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ME349 Senior Design Project Ideas

When examining these project ideas, understand that current solutions may exist. This does not mean the project is a "bad" project, rather simply that a new, "more elegant" solution will be required. Teams will take care to not violate any existing patents in their designs.

Adjustable Height Computer Desk Design a computer desk which may be quickly and adjusted in height. This would allow the user to stand and work at the computer for a period of time. Some people will spend more time working in the standing position than the sitting position and this device would provide the ability to choose.

Lawn Mower Work Stand Design a workstand that will raise and support a conventional lawnmower at a height of 24" to 48" (and any point in between). The stand must provide a stable work platform. It should allow the mower to be rotated 180 degrees. It should be portable, able to be setup and used by a single person and occupy no more than 4 square of floor space when stowed. Cost should be in the range of $200.

2-Wheel Drive Bicycle Design a 2-wheel drive bicycle for use in x-treme sports. System must be robust and suitable for operation in varied environments. The design must provide all the standard functionality of a conventional bicycle. Cost must be appropriate for targeted customer base. (high potential for innovation types of drive mechanisms, power differential between front and rear...)

Hybrid/Electric Bicycle Design a bicycle that may be propelled by conventional means (human power) and that alternately may be powered by an integral electric motor. Optimal electric power range should be 25 miles, with a potential top speed of 15 mph. It is assumed that such a vehicle could be used for delivery purposes in large urban areas. Therefore, costs should be less than $1000. Consider the potential for using the pedals to recharge the battery. As a potential variant, could this be provided as a retrofit kit for existing bicycles.

Water Quality Indicator Buoy During the past few years, many beaches in the local tourist destination of Door County , Wisconsin were closed due high coliform bacteria counts in the water. The water quality test is a very basic one. It involves taking a water sample of specific size, adding a reactant, incubating the sample and finally reading the results. Design a buoy capable of sampling and testing water for coliform bacteria at the beach, and then conveying this information to the public. Testing for the organism Cryptosporidium (which was a source of water concerns in Milwaukee a couple of years ago) could be a possible additional feature. Cost should be suitable for municipal and state budgets. *This project has been studied in the past 2 years and previous design ideas exist. The group selecting this project would refine these ideas and attempt to fabricate a working prototype. Basic Utility Vehicle For 3rd World Application Developing nations are frequently in need of transportation systems that will allow them to grow economically. This typically involves systems to move various types of freight. Due to the lack of paved roads and the low amount of financial resources available, conventional trucks are often not an option. This project will involve the design of a Basic Utility Vehicle (BUV) that meets a very specific set of specifications serving these needs. This project is actually a national student design competition and the specifications that you will use will be taken directly from that.

Wheelchair Attachment to Overcome Roadside Curb Conventional wheelchairs, both manual and powered, are difficult to maneuver over obstacles such as road curbs. A typically street curb is approximately 14" in height and can pose a severe obstruction. You are to design a device that may be retrofit to existing wheelchairs allowing them to climb a vertical obstacle the height of a conventional street curb. The device should fit multiple brands of both manual and power-assisted wheelchairs in order to increase market share. Manual retail approx. $1000

Anti-vibration Jig Saw A standard `jig saw' creates a fair amount of axial vibration due to the reciprocating nature of the blade. The purpose of this project is to design a jig saw where the vibratory forces are negated through kinematic and dynamic means. There is actually at least one very expensive version of this on the market but there are a number of approaches to this decent mechanical engineering challenge.

Range of Motion Exercise Machine for Individuals With Parapleglia There exist few exercise machines for individuals with parapalegia that simultaneously permit an upper body workout along with lower extremity range of motion exercise. For those in therapy, these workouts are usually accomplished through separate pieces of equipment that require the individual to be moved and repositioned. These machines typically cost in the neighborhood of $10,000 each, making them prohibitively expensive for those who desire a rehabilitative machine for individual use. A solution should be appropriate for use by those individuals at T6-T7 paraplegia (at a minimum), and address the issues above.

