This was developed as part of a collaboration between Ben Giudice of George Fox University and Dr. Jim Brenner of FIT.
Generate Good Times (Come On!): Entrepreneurially Minded Making in Fluid Mechanics
One of the best ways to combat viruses that spread through surface contact is through the regular, proper washing of hands. While the CDC recommends washing hands for at least 20 seconds, studies have shown that the average amount of time people actually do is just 6 seconds! You just started a new internship at a consumer electronics company. They have an idea for a consumer product that will attach to faucets and use lights and sound to encourage both kids and adults to wash for an entire 20 seconds. They’ve asked you to develop a prototype that uses a generator to develop the voltage necessary so as to avoid the need for batteries.
While it is common practice to see making and rapid prototyping incorporated into freshman introductory classes and senior capstone experiences, it is less common to see it in traditionally lecture based/theoretical classes or those taught in the sophomore or junior year. This project is best implemented in a junior level fluid mechanics class, though it could be used in a freshman introductory class as well. The project highlights curiosity, connections, and creating value while increasing student confidence and experience with making technology and rapid prototyping. The project is designed for students in teams of 3-4 to complete over the course of 3-4 weeks, and requires 3 class periods over this period to deploy.
The project is broken into two parts: Part 1 is the prototyping phase (a hands-on design exercise) and Part 2 is a product development exercise.
In Part 1, students in the class design and prototype a small consumer device that
1) must attach to a garden hose connection;
2) must interface with an instructor-provided generator and light some up LEDs;
3) can use any prototyping method, including 3D printing, for blades or an impeller, and can use designs from online CAD drawing libraries such as GitHub;
4) must have CAD-drawn parts and employ a manufacturing method other than 3D printing for other parts (housing, attachment, etc.), such as wood, plastic, or metal laser cutting, machine or wood shop methods, and/or a water jet.
The device will be tested to measure the voltage generated.
The device should be developed as if it was intended to be a novelty consumer product. In Part 2, questions students will have to answer include: How much did it cost to make (bill of materials)? If you included engineering, shipping, marketing, distribution, service, and profit, how much would it retail for? Students will have to identify and consider any unexpected or better opportunities than a kitchen sink or outdoor hose to use the product or a similar product. For example, in what other settings could a generator be used to extract useful energy that is currently wasted? Finally, if implemented in a Fluid Mechanics class, what principles from your fluid mechanics class were demonstrated by your product's performance?
Students prepare a document including a brief introduction, a summary of the design and rapid prototyping process, photos of the device, machine shop and makerspace technologies and techniques used, testing results, opportunity and market identification (and answers to questions above), and finally recommendations for improvements.
The learning objectives of this project include:
- Design a fluid-powered electricity generating device
- Create a prototype of the device
- Gain experience with equipment used for making
- Test the prototype and iterate the design to make improvements
- Investigate the market for the device
- Evaluate noneconomic factors, costs, and benefits of the device
- Communicate the design to a client and your peers in engineering and economic terms
Entrepreneurially minded learning outcomes are discussed below.
This project is designed to be able to be run for anything from a freshman-level introduction to engineering or introduction to making class to a junior level fluid mechanics course. The project might best be implemented in a fluid mechanics course, and if so materials are included to help connect the class material and theoretical course content to the project, but these are not required if implemented in an introductory class. If run in a fluid mechanics class, it would best be implemented after conservation of energy has been covered, and either during or after conservation of momentum has been covered. Three complete class periods over a period of three to four weeks would be devoted to the project. The first session will involve a description of the project and its deployment. The second session will involve discussion of progress and the engineering design process, along with how they relate to the entrepreneurial mindset. The third session will be for the final demonstration.
This activity is geared toward students who should have already been exposed to CAD drawing, wiring & soldering, 3D printing, laser cutting, and machine shop skills. It is geared to provide a reminder of such skills between their initial learning and senior capstone design.
Before the project starts, students should be trained/certified in using the required equipment. An example of this might be to form teams during the first week of class, and make it an assignment that each person on the team get certified in at least one or two pieces of making equipment (and, at a minimum, have at least one student certified in 3D printing and laser cutting, with machine and wood shop certification recommended).
If students are missing any of the prerequisite skills necessary for this project, they need to get certified on 3D printing and laser cutting first.
