P19603: Rod Feeding Mechanism

Gate Reviews

Table of Contents

MSD I: Readiness to move to Build & Test

Self-Critique Results:

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Status Review

Current state of the project

Requirements: No change, see Detailed Design Page.

Action Items From DDR:

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Lessons Learned

See DDR Page for other team members

Connor: I learned about how important it is to ask questions when testing and designing electrical circuits, as well as becoming more familiar with EDGE documentation in HTML format.

Team Member Individual Contributions

All members have contributed significantly.

MSD II: Project close-out

Action Items

Status Review

Current state of the project public/Photo Gallery/TestResults.JPG

Raw Data & Statistical Analysis: Here


All performance requirements were exceeded. The device reliably feeds rods at a more than sufficient rate to keep up with material demands. Feed speed can be reduced in software, and should in future be set to whatever feed speed is appropriate for the material and size based on what the Vader requires. This test was to demonstrate that the device could work under any reasonable material demand.

It works with sufficient rods for a typical print, but the hopper is exceedingly easy to reload, and does not require the operator to stop the print, merely to drop more rods in the hopper. The device will remind the operator to check the hopper fill level every 20 minutes. We did not have enough rods to test directly, but we have every reason to expect that the hopper will work when filled with up to 100 rods.

The device operates on a digital start-stop signal, simulated by a switch. For future Vader integration, a digital command line should be run from the Vader's Siemans to our rod feeding device.

(copied from P4 page)

Customer and Vader Group both seemed very satisfied with deliverable.

Future Work Recommendations

For future work, full integration with the Vader machine is an obvious milestone and an excellent project for a future MSD team. The gaps to close to achieve this would be to modify or redesign the system to work at an angle, to redesign the control systems to be integrated into the Vader machines controller, and improve the performance of the feeder unit. Additionally, the prototype was designed to work on the Vader mk1, whose print head travels only in the z axis, but modifications could be made to allow it to work on machines where the head moves in the x or y axes. Lastly, modifications could be made to allow for different rod lengths, diameters, and materials.

(Copied from Technical Paper)

Team Self Assessment

Team worked as a well oiled machine:

Team Member Individual Contributions

All members have contributed significantly.

What we learned

What worked and what didn't:

The process this semester was left much more up to us. MSD 1 had a specific process flow with different documentation requirements at each step. In MSD 2 however we were mostly left to our own devices and allowed to manage our own processes, and this worked a lot more efficiently. We scheduled very aggressively, getting most parts manufactured and purchased before then end of phase 1, so we had lots of time in phase 2 and 3 to pick up the slack when we had to solve some feeder problems and when electronic assembly took much longer than expected.

What would we do different:

If we had the opportunity to redo this project, the team would focus more on detailed electrical schematics much earlier in the process, as well as allotting more time for electrical assembly and beginning it sooner. The other item of importance was the angle feed. We were not made aware of this until the end of the first design cycle, after which it was too late to change. This put us in a position before MSD 2 had even started of expecting not to achieve full system integration.

(Copied from technical paper)

What did we learn:

Jessica: Usefulness of aggressive scheduling, how to keep track of everything ahead of time to reduce the odds of something going wrong, that things go wrong anyway, and how to deal with that.

Josh: Even if you are ahead of schedule it is important to keep performing at the same speed. You are likely to run into problems in the future.

Ryan:You can never account for all the problems you might run into but testing early and often can identify them. This is a key component for working out the kinks in your design that can't always be seen upfront without experience.

Mat: While theoretical calculations and design are important to start designing a system and getting an idea for how to put it together, prototyping a design and testing are crucial because variables you didn't think of will affect performance. The difference between theoretical design and practical implementation is important.

Connor: The iterative process is crucial in Electrical design work because often our initial design does function as expected for a variety of reasons. Mark: Learned about multiple function design along with the ability to combine various subsystems, some I previously had no expertise in, into one working machine.

Suggestions for MSD:

MSD 2 is definitely the more pleasant, more efficient half of the project. MSD 2 is much less structured and for our team that worked in our favor. That said, MSD 2 could improve on Imagine RIT prep.

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