Shoemakers Academy Coursework

In an ongoing effort to continue to learn about the shoe-making and designing process, I have enrolled in a number of courses offered through Shoemakers Academy. Upon completion of the specific courses, a certificate is provided to indicate completion. Below are the certificates and some highlights of things that I have learned through that specific course:

Shoe Making for Brand Builders and Designers

This was a great course for beginners. It gave the basics to know what goes into designing a shoe.

How to Calculate Footwear Costs

Having never designed a pair of shoes, seeing the expenses that go into a shoe was very eye-opening. Everything from the creation of the shoe by a foreign manufacturer, to shipping, to storing in a warehouse was all covered.

Footwear Fitting and Comfort

This was a great course that went over exactly what is encapsulated in the name. The fact that lasts for each shoe size is needed and that it isn’t just a simple scaling of dimensions was something that I wasn’t expecting.

Calculating Footwear Specifications

This was a course that I think brought me much more into the inner workings of working in footwear. Learning not only what the engineering drawing equivalent is in footwear, but also how to make a good one is something that will help me no matter where I end up working.

I look forward to continuing this education through Shoemakers Academy to continue to make myself more of a competitive candidate when applying for shoe-related jobs.

A Life-Saving Update to a Life Monitoring Device

WHY THIS PROJECT?

While my wife was pregnant with our first child, her water broke prematurely at 23 weeks. We hurried off to a hospital to see what was going on. Once we got to the hospital they told us that she would be on bed rest at the hospital until the baby came. While she was there she had to do many tests, one of the most common ones being a nonstress test.

During a nonstress test, two monitors are kept tight against the woman’s belly. They are either held down by straps or by a compression sock that goes around the woman’s torso. Once the two are strapped down, one of the monitors is used to track the woman’s contractions, and the other is used to track the baby’s heart rate. It must be placed over the baby’s heart and if the baby moves, the monitor must be moved as well. This requires a nurse to come back into the room to replace the monitor so that it is over the baby’s heart again. Sometimes this can take up to an hour while the nurse tries to find the right positioning to get a strong reading on the baby’s heartbeat. The other one that is used to monitor the woman’s contractions has fewer rules as to where it must be placed and usually does not require replacement. This monitor is usually placed in less than twenty seconds.

My wife ended up spending 66 days in the hospital before our baby boy was born. The first three days were spent on what is called “continuous monitoring” which means exactly what the name implies, that the monitors were on her 24/7. If she wanted to go to the bathroom, she had to call in a nurse to unplug the monitors from the nonstress test machine and then have the nurse reposition the monitors as necessary once she had come back to the bed. After those first few days, the monitoring requirements went down to an hour twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, with extra time added if our baby moved and “went off monitor” or if he had abnormal fluctuations in his heartbeat. However, even with those updated monitoring times, we still spent a lot of time asking nurses to come back to readjust the monitor, and the nurses spent a lot of time trying to find where our baby had moved to.

Because of all of this, I thought that the current process could use a new design.

HOW MIGHT WE STATEMENTS

With all this time that the nurses spent in our hospital room with us, I had a lot of time to talk with a few of them about what a good design would need to do and/or have to be considered a good design. It had to be something they would want to use even though there would be a bit of a learning curve for something new. Based on the things that they talked about, I came up with the following “How Might We” statements:

  • How might I design a monitor that doesn’t require the nurses to come in so often?
  • How might I design a monitor that is easier to attach and remove from the pregnant women it is used on?
  • How might I design a monitor that can be used on women no matter how far along they are or how large their belly is?

PREPARATION/PROCESS

I spent some time ideating things that could be designed to help out with this whole process. Below are just some drawings of the designs that I thought could work:

Figure 1: Drawings of ideas that I thought
might be able to satisfy the
“How Might We” statements.

Starting from top to bottom, here is an explanation of the ideas presented above. The top two drawings represent a semisphere of preformed plastic. It would have multipe sensors embedded within the plastic. This would be placed on the woman’s belly and would allow for different sensors to activate if the baby moved at all. An adjustable elastic band would attach to the left and right side of the plastic dome and keep it on the woman’s belly. The middle two drawings represent a larger sensor housing body. Once again this would have multiple sensors so that if the baby moved around at all there would still be a chance that the baby could remain on the sensor. This would be attached using the current method of either a large compression sleeve or elastic bands. The bottom row represents a blanket-like material that would have various sensors on it as well. It would be attached via a zipper on the back.

