No Pain With All the Gain

Many have had the unfortunate experience of trying to pick out their morning toast and consequently burning their fingers on the toaster because their toast isn’t tall enough or the toaster doesn’t bring it up high enough for there to be enough room to grab their toast. That is where this design for a new toaster comes in. As part of my product design class, I spent time creating a conceptual design for a new toaster that would be wide enough for pieces like homemade bread and bagels to fit into the toaster without issue and the basket would rise high enough that even your small slices of toast can be brought high enough to grab.

Since this design was mostly conceptual, iteration was through multiple drawings. Those drawings as well as pictures of my final design can be found in the report below.

A Stationary Design for Those Always on the Move

In my product design class, we were tasked with looking at the Quad Lock family of products and identifying one that we believed we could make an iteration of that would address an issue of the current state. Following that decision, we would prototype, get feedback from potential end users, and then create a report regarding our proposed change.

I initially started by looking through Quad Lock’s website to find negative reviews and then brainstorming ideas on how to fix those voiced issues by verified users. I found their Desk Mount Kit and decided to iterate that due to many negative complaints regarding the difficulty of removing the phone and wireless charging making an obnoxious electrical sound. I then took to Amazon to see what kinds of phone stand people currently like.

Once I felt that I had a pretty good grasp of what the market was wanting, I began to sketch out some ideas before creating them in SolidWorks. After creating my design in SolidWorks I had the models 3D printed so that I could get feedback from possible end users so that I could iterate my design.

The final design moved away from the bulky quad-lock feature and moved to four magnets to make it easier to attach and remove the phone from the stand. To fix the wireless charging electric noise, I removed the wireless charger and made an area where a charging cord could be routed to the user’s charging port.

Below is the report that I wrote that has a more in-depth discussion of what happened throughout this process.

Assembly Design

Recently I was given a task to design a stand that would hold a display and the PCB that controlled it. While there was a past version of it, due to changes in the display that stand would no longer work. After looking to the previous design for ideas and obtaining all of the necessary design constraints from the software engineers who requested this stand, I set to work. I drew each initial part before starting in on the 3D modeling process.


Drawing out everything and paying attention to the details of where holes were located helped to make sure that the 3D modeling phase went much quicker. After the initial design of the individual pieces had been completed, I put them all into an assembly to view how the pieces interacted with one another. Using the interference detection in SolidWorks allowed me to know for a fact whether or not the parts could be assembled together without impinging on one another.

After an initial design was created, it was shown to the software engineers who requested design changes. Iteration took place and eventually the model below was created.

Pipsqueak Engine

While at BYU, during the mechanical engineering program, students are required to take a class called Manufacturing Processes. In this class, you learn about different manufacturing processes as the name suggests, but you also are given a semester-long project to create a pipsqueak engine with a team. With my team, we used one member’s design and then manufactured the parts with various manufacturing processes.

One of our parts, our flywheel, was created, initially, using sand casting. This was our first iteration of the flywheel. We tried two more times, however, the results were generally the same. This was due to us not being able to sufficiently pack the sand enough to keep the original parts shape. Due to this, the picture below was not what we ended up using, and you can see what we used in the video at the bottom

Many of our parts were made on the lathe. Most of our piston was made on the lathe and our shaft was also made on the lathe. Below you can see the drive shaft that went from the crank wheel to the fly wheel.

We also used a manual mill for many of our parts. Both of our uprights as well as the baseplate were made using the manual mill to face and drill the holes required.

At the end of the semester, we had to have our pipsqueak engine built. Once they were built, they were used in a competition to see whose pipsqueak engine could run on the lowest air pressure. While this video does not reflect the lowest psi that our pipsqueak engine could be run at, we did end up tying for first place in our lab section.

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