Mentor Visit Assessment 4

 

This mentor visit was extremely important for my final product. We made significant progress on my product and laying out the specific future steps I need to complete in order to create my product.

The first thing we did was look over my finalized requirements list and see if there are any changes that need to be made. After all I was the only one working on the requirements so there is plenty of things I could have easily forgotten or simply overlooked which happened to be the case. I forgot to include cost, safety and environment. I ended up breaking down environment into temperature, radiation, etc because it is hard to categorize all of these different aspects into just one requirement. Safety is the big category I forgot to include. Now I need to look into the reliability of certain materials and exoskeleton companies because some new composites may be very promising but they have not undergone the necessary research and testing to be reliable, so I really should not end up using it as my finalized material for the exoskeleton.

To finish the material part of my final product all I need to do is rank the different materials against my new requirements and I can select my final material. I can finally put material science aside and dedicate all my time to design engineering and software design.

Speaking of design software, we made a lot of headway in this area. We discussed what we both visualized when we were talking about the exoskeleton and came up with a few initial sketches and physical blueprints, something to convey our ideas before trying to translate it to design software, ensuring we are on the same page about the final product. Mr. Ekpete also recommended that I should look into “off the shelf” products when constructing and designing the product. There are many products currently being used in private and public industries that have nothing to do with exoskeleton and engineering that could easily translate to my product and design.

I also need to reach out to the CTE center to figure out the 3D software they use to determine what design software I should use to ease the transition to 3D printers. Once I figure out the software the next step will be getting in contact with someone who specializes or is at least fluent in that design software so they can help me convert my sketches into an online blueprint. Once I get the blueprint complete, my final product is basically done because printing should not be a problem.

We also discussed where the PLSS load would be, specifically whether the weight would be on the lower lumbar region or dispersed between the upper back and the lumbar area. I also proposed evening out the weight load for the front and the back of the body, making the center of mass more in line with a regular human body, preventing the wearer from tipping backwards. I need to come up with a ratio and keep that in mind when it comes time to use the online software to create my blueprint.

Going forward, I have still a very important chunk of my final presentation left to do. I must get the design aspect complete. Although I currently have physical sketches from numerous points of view to illustrate what I imagined the product would look like, the actual online design is significantly more important and is crucial to my final product coming together. I also need to research how large I can make my exoskeleton model based on the capabilities of the 3D printer and scale the model based on that. I’m guessing the largest individual piece will the piece that supports the back of the femur, the largest bone. Once I figure this out, I can mess with the scale to create the best 3D model of my product.

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