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Homework Help: Do you have any ideas for an engineering project?

  1. Nov 27, 2017 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I am going to get a project in 1-2 weeks about me finding ideas for a project. Basically I need to come up with an idea for a project that solves a possible problem that could exist in my school or elsewhere. I have not been told about parameters yet, I dont think I have any but I want to know ideas I could likely use since I choose what project I do. I would like if it is something I could use for myself if possible but it needs to be very simple since I have very little engineering experience and I am terrible with my hands. Please make a list of several ideas to choose from so I can pick which ever I think I would most easily be able to do. BTW we have a 3d printer, some electronic tools and wood working tools

    2. Relevant equations
    Currently none

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I was thinking I could make a simple cart to carry things but I would need it to be something I can easily bring home. I live a 10 minute walk from school that goes through a forest or if I use an alternate route it'd be 15+ minuets
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2017 #2


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    Do you have any resources, like an Arduino or something?
    It could be useful, fun, and you would definitely learn a lot.
  4. Nov 27, 2017 #3
    No I do not, the class is primarily a basic mechanical engineering class but I can do non programming required electronic or mechanical projects that I can easily buy all I need for cheap. I do not know programming other than HTML.
  5. Nov 27, 2017 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    This might be a good idea, depending on what the project parameters turn out to be. If the path through the forest is a dirt path, you will need larger wheels than if you travel along paved sidewalks.

    How long is 15+ minuets? Some minuets are a lot longer than others. Maybe you meant "minute". :oldbiggrin:

    Which isn't really programming. It's a markup language that is used to control how text, images, and so on are displayed in a web page.
  6. Nov 27, 2017 #5
    Either way I was also thinking I could do an electric lighter since I started one already a while ago, and never finished. Anyway do you guys have ideas as to what other projects I cwould do
  7. Nov 27, 2017 #6


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    This is a civil / mechanical / hvac problem.
    Do you have any doors in your school that pop open randomly or are hard to close? In large buildings often air pressure differentials can cause doors to randomly open or close, which can lead to injuries or at the very least inconvenience. If you have any such areas you can go about measuring air pressure in certain areas and then determine what type of pumps and such would be needed to decrease or increase air pressure in a certain area. You could then model this mathematically (if required for your project) through some differential equations. If you want to get really in depth you can look into your buildings current hvac system, and make recommended changes in the duct-work.

    The beauty of this project is it can be entirely hands on, or have very complicated math analysis depending on how deep you want to go.

    At its simplest level, it would just involve some differential equations.
  8. Nov 27, 2017 #7


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    Note: you don't need to actually make changes to your building and it doesnt need to be complicated

    For example:

    room A and room B are separated by a door. Room A has 1000 cubic meters of air. Room B has 2000 cubic meters of air. The current air pressure differential between A and B is XPSI. To decrease this number down to Y psi we need a pump to remove x cubic meters per second. You can then do all sorts of analysis, talk about the required control systems, talk about the effect this would have on the current heating system, etc. You can determine what type of pump would actually be needed. Do analysis on the minimum required pressure differential and max allowed. cater the amount of work to what type of project it is. (a one week project, semester long, big group, etc). This won't require very much hands on work (as in building things). It would require you to take measurements, be a scientist and setup experiments to determine pressure, etc.
  9. Nov 27, 2017 #8


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    This could work too
  10. Nov 27, 2017 #9
    That is not an issue in my school, but great idea.

    I was also thinking I could do a winch or something to clear debris of some sort. Maybe I could have it be a hand crank that can be used to clear wood debris or logs since in the forest there are some blocking the path but I have to be able to test it on something inside the building.
  11. Nov 27, 2017 #10


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    That would work. The key to a project like this for a low level class is finding something that you are able to complete in a timely manner that you can apply some of the things you learned. Engineering proffesors would love it if you added some math into the report for your winch!
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