"Stand-Up" Wheelchair Wheelchair bound persons have limited reach, making many day-to-day tasks (such as reaching an overhead cabinet) extremely difficult. Design a wheelchair (or a modification to existing chairs), which would allow the user to achieve a standing position while still in the chair. The chair would be appropriate only for those persons who have upper body mobility. The "stand-up" operation should be human-powered, in other words, the user will provide the power source.

Single Copy Newspaper Dispenser Newspaper machines operate by the honor system. You insert your coins and remove one paper from the stack within the box. In larger cities, some persons will remove all the papers within the box and resell them on the street. Design a newspaper box that will only dispense one copy at a time.

Bench Vise for Parts of Arbitrary Shape Ideal solution would not require changing of components.

Water Sensor for Boat Trailer Design and fabricate a simple, inexpensive device to provide feedback to persons launching boats as to when their trailer has reached a sufficient depth to float their craft.

Temporary Pickup Topper For many consumers, the pickup truck is their choice for hauling cargo. The open bed permits easy loading/unloading and large load capacity but no protection from the elements. Box covers and toppers provide cover and security, but severely limit load carrying capability and ease of access. Design a pickup box topper that can be installed and removed by one person. The idea is that the user can attach this topper when a covered box is desired, then remove and store when it is not. The topper should fit standard size boxes (short-box and long ­box models are possible, but the solution should not be brand specific). The height of the topper should be at least equivalent to that of the cab. The topper should be able to withstand all expected loads including those associated with highway use. Cost should be less than $1000.

Autonomous Dog Play Device Design a device which would allow a dog to engage in ball fetching game without the presence of a human.

Windshield Wiper that Prevents/Removes Ice Buildup Automated floor mop and dryer Solar-powered biodiesel processor Biodiesel production system Portable, lightweight solar generator to provide electricity in remote locations Human Powered Devices (Suitable for use in third world applications) multi-grain thresher irrigation pump cement mixer grain grinding High Efficiency Cooker (use any fuel) Playground rides for kids with disabilities Parking Help Device for Large Motorcycles Compost Spreading Device

Foldable walker · ­ Design a walker mechanism that allows width adjustment, while maintaining structural stability and parallel sidebars. Specifications: o Width spread of at least 18 ­32 inches. o Input control while in use. o Locking feature. o Maximum weight capacity ­300 lbs.

Youth Soccer Helmet (Heading Protection) Next Generation Wood Stove

Industrial and Outside Client Projects Stoughton Dream Park: I recently attended one of the board meetings for the Dream Park. One hurdle that they are working to overcome is the design of a wheelchair accessible slide. I thought this might be the type of project that some of your students would be interested in next semester. Part of the project would likely need to be interviews with the Dream Park Committee to understand exactly what the requirements for the slide are and research to see what, if anything, is available today. My understanding from speaking with the board is that there is not anything commercially available today that meets their expectations. If you would like more information on the Stoughton Inclusive Dream Park and it's mission, here is a link to their web page.

Mori Seiki Hydrogage Project Thumbnail Description: DMG / Mori Seiki USA has developed a new technology: Hydrogage for inmachine measurement of critical dimensions. Hydrogage is an in-machine gaging system patented by DMG/MS. It works same as air gaging system but

works with high pressure coolant. Details of the hydrogage technology are provided here. Purpose of the test rig: Repeatability of the system Demonstration of the system without machine (make the system more visible) Details of the project: The test rig will consist of an actuation unit with a guide rail to precisely position the gage plug in and out of the part, just like the demonstration in the video. The casing for the system should be designed to sustain 1500 psi coolant pressure. The rig will be based on a PC based control for the pump and motor assembly. Schematic diagram for the system is given below.

Mori Seiki Gear Test Project Thumbnail Description: DMG / Mori Seiki USA has developed several new processes for heat treatment and gear cutting. These processes are non-traditional but can achieve the same results as traditional processes. To help gain acceptance and confidence from the customer, we would like the students to design and build a test apparatus to prove our methods. A simplified cam shaft that is gear driven will be the test piece. The test apparatus should mimic forces that a cam shaft would feel in an engine. Shown below is an example of a cam shaft that we currently make for a demonstration part.

