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Mechanical Engineering Commons

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Articles 1 - 28 of 28

Full-Text Articles in Mechanical Engineering

3d Printing Robotic Arm On Linear Rails, Thomas T. Steele Apr 2019

3d Printing Robotic Arm On Linear Rails, Thomas T. Steele

Honors Theses

Typical 3D printers are bound by the printing bed volume relative to the printer frame volume. A 3D printing robotic arm set upon sliding linear rails was designed and built. The arm was 3D printed with a traditional 3D printer designed using Autodesk Inventor. This product reduces printer size while increasing bed area and reduces cost with use of 3D printed parts.


Structural Reinforcement Of Streamline Tubing, Peter Grohs Apr 2018

Structural Reinforcement Of Streamline Tubing, Peter Grohs

Honors Theses

Structural integrity of suspension components is important to the safety and the longevity of vehicles. Streamline tubing, an aerodynamically shaped material used in high performance vehicle controls, can be prone to failure if not properly analyzed for its asymmetric geometry. The component was redesigned as a composite structure using modern materials to make a highly aerodynamic product stiffer, stronger, and lighter per unit weight than a conventional all steel design. Finite element analysis was conducted and five prototypes using different materials were constructed and tested. This method of maximizing component lightness and stiffness using the beneficial properties of each material ...


Design Of Force Versus Displacement Test Stand, Andrew Fritchley Apr 2018

Design Of Force Versus Displacement Test Stand, Andrew Fritchley

Honors Theses

Performing mechanical design around sensors is a critical skill which all engineering students should be familiar with. Of equal importance is gathering and correctly interpreting electrical data from engineering tests. The aim of this project is to design a force versus displacement test stand for applications related to the measurement of spring force-displacement correlation. The design uses a strain gauge load cell, and a magnetic linear encoder to provide accurate, repeatable force and travel measurements. A mechanical design to mount each sensor was created based initial project constraints. Finite element analysis was performed on all critical components to ensure that ...


Boat-Lift Design And Analysis, Nathan Schick Dec 2017

Boat-Lift Design And Analysis, Nathan Schick

Honors Theses

A current in production 6000 lb. rated boat-lift is being sold at “Great Lake Lifts”. The lift was tested experimentally and proved to hold at least 8000 lb. The design team successfully modeled the current lift on Ansys to help the customer understand where the weakest points in the design were. Following the creation of the initial lift design, the design team proposed and tested modifications that could be made in order to make the lift more structurally sound. The initial lift had a maximum deflection of 0.43846 inches, a maximum stress of 15880 psi, and a safety factor ...


Low-Cost Control Engineering Experiments, Megan Arduin Dec 2017

Low-Cost Control Engineering Experiments, Megan Arduin

Honors Theses

The disciplines found within the area of motion and controls is a vital element of each engineer’s education. The ability to understand and then control dynamic systems is a fundamental skill required for many working engineers today. The aim of this project is to further develop the tools and methods available to teach and prepare engineering students to effectively design control system architecture, and then successfully implement their design into real world systems. The main goal is to design an apparatus that can be used to teach control system methods and has an affordable price. There are few experiments ...


Reprinter, Christian Brower Apr 2017

Reprinter, Christian Brower

Honors Theses

Additive manufacturing (3D printing) is a rapidly growing technology, though, expensive printing filament and wasted material make it less affordable and an unsustainable process. The RePrinter combats these issues by recycling scrap 3D printed plastic parts and household plastics, such as pop bottles, and creates filament for fused deposition modeling (FDM). This product is a fully automated system which grinds, extrudes, and spools the filament for immediate use in FDM. The RePrinter works to control the extrusion speeds and tensions to optimize precise filament dimensions for quality 3D printing, while delivering the product in a timely cost effective manner.


Biogas Separator And Storage Tank, Brandon Nimtz Apr 2017

Biogas Separator And Storage Tank, Brandon Nimtz

Honors Theses

The general concept of this project is to design, simulate, and build a biogas separator system that will also store the separated methane and carbon dioxide within pressure vessels. This system is constructed of many subcomponents that will combine to separate the biogas and store the methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The components included in the project consist of a liquid-gas separator vessel, two heat exchangers, one methane gas compressor, and one pressure vessel each to hold methane and carbon dioxide each. While the base goal in this project was to design and simulate the necessary parts to theoretically ...


