Design Sponge

A simple blog to showcase my projects, as well as what excites me in the world of design and engineering

Design Engineering Project

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It’s been a good while since I last posted (again!)… once again I’ve been consumed with work. The last few weeks have passed by in the blink of an eye. I’ve been locked away in my room trying to meet yet another deadline. This time it’s not a design project (per say) but instead an engineering group project where I had to work with three mechanical engineers to design and optimise a solenoid operated piston pump. I love working with other people and it was refreshing to get the opportunity to do so again.

This project had a strong focus on design optimisation from an engineering viewpoint, giving us the opportunity to implement Japanese “kaizen” approaches such as taguchi methods. The most interesting thing I take away from this project is not the knowledge I have absorbed through the module, but instead how valuable it is to have the ability to compare between engineering and design. It was interesting to see how differently the mechanical engineers thought about the problem and it was a good feeling to be able to “zoom” out and have a birds eye view of the whole project (something my team mates seemed to struggle with). This lead to me taking a leading role in my group, and my team mates would often turn to me when they had questions.

I was responsible for a considerable amount of the project, in particular the manufacturing design analysis. This involved:

– creating a CAD model (consisting of over 25 parts)

– rendering the CAD model for visual purposes

– defining critical linear tolerances using BS 4500 (limits and fits) and statistical tolerances

– determining surface roughness’s for critical geometries

– Manufacturing process selection

I also took responsibility for compiling the final report and the presentation (ensuring our project was portrayed simply and consistently)

This project allowed me improve my CAD skills further as well as my keyshot skills (this time being able to play more with animations). The model was very time consuming to build as I had to determine all dimensions myself as well as have a solid understanding of how the pump operated and was assembled. I considered Design for Assembly by considering how individual components could be simplified and optimised for assembly and manufacture. Overall I am happy with my design and the CAD model. I made 4 different models: 1 for engineering purposes (engineering drawings and dimensions), 2 for rendering purposes (rounded edges to make components look more realistic when rendered) and 1 cross section model (for a cartoon effect in keyshot, perfect for describing how the pump would function).

Here are two links to videos I posted:

Here are a few images of the finished pump, rendered in keyshot:


This image shows a single cycle and water is pumped through our pump by the piston movement (our pump worked at 25Hz)


This exploded view clearly shows all components in the pump assembly and how the fit together



Both of these images were used for determining linear tolerances. The top image shows how parts were broken down in order to use a statistical approach. The bottom image shows diameters that tolerances were applied to.

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This entry was posted on March 24, 2014 by in Engineering, Projects, Uncategorized.
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