Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Spring 2018 Week 11: Presentation 2 + Finishing the Switch

April 11, 2018

This week, we presented our second presentation for this semester. This presentation proved to be a progress report to the administration to ensure we were on the right track. Angelo started off the presentation by presenting the design specifications and requirements of the track. Bryan elaborated on the manufacturing processes and the dependencies and contingencies of the project. Kevin ended off the presentation by elaborating on the bill of materials, current spending, and the scheduling based on the Gannt Chart. Our presentation can be found below:

On Friday of this week, the team decided to meet up and get more work done on the track. Kevin was in charge of metal bending duties to create the switch and curved sections of the track, while Angelo worked on making the straight components, and Bryan worked on finishing up the support structures by creating the track mounting assembly. While Angelo and Kevin were working on manufacturing the track, Bryan came into some issues with the TIG welder's argon gas supply. The gas tank was empty and we needed a replacement. On the other hand, Kevin finished manufacturing the switch after getting confirmation that the bogey would into our curved sections. An image of the switch attached to the curve is found below:

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Spring 2018 Week 10: Making a Switch

April 4, 2018

This week, the team moved forward with manufacturing. Bryan was kept sidelined in Los Angeles and had to work remotely due to personal issues. While in Los Angeles, Bryan worked to complete the second presentation of the track team which we needed to present next week. Meanwhile, in the SSDC, Kevin and Angelo were hard at work to manufacture the track. Kevin was intent to keep progress moving forward by manufacturing the track's switch sub-assembly. There was good progress with the switch and an image of it can be found below:

As shown, the 3D printed switch attachments were added into the assembly, however, more manufacturing challenges would be present itself due to the last bend being made and cut in its proper position.

Angelo worked to manufacture the straight components. By assembling several straights, one curve, and partly one switch, the track team is making good progress and is looking to finish the project before Maker Faire.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Spring 2018 Week 9: Creating a Curve!

March 21, 2018

Next week is going to be SPRING BREAK, so the team collectively worked hard to ensure we wouldn't fall back when we returned after the much-needed break. With Kevin's bender added to our toolset, Kevin decided to manufacture one of the four curved sections of the track. The tolerances with this build proved to be difficult because if the track's rails proved too wide, the bogey would fall off or if they were too snug the bogey would bind and stop moving. The team had to keep these issues in mind so that we don't have any problems during Maker Faire. With this in mind, Kevin finished manufacturing one of the four curved sections and we're collectively waiting for the bogey team to test the assembly to validate our manufacturing techniques. The following image displays Kevin's manufactured curve sections.

While Kevin worked on the curved sections, Angelo and Bryan manufactured two sets of straights to mount and test the bracket's connections. The following image displays our team's current progress:

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Spring 2018 Week 8: Supports + Bender

March 14, 2018

This was a productive week for the small-scale track team. The team spent a total of three full days out of the week in the SSDC to complete more manufacturing work. Since Bryan was designated with the welding duties, he finished tack welding all of the nuts on the support structures. In addition, the sleeve that is found on the top of the support assembly was made this week as well. Kevin and Angelo worked to prepare these components by cutting up the square tubing in a 45-degree angle and drilling holes into them so that a weld nut could be welded into the component. This week we finalized all of the support leveling structures and started cementing all of these parts.


Since progress with the support structures was coming along nicely, the team looked ahead and wanted to tackle the issue with bending metal into concentric bends. Since the previous track manufacturing team's metal bender proved to create a bow with the bent aluminum, we could not utilize the methods they used last year. Kevin put together his own version of a metal bender utilizing some spare parts around the SSDC. By testing this mechanism and creating some bends, it proved to work well. This was a promising development within the team. Moving forward, we are going to tackle how to manufacture the curves and switch subassemblies that are essential to this track's design. The image for Kevin's metal bender can be found below:

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Spring 2018 Week 7: Welding and Cementing Supports' Leveling System

March 7, 2018

This week proved to be productive for the team because we made significant headway with the support structures of this year's track design. Bryan was finishing up the last bits of the welding for the support structures' leveling system. Meanwhile, Kevin and Angelo worked to seal these components together by mixing up concrete and preparing the molds to fit the manufactured components.

Luckily, we only managed to cement three of the welded components because there was more welding that needed to be done. The hot-rolled steel flat bar needed to have nuts welded onto the holes that were drilled into them. The three support bases that are cemented will be tackled last because the concrete still has not hardened. This adds on to the laundry list of manufacturing the track team will have ahead of us in the following weeks.