What we want to test: Wear characteristics of various types of gears Wear characteristics of grind hardened features

ME313 Extrusion Lab Re-Design The objective of the proposed senior design project would be to redesign the ME313 Extrusion Lab to maintain the same lab outcomes (data, analysis, report) but replace the current lead billet with a safer material, preferably an aluminum alloy. The clients would be:

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Undergraduate students (including all those who have taken ME 313) Professors teaching the course Schools buying the system

There will be significant challenges in trying to redesign the (1) hardware and (2) process for an aluminum alloy.


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An aluminum alloy cannot be extruded at room temperature o the required forces would be too high for available equipment o it would not flow well through the die What size compression testing machine will we need to purchase? 60,000 lbf or 120,000 lbf? What size will the billet have to be and what extrusion ration can we achieve within the constraints of these machines? The new die set may need to have heating elements built in. o For safe use in lab, will it also need water cooling changes to safely reduce the temperature before breaking it apart to change the die? The aluminum will have a tendency to stick to the die o cleaning it off may require etching it off We want to use a billet that is made of two halves so that we can scratch lines on the inside in order to observe material flow lines o the two halves of the aluminum billet will have a tendency to adhere to each other I assume that if we are heating the billet will can no longer use lubrication (heavy oil) as one of the variables in the statistical experimental design that we use in the lab. What variable do we replace it with? Alloy?

The students could also view this experimental apparatus and procedure as a product that would be sold to other educational institutions that want to teach students about extrusion. I believe that Mid States Aluminum or the American Extruders Council would fund this since it could be used by anybody with a suitably large tension/compression testing machine.

Oxygen Concentrator Alert System: (Central Wisconsin Center) Project Summary Central Wisconsin Center (CWC) is a residential care facility which supports individuals with intellectual disabilities. Some of the individuals we care for, who have a tracheotomy, require additional oxygen to meet their respiratory needs. To deliver this added oxygen, a long, flexible tube connects between the individual's tracheotomy and an oxygen concentrator machine. A potentially serious problem can occur when an oxygen tube becomes disconnected from the concentrator. At times, the oxygen tube must be intentionally disconnected from the concentrator in order for the caregiver to re-position the individual or provide tracheotomy cares. The caregiver must remember to reconnect the oxygen when the procedure is completed. Incidents have occurred where caregivers have failed to reconnect the oxygen or the tube has become disconnected due to the individual accidentally pulling out the tube; or the tube is bumped while lowering or raising a bed rail. CWC would like to find a way to immediately alert care staff if an individual's oxygen tube becomes disconnected from a concentrator. Wind Tower Hydraulic Installation Mechanism: (Renewergy) Over the past 4 years, Renewegy have designed, tested, and manufactured a community scale wind turbine and have installed several dozen around the US and Canada. A unique aspect of the design is that the entire turbine system, including turbine head and tower are hydraulically tilted up/down so that all work is performed at ground level and no cranes or heavy equipment necessary for installation and service. You can see some pictures of the system in the attached photos and the link to a video below. Renewegy is working on the design of a next generation product which will require a larger version of achieving the same hydraulic tip up. In discussing the initial design requirements we have come up with some requirements to make the tower system and tip up mechanism better, easier to transport, and more economical on the system cost.

Student Defined Projects A project team may present their own suggestion for a project. The project should have commercial application, be of a reasonable complexity and preferably involve mechanical and/or electro-mechanical systems. The final decision for acceptance of a project rests with the instructor. Generating Project Ideas Look into your own life and see what bothers you, what products need improvement, what you can use to make your own life easier, what needs are not fulfilled. Look into the lives of other groups; children; home- makers; mothers with babies; truck drivers; teachers; a disabled person. See what they need, what can make their lives easier and better. Talk to members of different groups (children, mothers with babies, teachers, etc.) to find out what they need. Get in touch with individuals with disabilities to see what they need, what they can use to improve their lives, and what can be done to make them more independent. Ask physicians about what they need in their practice ( an excellent source of innovative product needs). They will give you insights which you may never have yourself. Go and talk to your professors and instructors. They also have many ideas that they do not have time to work on.


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