Sunday, April 15, 2012
Personal Reflection - Dan Suchyta
As a whole ME250 has taught me a lot and I have thoroughly enjoyed the class. Before I would have had absolutely no idea how to start machining anything, but now I feel like I understand the design process much better and have become a pro on the mill and lathe. I have had previous experience with CATIA as far as designing goes, but I learned a lot of cool tricks on Solidworks and now know how to assemble parts together, which was something I never learned how to do in CATIA. Never before have I done calculations and design something before making it. Usually I've just jumped right into building because no parts needed to be machined, they were just there and only assembly was required. But now I suppose those days of Legos and such are over and more design and thought needs to be put in before assembling which was a big lesson I learned from taking ME250. There were a couple times during the machining process that drawing were messed up or dimensions were not correct and as result a lot of time was wasted machining those parts, time which could have been better spent assembling and testing the robot and perfecting it as opposed to assembling it days before the ball tower competition. I never realized how important design and drawings were until this moment, but ever since I have been very careful to make the drawings precise as well as the calculations used to make the drawings. On another note, another thing I took for granted was how precise parts had to be. One should never assume that 1/4'' bearings and 1/4'' shafts are going to fit perfectly together because they are never machined or made into exactly the dimension they are advertised. I never would have thought that 1/1000 of an inch would make that big of a difference, but as we found with our drive train it made a huge difference as big as keeping the shaft from turning altogether. But once the shafts were sanded down and the bushings were reamed the shaft spun much better than before. All of these things i have mentioned I will definitely keep in mind when taking ME350, and just machining in general for future jobs. This is why I am very appreciative of what ME250 has to offer, real world experience as a class. It teaches you how to take what we learn in what I will call "textbook classes" and use it to designs and manufacture something just like one would in a business in the work world. Lectures for ME250 were also a very interesting part of the course. I definitely enjoyed learning how a drive train works and differentials as well. Learning about the different components of a drive trains works from the motor to the gears, to other implements turned out to be very beneficial when building our robot and calculating how fast we wanted our robot to move as opposed to how much power through torque we wanted our machine to have. Also, how to appropriately make drawings was a beneficial part to the class as it is something i will be able to take with me to a job in design or use should I decide to take a job in manufacturing instead. We learned about how different products are machined and produced in lectures to which I also found beneficial, because the design process of our machine was a lot less complicated than machines that make moldings or devices used in rapid manufacturing. I feel that learning about these processes now was very helpful in figuring out what to expect when mass producing something. From brainstorming ideas, to making a design to carry out our strategy, to building the physical model itself, I enjoyed ever part of ME250 and I can't wait to work on something even more interested and maybe even more complicated in ME350 next year.