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Spring 2018 Week 6: Presentation 1 (cont.) + Manufacturing

February 28, 2018

This week, the teams who didn't present on week 5, presented their projects today. Once the presentations finished, the track team gathered near the welder to practice on some welds. After much trial and error, the team decided to delegate the welding responsibilities to Bryan so that he could weld all of the support pieces. Kevin and Angelo worked to prepare all of the hot-rolled steel flat bars by drill pressing all of the holes so that Bryan could weld the nuts on them to complete the leveling system for the supports. Bryan also worked to chamfer the edges of the hot rolled steel flat bar by grinding down the steel with the grind wheel found in the SSDC.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Spring 2018 Week 5: Presentation 1

February 21, 2018

This week, our team presented our first major presentation of the semester. During this presentation, we highlighted our current progress on our project, as well as changes made from last semester. The major change that our team agreed with the Small Scale Bogie team was to reduce the track width from 2 inches to 1.5 inches. Decreasing this gap will reduce the clearance gap for the bogie. 

Overall, the presentation went well, but Ron suggested that we improve on Assertion Evidence for slide 5. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Spring 2018 Week 4: More Prepping for Welding

February 14, 2018

This week, the team continued to finish up prepping the support section materials for welding (Figure 1). The configuration for the leveling system can be found on Figure 2. Dan from the Full Scale Bogie team also found time to demonstrate to us how to properly TIG weld. However, due to our group's inexperience, we were unable to complete any support sections. Even with this minor setback, our team hopes to complete welding all the leveling systems of the supports in the coming weeks. Lastly, our team is also preparing for our first major presentation of the semester.

Figure 1: Steel Flat Bar Prep for Welding

Figure 2: Leveling Configuration of Support Section

Figure 3: Angelo and Bryan Grinding the Steel Flat Bars

Figure 4: Kevin drilling a bore into one end of the steel flat bar

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Spring 2018, Week 3: Arrival of Support Section Parts

February 7, 2018

This week, the parts for the support section of the track arrived in the shop. To prepare for welding, the team has begun grinding the flat bars (Figure 1). With help from a member of the 2017-2018 Full  Scale Bogie team, we hope to begin welding next week. We are still awaiting the arrival of the aluminum bars from Midwest Steel and Aluminum.
Figure 1: Cold rolled steel flat bar

Figure 2: Square Tubing for Support Section

Figure 3: Nuts and bolts needed for entire track 

Figure 4: Cement mix for support section

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Spring 2018, Week 2a: Lightning Talks

January 31, 2018

For Week 2 of the semester, each of the sub-teams participated in Lighting Talks to debrief the other teams about each sub-team's current progress and goals. Our presentation can be found below. The main focus for our team is to construct a switch section as soon as possible. Completing a switch section prototype, along with a straight or curve section, will allow the other sub-teams to begin testing the pod car's switching mechanism. Our team is constantly communicating with the Bogie Team to determine the most efficient way to clear the switch section's clearance gap. Lastly, we have begun ordering parts for the track, and hope to have all the orders come in the upcoming weeks.

Spring 2018 Week 2b: Final Design Concepts

January 31, 2018

In the 2017 Fall semester, our team designed the new track iteration for the Spartan Superway. This year's track will utilize a double rail system to prevent the bogie from dropping during turns; a problem last year's team had. As you can see from Figure 1, our double rail design will envelope the older track. This design was chosen so that both models can be displayed at Maker Faire 2018. Overall, our track will utilize modular parts, which will speed up assembly and disassembly time. In total, there will be 15 straight sections, 4 curve sections, and 2 switch sections. 

Figure 1: 2017-18 Spartan Superway Track Design

To assemble the modular sections of our track, modular hanger brackets were also needed. These brackets would stay mounted onto the modular sections, as seen in Figures 4 through 7; mounting the brackets this way would save the team more time on track assembly. To help join the brackets together, our brackets utilized a Lego design; this would help align the brackets, as well as relieve potential torque concerns when connecting the brackets. The bolt will connect the bracket at the center holes at each side. The rails connected to these brackets will produce a 1.5 inch track width.
Figure 2: Side 1 of the Hanger Bracket
Figure 3: Side 2 of the Hanger Bracket

The straight section of the track (Figure 4) comprises of 4 ft long aluminum bar stocks, and 3 hanger brackets. The length of these section allows easier transportation to Maker Faire. In total, there are 15 straight sections. 
Figure 4: Straight Section of the Track

The curved section of the track (Figure 5) has a center line radius of 25 inches. This section utilizes 2 hanger brackets because the team wanted to avoid drilling angled holes on this portion. In total, there are 4 curve sections.

