Team Vision for System-Level Design PhaseThe goal of the team by the end of the Systems Design phase was to select a final concept for the solar powered 3D-printer. The tasks we planned to complete in order to reach our goal were:
- a functional decomposition
- benchmarking of components for the 3D printer
- a feasibility study
- concept generation
- concept selection
- systems architecture
- risk assessment and
- the formulation of a test plan.
At the end of the systems design phase, we were able to complete the tasks listed above and come up with a single concept design backed by methodical analysis and comparison.
Our team defined a total list of functions and subfunctions, based on our Customer and Engineering Requirements, that must be delivered by the final design. This decomposition establishes the specific concepts necessary to deliver the overall objectives of the project, and so is a key part of the system design phase. It took several attempts to reach the final diagram shown below.
Click the link here for the Functional Decomposition document.
Click this link for a photo of the results of an early brainstorming session.
Click the link here for the Benchmarking document.
Feasibility: Prototyping, Analysis, SimulationThe design components most anticipated to be problematic were the power system and laser and milling integration. In order to assess the viability and preliminary performance capability of these components, feasibility studies were conducted to facilitate data-driven design choices during concept selection.
Feasibility Study for Power SupplyQuestion: Is it possible to power a 3D-printer with solar energy and batteries long enough to demonstrate the device’s capabilities?
A table was made to compute how long the printer system can stay powered, depending on 3 variables:
- System power requirement
- Battery Capacity
- Power Solar Panels Provide
Click the Battery Chart Explanation to view an example and explanation of the calculations done.
Click here to view the table for calculation the time the system can run.
In conclusion, it is possible to power the device so long as batteries of the appropriate size are chosen and the solar panels produce enough power.
Feasibility Study for Milling IntegrationQuestion: Is it feasible to add milling functionality to a 3D printer?
Calculations were done to find the force that would be put on the gantry from cutting using a milling bit with a small depth pass. An explanation of these calculations can be found here.
In conclusion, it is not feasible to add milling functionality to a 3D printer because the belts that move the print head will not take the load necessary without unacceptable deformation and failure.
Feasibility Study for Laser IntegrationQuestion: Is it feasible to add laser cutting/engraving functionality to a 3D printer?
Research was completed to gathered proof of concept and benchmarking data. Later research was expanded to include laser hazard classifications and safety standards. Click here for the feasibility document.
In conclusion, laser functionality integration is feasible as long as a laser safe enclosure is constructed to reduce radiation exposure that is damaging to the eyes and skin. Many economically viable laser modules exist which are specifically meant for 3D printer modification. However, the materials for the fabrication of a laser safe enclosure may make laser integration cost prohibitive with the constraints of our current budget.
Morphological Chart and Concept Selection
Click the link here for the Morphological Chart document.
Pugh Analysis was done on each of the designs in the Concept Generation tables above. A second iteration was then completed based on the results of the first iteration. The second iteration analysis resulted in a final design concept. Click here to view Pugh Analysis Tables.
Click the links here for the Concept Generation Diagram documents for iterations 1 and 2.
Click the links here for sketches of the design solutions.
Click the link here for a detailed breakdown of the system architecture.
Click the link here for the Test Plan document.
Green rows on bottom are new risks that were added during the system design phase that relate to the concept chosen in this phase.
Design Review MaterialsSystems Level Design Documents
Plans for next phaseClick the link here for the gantt chart outlining the Preliminary Design Phase schedule.
- As a team, where do you want to be at your next review? What questions will you answer during the next phase?
- As an individual on the team, what are you doing to help your team achieve this vision? (Use the individual 3-week plan template for this).