Design Of A Cubesat Separation Mechanism, Ross Hiller Apr 2017

Design Of A Cubesat Separation Mechanism, Ross Hiller

Honors Theses

CubeSats are compact, relatively inexpensive satellites that are often used for space research. In order to perform research related to electric propulsion devices, the Western Aerospace Launch Initiative (WALI) requires a medium-sized CubeSat capable of separating into two bodies while in orbit. Intentional separation is not common in CubeSats, so two original concepts were designed and simulated using 3D CAD and finite element analysis software. These designs were compared based on factors including weight, cost, size, and their potential to fail due to creation of debris or binding between components, in order to determine which will more effectively execute the ...


Attitude Determination Control Testing System (Helmholtz Cage And Air Bearing), Nicolas Theoret Dec 2016

Attitude Determination Control Testing System (Helmholtz Cage And Air Bearing), Nicolas Theoret

Honors Theses

The WALI team at Western Michigan University requested a test environment to validate their CubeSat’s de-tumbling control system and hardware. The test environment required a Helmholtz cage and spherical air bearing. The Helmholtz cage provides an adjustable magnetic field to simulate low earth orbit; the spherical air bearing simulates the friction free environment the CubeSat will experience in space. In conjunction, the two components create an adjustable system that simulates a satellite in low earth orbit.


Least Cost Analysis For Solar Photovoltaic Maintenance Of The Wmu Miller Auditorium Array, Kelsey Pitschel Apr 2016

Least Cost Analysis For Solar Photovoltaic Maintenance Of The Wmu Miller Auditorium Array, Kelsey Pitschel

Honors Theses

The solar photovoltaic array at Miller Auditorium is a 50 kW DC system that has relied on five seasonal angle adjustments and no cleaning measures to reach an average of 64.7 MWh annual energy generation since 2012 1 . This amount of energy generation yields $7,046 in annual energy savings based on current market pricing for end use electricity of $0.1089/kWh 2 . The current adjustment schedule based on seasonal tilts accounts for an annual costs between $760 and $848, but actual adjustments have historically not taken place according to the existing schedule. The analysis focuses on optimizing ...


Human-Assisted Fluid Power Vehicle, Aaron Huntoon Apr 2016

Human-Assisted Fluid Power Vehicle, Aaron Huntoon

Honors Theses

The rising cost of energy has prompted industrial and technology companies to research and implement renewable or green energy sources in every aspect of their business. This green technology can consist of sources such as: solar, wind, fluid, or others to create energy from renewable sources. The use of these various sources reduces the pollution associated with standard methods of energy development, and it will ultimately drive costs down to benefit the general population. One of the largest benefactors to the use of renewable energy sources is the transportation industry. Billions of people rely on various modes of transportation every ...


Designing An Accessible Hall Effect Thruster, Matthew Baird Apr 2016

Designing An Accessible Hall Effect Thruster, Matthew Baird

Honors Theses

A group of three Mechanical Engineering students have selected to design a 200 W Hall Effect Thruster to fulfill the Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering senior design project. Preliminary studies were performed on the theory behind electric propulsion and plasma physics. The group designed the Western Hall Thruster and used COMSOL Multiphysics® simulation software to refine the magnetic circuit. The group then fabricated and performed magnetic testing of their thruster in Western Michigan University’s Aerospace Laboratory for Plasma Experiments. This testing will seek to prove that a standard research HET can be built by universities without substantial financial resources.


Design And Fabrication Of An Instrumented Cane For The Blind, Aaron Dean Dec 2015

Design And Fabrication Of An Instrumented Cane For The Blind, Aaron Dean

Honors Theses

The most commonly used tool for navigation by the blind is the white cane. A greater understanding is essential in improving the design and performance of these canes. An existing cane was modified with integrated force and acceleration sensors, in order to study the relation between cane vibration characteristics and obstacle or drop-off detection. Data was gathered by these sensors, and then transmitted wirelessly to a computer workstation, where it was recorded and analyzed. Exertion of the forearm muscles was also measured. Care was taken to insure that the cane sensors and transmitter are ergonomically unobtrusive for the user. The ...


Design Of A Tandem Rotor Hovering Vehicle, Brent Kostich Dec 2015

Design Of A Tandem Rotor Hovering Vehicle, Brent Kostich

Honors Theses

An investigation of thrust vectoring and an examination of existing tandem rotor dynamics were used to develop a structural body for a tandem rotor vehicle, derive the equations of motion of the system, and simulate a dynamic model of the vehicle. A vehicle prototype was constructed while further application of remote control capabilities, flight testing, and control development were researched. The dynamic simulation was based on a linear model of the system so as to open the possibility of implementing a control system. The simulation results show that thrust synchronization yields a predictable motion response. The prototype constructed did not ...