Going through the laser cutting and 3D printing through the L3 Harris Student Design Center (L3HSDC) is step 1 in this activity. To register for 3D printing, laser cutting, soldering, and other training through the L3HSDC, start out by going to https://form.jotform.com/201956015628052. I realize that some of you have your own 3D printers. The 3D printer training through the L3HSDC is still worthwhile.
When you have completed such training, send Dr. Jim Brenner (email@example.com)
All students registering for any of my Honors Activities need to see the following file: brennerhonorsactivities.zip
Within that .zip file, find the brennerhonorsactivitydescriptions.docx for all of my Honors Option activities. Syllabi for my courses are also included in the .zip file. Honors-Option-Contract-Brenner.pdf within the .zip file has some instructions that will make life for you and particularly for the Honors College faculty far more streamlined. Within the Honors-Option-Contract-Brenner.pdf file, there is a reference to HonorsActivityBrenner.xlsx. On that form, I want you to check the box for the activity that you are doing and which class it applies to. Note that some activities do not count for certain classes because they are expected for non-honors students in those classes.
L3HSDC Certification Course: Laser Cutting (instructure.com)
L3HSDC Certification Course: 3D Printing (instructure.com)
Each team of 3-4 students will require some materials in order to build their prototype. We recommend that the student teams be given a $50-75 budget for materials per team, although the project can be done for as little as $10-20 per team. Additionally, we recommend that instructors provide the generators, so that each student has the same generator in their design. Given the short timeline for the project, we also recommend that certain materials be in stock and on hand so that students will not have to order them and wait for them to arrive. These are documented in more detail in the Materials Guide.
For more information and detail, refer to the included Instructor's Guide in the resources below. The instructor's guide includes information on how to deploy the project for a remote variation, and references the Example Prototype Guide for project-specific details on this.
Generate Good Times (Come On!)_ Entrepreneurially Minded Making in Fluid Mechanics--Assessment Rubrics.zip
Generate Good Times (Come On!)_ Entrepreneurially Minded Making in Fluid Mechanics--Example Prototype.zip
Generate Good Times (Come On!)_ Entrepreneurially Minded Making in Fluid Mechanics--Handouts for Students.zip
Generate Good Times (Come On!)_ Entrepreneurially Minded Making in Fluid Mechanics--Materials Guide.zip
Servo motor shield also works for DC and stepper motors: https://www.ebay.com/itm/183783988127
Instructions: https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-motor-shield and https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-motor-shield/downloads (Note that the site will tell you to go to a newer version of the Adafruit motor shield, but that is not the one that I am specifying.):
Go to the Canvas folders marked servomotor and steppermotor and download all files in those folders.
Download and install all of the following under Sketch/Include Library/Add .zip Library: AccelStepper.zip, AFmotor.zip
Adafruit-Motor-Shield-library.zip (This version has the number of steps set for our stepper motor to 4075.77 in all of the .ino files.). Unzip this, and find Motor Party within the examples.
All students registering for any of my Honors Activities need to follow the following instructions:
- Student Initiates the process: “Submit an Honors Option Contract” at https://www.fit.edu/honors-college/honors-curriculum/ using a TRACKSlogin@fit.edu (omit "my" from the email address) as login name and TRACKS password.
- Student uploads the course syllabus and submits the request.
- Course Instructor is notified via email and Teams to review the request.
- If approved, Course Instructor enters the Honors Option contract requirements in “Comments” box on the form prior to approving the contract (via email or Teams).
- Honors College reviews the request.
- If approved by Honors College, the course Instructor is sent a request to complete the final report for Honors Option Contract at the end of the semester.
- If the student has successfully completed the Honors Option Contract requirements, the Registrar is notified to enter Honors Option annotation on the student's transcript.
In addition to Prof. Subasi's instructions that apply to all Honors Option Contracts for anyone, see the following:
Picking a subject from that pre-approved list means that no one needs to review the specifics of any particular student's Honors project.
Excel attachment: Fill in the appropriate cell on the attached spreadsheet to indicate which course and which Honors Activity you choose.
Go to HonorsActivityBrenner.xlsx. On that form, I want you to fill the box yellow for the activity that you are doing and which class it applies to. Note that some activities do not count for certain classes because they are expected for non-honors students in those classes.