, this task may have been too much for the member to do in the time allocated, so the fact that the task is not done yet is not due to lack of effort by the member.||The task has been completed fully, and is in essentially finished form. The other team members can readily check the work submitted since the documentation is so clear. Not only is the work done, but everyone on the team recognizes that the task is complete with little or no need for additional effort.|
|Value||Unsatisfactory||Needs Improvement||Meets Expectations||Exceeds Expectations|
|Accurate||The work completed by the team member is unacceptable and does not meet the basic standards of engineering work. Engineering principles were not applied, or were grossly mis-applied. Basic elements of the engineering task were overlooked. The work completed must be re-done completely.||The work completed by the member contains many errors that must be corrected. While the basic approach to problem solving may be ok, the actual work completed needs to be largely re-done in order to be useful to the team. Some things were not done by the team member, that should have been obvious to complete.||The work completed by the member contains a few errors that must be corrected. The basic approach to problem solving is good, and the errors are relatively minor and could be readily corrected through normal peer review and checking. The work was corrected through consultation with the team members or faculty guide.||The team member completed the task with virtually no errors or omissions. The work was accurate, and can be easily scaled to other applications or tasks that the team may encounter.|
|Professional and Ethical||The team member has committed plagiarism, falsified data, ignored their responsibility as an engineer. The team member may have behaved inappropriately at a team event, or in a manner that reflects adversely on the team. The actions of the team member may cause the entire team to fail.||The team member has overlooked some references or consistently fails to cite sources and conduct individual tasks. The team member may have made some off-color remarks or been offensive to a team-mate or other individual. The team member needs to clean up his or her act.||The team member behaves responsibly and fully documents sources and collaborators on all work.||The team member is a role model for others, and behaves in a professional and ethical fashion even under very trying and difficult circumstances.|
|Committed||The team member is a burden to the rest of the team.||The team member is carrying less than their fair share of the work load.||The team member is carrying their fair share of the workload.||The team member is carrying more than their fair share of the workload.|
|Member Name||Punctual||Thorough||Accurate||Professional and Ethical||Committed||Overall|