Figure 5: Curved modular section of the track

The final modular section of our track is the switch section, shown in Figures 6 and 7. The switch has a third rail to support the pod car as it goes through the clearance gap. The third is inserted into the switch attachments, show in Figure 8.

Figure 6: Isometric view of switch section

As can be seen in Figure 7, the third rail will be supported by a half bracket. A wedge is used to hold together the third rail because we wanted to avoid welding aluminum. 

Figure 7: Third Rail Angle of Switch Section
As stated above, the third rail support (Figure 8) will help support the third rail. It will be mounted onto a set of two hanger brackets, and will be held in place with bolts and nuts. 

Figure 8: Third rail support component
To smoothly transition onto the third rail, a wedge was designed ontothe third rail support component (Figure 9).

Figure 9: Bottom view of Third Rail support
The entire track will be supported utilizing the support structure in Figure 10. The L-bar on the support will use a lead screw to adjust the height of the designated modular section. Finally, to allow orientation changes, a cross configuration was incorporated into the design, as seen in Figure 11. Lead screws will be inserted into the ends of each steel bar to change its angle. This was needed because the terrain of Maker Faire will most likely be uneven. 

Figure 10: Support section for Superway 

Figure 11: Bottom of Switch Section

Overall, with these designs, our team is confident that we will be able to create a functional track by Maker Faire 2018.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Spring 2018, Week 1: Finalizing BOMs

January 24, 2018

Coming back from Winter Break, the first order of business for the entire Small Scale Superway team was to finalize the Bill of Materials for our respective sub-teams. The Track and Manufacturing team searched the shop for materials to lower the final cost, but could not find useful parts. As such, the final BOM came out to $1447.11. This can be seen in Table 1.

Supplier (I.E., Amazon..)
Unit Cost (include taxes)
Shipping Cost
Filament 1.75mm 1 kg
$ 24.02
$ -
$ 240.20
Steel Phillips Rounded Head Screw (50mm/2 inch) - 25 per package
$ 7.65

$ 38.24
Zinc-Plated Steel Hex Nut - 100 per package

$ 11.76
Steel Narrow-Base Weld Nut (50)

$ 20.76
Rotating-Eye Padlockable Hasp

$ 12.02
Unfinished Brass Surface-Mount Hinge with Holes

$ 1.56
Steel Hex Nut 5/16"-18 Thread Size

$ 4.57
Steel Phillips Flat Head Screws - 100
$ 7.87

$ 23.60
Midwest Steel and Aluminum
6061 Flat Aluminum Bar (0.25 x 1 x 48)
$ 4.15
$ 87.17
$ 419.29
Home Depot
12 in. x 48 in. Tube for Concrete
$ 17.45

$ 52.34
Home Depot
60 lb bag Sakrete Concrete Mix (Yields 0.45 cubic feet)
$ 3.24

$ 45.43
Gorilla Metals
Square Tub 1 x 1 1 0.065 (per ft)
$ 1.37

$ 109.25
Gorilla Metals
Square Tube 1.25 x 1.25 x 0.065 (per ft)
$ 2.19

$ 87.40
Gorilla Metals
Band Sawing Labor
$ 40.00

$ 40.00
Midwest Steel and Aluminum
Steel Sheets 16 gauge 4 x 4
$ 0.96
$ 18.62
$ 39.77

$ -
Harbor Freight
Ring Roller
$ 76.46

$ 76.46
Midwest Steel and Aluminum
Hot Roll Steel Flat Bar
$ 0.99
$ 43.00
$ 122.53
Grade 8 Steel, 5/16"-18 Thread Size, 2" Long, Fully Threaded (10 per pack)
$ 9.66

$ 96.58
High-Strength Steel Hex Nut - 100
$ 5.36

$ 5.36

$ 1,447.11

Table 1: Small Scale Track and Manufacturing BOM

For the rest of the meeting, our team is preparing for the Spartan Superway Lightning talks.