During my internship I was tasked with designing new rollers for a submerged arc welding system. My proposed design doubled the previous design’s factor of safety when considering loading conditions, and also included a containment system to eliminate the possibility of having an object fall out of the stands while welding.
My capstone team was challenged with the task of creating a functional prototype space dust collector. This dust collector will attach to a high altitude balloon and must expose a pair of collection pads while inside a given altitude window. The collector must also continually rotate while collecting. The system must be operated completely by mechanical means other than an electric motor that rotates the assembly. As the teams’ design engineer, I created a design which meets these technical requirements through the use of a system of gears. As the assembly begins to rotate, two actions occur. The first is that a set of spur gears travel around a stationary gear. The rotation of these spur gears is then translated through several sets of gears and eventually opens two housing doors. While this is occurring, threads between the rotating arm and the stationary gear unscrew. As the threads unscrew, the rotating assembly is pushed outwards, until the spur gears no longer engage with the stationary gear. At this point the threads will have also disengaged, and the system is free to rotate for the duration of the collection period. To close the system, the direction of rotation is reversed. The threads reengage, which in turn reengages the gears, and closes the housing doors. The team has created a 3D printed prototype that proved the concept, and we are currently in the process of fabricating this final product.