As I was coming up with this ideas, I would share them with the nurses that were helping my wife with her stay. I felt good about these ideas since they all had extra sensors which I felt would help out a lot with the first “How Might We” statement. In my mind, sensors would constantly be reading, and it would be an average of the sensors that were picking up on the baby’s heart rate that would be displayed on the sensor monitor. If the baby moved, the sensors that contributed to the average would also change thus adapting to the movements of the baby. This would make it so that the nurses wouldn’t have to come in often if the baby moved.

From there, I started to evaluate these ideas based on the second “How Might We” statement. The larger cylinder idea has merit as it would be familiar to the nurses. There wouldn’t need to be any new training or learning curve with using a new device. However, there would still be some time required to find where the baby is initially. So while there is some benefit of familiarity with placing this kind of sensor, it was excluded from the final design since it wasn’t as easy to use as the other two ideas. The adjustable strap of the plastic dome idea and the zipper of the blanket idea both were viewed as easy ways to attach the monitors to the patient.

Lastly I looked at the final “How Might We” statement. When thinking of the preformed plastic, if we were to make a preformed plastic dome for every size of woman’s belly that came in, therer would be a lot of storage space required. However, with the blanket, you would only need a small, medium and large size.

THE FINAL IDEA

After evaluating the ideas based on the “How Might We” statements and talking with the nurses, I decided that the blanket idea would be the best I went about designing what the idea might actually look like. The following drawings show the ideation and selection of what the final design would look like:

Figure 2: Ideation for monitor head design and how they would be placed along the blanket
Figure 3: Ideation for sizes of blankets that wuold be used.
Figure 4: Initial drawing of final design

With this final design, I believe that it would accomplish the “How Might We” statements the best. There are multiple monitors so even if the baby moves, the nurses don’t need to come in to replace the sensor. The blanket would be easy to wrap around the patient and the zipper allows for a easy attachment. Lastly the storage for the blanket would be minimal while maximizing the number of people that it could be used on.

The nurses did give some feedback once they saw the initial drawing up in Figure 4. They mentioned how they would prefer the zipper to be accessible from the side of the patient rather than the back. Due to that feedback, I got rid of half of the sensors so that the sensors on the patient’s back wouldn’t get readings that would interfere with the readings from the sensors on the patient’s belly. The darker blue lines indicate a stretch material that would be tight to ensure that the sensors would be tight to the woman’s body once the zipper has been done up. Below is the drawing of the design after I got the feedback from the nurses.

Figure 5: Drawing of the final design

Things I’ve learned about Design: Marketing Pulls versus Engineering Pushes

While I’ve been at Ultradent, I’ve been learning a lot about how we as designers decide what to design for the market. Sometimes the market will dictate that an update needs to be made in a certain way. Sometimes R&D will develop a solution to a problem that no one has thought of yet. Both are legitimate paths to designing something new and sending it out to the market.

I’ve known about The BYU Design Review for quite some time now and have always thought that it would be fun to write an article and get it published on their site. A few weeks ago I was asked if I would be willing to write an article for them and was ecstatic! I choose to write about the new things that I had been learning at Ultradent and thus this article was born. You can find it at the link below:

https://www.designreview.byu.edu/collections/marketing-pulls-verses-engineering-pushes

Let me know in the comments what you think and any ideas or insights that you have on this article!

President of the BYU Engineering Design Club

This last school year, I have been the BYU Engineering Design Club president. During this time I have seen a lot of growth within the club as we have gone through our first full year of clubs being allowed to meet in person, which was banned due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Originally the club presidency was limited to four members: a club president, two vice-presidents, and a secretary. During my time, we expanded the club presidency to six members: club president, vice-president, secretary, marketing, communications, and activity director. With this expansion, roles were more clearly defined which allowed for people to focus on specific actions that would help the club grow both in attendance and quality. With these new roles added, we also created a training system so that when new presidency members came into the presidency positions, they could have a reference so that they could know how to excel in their position.