Design And Analysis Of A Cold Gas Propulsion System For Stabilization And Maneuverability Of A High Altitude Research Balloon, Mitchell Brownell Apr 2014

Design And Analysis Of A Cold Gas Propulsion System For Stabilization And Maneuverability Of A High Altitude Research Balloon, Mitchell Brownell

Honors Theses

The need for a cold gas propulsion system is crucial to the scientific industry which allows for maneuvering and stabilizing a high altitude research balloon and propose an inexpensive, light weight design that researchers can reproduce. The methodology to the design of this system was based on factors that are all dependent upon one another. The parameters that directed the decisions made throughout this design project was the thrust needed to rotate the unit, and the allowable weight permitted by federal regulations. The frame was designed with a gas storage system, gas transmission system, and nozzle assembly which was integrated ...


Subtalar Fusion Fixture Design And Test, Nathan Ortiz Apr 2014

Subtalar Fusion Fixture Design And Test, Nathan Ortiz

Honors Theses

Subtalar arthrodesis is performed when cartilage in the talo-calcaneal (the ankle) joint is degraded in a patient and there are multiple approaches to this surgery. Using synthetic bone material, fixtures were cast from aluminum, using the process of evaporation pattern casting, and epoxy. This casting was used to grip the calcaneus bone of the foot in order to load it mechanically, simulating different scenarios that would be encountered during walking. The relative displacement of the ankle joint was measured using a digital image correlation (DIC) program that was modified to work in both two- and three-dimensional space. This program can ...


Noise And Vibration Reduction Of A Clothes Dryer, Daniel O'Hare Apr 2013

Noise And Vibration Reduction Of A Clothes Dryer, Daniel O'Hare

Honors Theses

As placement of washers and dryers becomes common in apartment buildings and high rises, noise generated by the dryer becomes a nuisance to the inhabitants. Whirlpool Corporation is experiencing this issue first hand with their Horizon model long vent dryers. A focus was placed on noise and vibrations caused by the dryer motor, because its vibrations are transferred throughout the structure of the dryer. The motor causing sound problems was a modified motor from the standard model, including a speed-increasing attachment in order to operate the fan at an increased speed. Through sound and vibration measurements, structural and airborne noise ...


Hydraulic Test Cell Power Recovery System, Peter M. Kanda Apr 2012

Hydraulic Test Cell Power Recovery System, Peter M. Kanda

Honors Theses

Wasted power during testing and development of fluid power components is a major concern due to the negative environmental impact and overall associated energy costs. This report describes a developmental hydraulic test stand and several configurations that could result in recovering wasted power. In this test stand, a hydraulic pump capable of 300 horsepower and above is in the design stages within the testing facilities at FEMA Corporation. The pump contained on this test stand will be designed to create a flow that would simulate what a customer directional control valve would see in a real-world application. The standard hydraulic ...


Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Hvac Optimization, Jessica Hartl Apr 2012

Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Hvac Optimization, Jessica Hartl

Honors Theses

The objective of the proposed project is to convert the current heating ventilating and air conditioning system, or HVAC system, on the plug in hybrid Toyota Prius into a completely electric system. As the vehicle is now, the gas engine is required to provide heat loss for the forced air heating system on extremely cold days. The data, which has been gathered over several years, shows a drop in MPG equivalence from approximately 100-120 MPG on ideal days (70° F) to about 50 MPG equivalence on cooler days. This problem can be solved by increasing the effectiveness of the HVAC ...


Optimization Of An Airboat Design, Adam P. Leppek Apr 2012

Optimization Of An Airboat Design, Adam P. Leppek

Honors Theses

Airboats are a common recreational vehicle in southern regions of the United States. A functional prototype of an airboat design was constructed utilizing the manufacturing processes and components available to gain knowledge and experience with the design process. The hull, rudder framework, seating structure, propeller shroud, drive train, and drive unit framework were fabricated at a machine shop. Remaining components were purchased, such as the engine, rudders, and propeller. Welders, mills, lathes, band saws, grinders, hydraulic presses, and power tools were employed in the construction. Drive train and drive unit framework was designed and analyzed using RomaxDesigner, a simulation software ...


Design Of A Near-Constant Force Spring For Orthopedic Implants, Christopher Hartman, Paul Rotarius Dec 2010

Design Of A Near-Constant Force Spring For Orthopedic Implants, Christopher Hartman, Paul Rotarius

Honors Theses

The design and testing of a spring assembly for the attachment of an orthopedic implant is presented. The assembly is intended to supply a constant compressive force of approximately 800 lb. at the bone-implant interface, while exhibiting insensitivity to changes in the displacement of the clamping device. This near-constant force will aid in-growth of bone tissue at the implant surface. This constant compressive force was ultimately not attained due to the packaging dimensions and materials available. However, significant improvement was made upon the current design in use by lowering the spring constant around 800 lb.