During this last year, we saw our numbers rise with many people coming to be a part of the JV Team as well as a club-sponsored Student Innovator of the Year competition team. Between the two teams, there was an average of thirteen people coming each week. Our highest attendance was when our sponsor company Rocketship came to talk with us. During that meeting, we had about twenty-five people in attendance. Over the course of the school year, we also had twenty people come and attend the club for the first time.

One other major event that took place that I was a major part of was the first-ever BYU Engineering Design Club JV design competition. The students that were a part of the JV team worked to complete a conceptual design and then present it to our academic advisors who then judged them and gave them feedback on how to better their designs.

Throughout the school year, I held weekly meetings to plan and organize the club’s activities as well as update and inform the faculty advisors of what we were doing and how things were doing. I was also once again in charge of the JV team and the instruction that took place within. The curriculum generally stayed the same from the previous year with small changes that were made after going through and teaching it before when I was Vice-President of this club. We also sent out a survey in December to enlist feedback from the club members so that we could make sure that we were hitting the needs that they had when it came to learning about design, rather than just providing for what we perceived their needs to be.

Portfolio

Now that another semester has ended, I have had the wonderful opportunity to update my portfolio to showcase some of the amazing things that I have been able to work on. Please click below for a PDF version of my portfolio.

While this is my official portfolio, more examples of my work can be found on this website.

Shoe Tread Analysis

For my final FEA report, I was to run an analysis on something of my choosing. Due to my desire for wanting to go into the shoe industry and run FEA studies to make shoes better, I felt that this was a perfect time to get my feet wet doing just that.

For this analysis, I looked at four different tread patterns and sought to learn which would deflect the least, which in my mind, meant that the shoe provided more grip when a basketball player was moving around on the court.

The report can either be viewed in the viewer below, or the link below the viewer can be clicked and you can download a copy of the report.

Through this attempt, I felt like I learned a lot. Initially, I thought that modeling the shoe tread and the forces that are present on them would be easy, however, that assumption was wrong. Determining how much force and how the force was applied turned out to be more difficult than I initially expected. Also, during the analysis, I tried to simplify the treads down so that I didn’t need to model as many. While this was effective in saving time, I am concerned that it has therefore invalidated the analysis. Further research and talking with industry professionals would be required to better understand if my analysis is valid or not.

Rod Spring Back Analysis

After wrapping a rod around a mandrel there will inevitably be some amount of spring back that happens. In this study, I sought to use FEA to predict the spring back of aluminum rods after they had been wrapped around a circular mandrel.

The report can either be viewed in the viewer below, or the link below the viewer can be clicked and you can download a copy of the report.

Centrifugal Clutch Study

For this analysis, I was asked to calculate the deflection of the arm of a centrifugal clutch based on angular rotation. To do so, I developed equations to calculate the deflection of the clutch as a function of the rotational speed.

Within the FEA model, parts of the clutch model were cut away to make the analysis simpler. Which parts were cutaway is shown on the first page of the report.

The report can either be viewed in the viewer below, or the link below the viewer can be clicked and you can download a copy of the report.

FEA Efficiency Study Regarding Large Deflections

For this report, I was asked to simulate a 3D printed PLA cantilever beam that is 150 mm long with a cross-section of 1mm x 10 mm. At the end of the beam, a transverse end load at a range of force magnitudes would be present. I was then to compare the predicted deflection to the linear and nonlinear FEA analysis. Below is the report that I wrote up after completing the analysis.

Mechanical System Design Applications and Learning About Finite Element Analysis

In my final semester of college, I am looking forward to taking a class that I have been excited about for over a year now. It is a class that goes further in-depth learning about mechanical system design, as can be inferred by the name, and also builds upon the knowledge of finite element analysis that we obtained in a previous class that is required at BYU. Over the course of the semester, we will write reports regarding the analysis that we perform and what is learned through doing it. This will culminate with a final project performed as we analyze something of our choosing. While I work on these and submit them, I will post them here to show examples of the work that I am able to do!

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