The final assembly fits in ...


Trials Bike Frame Concept, David Boboltz, Rob Harmer, Caleb Vanderveen Apr 2007

Trials Bike Frame Concept, David Boboltz, Rob Harmer, Caleb Vanderveen

Honors Theses

Development of a Concept Trials Frame was a mechanical engineering design project that developed a new bicycle frame that has the strength and durability to be used for trials bike riding. The scope of the project was placed solely on the bicycle's frame. Current frames were analyzed based on their strength, durability, stiffness, weight, and appearance. These factors were ranked for importance and became the performance targets for the new frame. Several designs that utilize elastic strain energy to increase performance were brainstormed. Following SolidWorks modeling, equivalent impact loads were calculated using several analytical methods. These loads were then ...


Introduction To Mechanical Engineering, Lorik Abdullai, Joseph R. Dunn Nov 2004

Introduction To Mechanical Engineering, Lorik Abdullai, Joseph R. Dunn

Honors Theses

I can still remember back in high school when I was faced with a decision thousands of students experience every year: What college was I going to choose, and what major was I going to study? It seemed like every time I saw friends and relatives they asked me that question. Meanwhile, I knew that going to a major university would give me more choices in case I changed majors. As it turned out, Western Michigan University was the best package for me when I considered the financial aid, the program ofmy major, location of the university, and its friendly ...


Design Of A Miniature Hydraulic Power Unit, Ryan D. Bruneau Dec 1994

Design Of A Miniature Hydraulic Power Unit, Ryan D. Bruneau

Honors Theses

The need for a newly designed miniature hydraulic power unit has received the attention of Parker-Hannifin Hydraulic Pump/Motor Division. The current power unit is no longer marketable due to the associated costs and its relative size. As a result, a miniature hydraulic power unit has been designed, the culmination to the engineering curriculum at Western Michigan University. In order to increase the overall marketability and to reduce production costs, a transparent plastic reservoir has been incorporated into the design. An appropriate polymer has been chosen to meet the design requirements and finite element analysis has been used to verify ...


Design Of A Vibration Excitation Device, Brian Wallace, Brandon Dawe Apr 1994

Design Of A Vibration Excitation Device, Brian Wallace, Brandon Dawe

Honors Theses

A vibration excitation source has been designed for use in beam and plate vibration laboratory demonstrations. This source is capable of providing single frequency excitations below 160 cycles per second (Hz). Since it will be used in a variety of experiments by students, ease of use and quick setup time have been major considerations of design. Performance of this source has been evaluated and will be presented along with one example application.


Wobbling Gear Drivetrain For Cordless Screwdriver, David K. Kedrowski, Scott P. Slimak Apr 1993

Wobbling Gear Drivetrain For Cordless Screwdriver, David K. Kedrowski, Scott P. Slimak

Honors Theses

Manufacturers of cordless screwdrivers use two planetary gear trains in series to reduce speed and multiply torque from a small electric motor. Alternately, a nutating gear drivetrain has the potential to create comparable speed reductions and torque multiplications. To apply nutating gear theory to a cordless screwdriver drivetrain, a study of spur gears, planetary gear reducers, bevel gears, and the theory of nutation was undertaken. Finally, a nutating design was proposed. The advantages of a nutating gear drivetrain over a conventional planetary gear train include: a decreased number of drivetrain parts, an ability to use lower-strength gear materials, a higher ...


Particle Size And Velocity Measurements In Two Phase Flows Using Laser Doppler Velocimetry, Joseph Parker Jan 1992

Particle Size And Velocity Measurements In Two Phase Flows Using Laser Doppler Velocimetry, Joseph Parker

Honors Theses

Laser Doppler Velocimetry is used in fluid mechanics to measure the velocity of particles in fluid flows. A small particle exhibits motion closely corresponding to the fluid behavior because of its ability to follow high frequency flow fluctuations. Large particles do not follow the flow field precisely but represent a second phase. This project used LDV to measure the size and velocity of particles in two phase flows by computer analysis of the Doppler signal.


The Lb Wind-Tunnel, Larry Bennett Jan 1980

The Lb Wind-Tunnel, Larry Bennett

Honors Theses

A small subsonic wind-tunnel has been developed for further understanding of aerodynamic principles. This tunnel is small enough to be used on table tops so the student can get first-hand experience. The tunnel's working section is a clear plexiglass tube for easy viewing and provides ample work room. The biggest advantage of this tunnel is that it can be built in the average home workshop for approximately $60.00.