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    Week 5 – Midterm Project Proposal

    2010 - 02.27

    Mechanisms Midterm Project Proposal

    February. 25, 2010

    For my midterm project I would like to make a electric generator using steam. The components that I will need are a heat source, boiler, piping, turbine, electric generator,  and a electrical output.

    The heat source will a propane torch.  This can be purchased at Home Depot for about $45 with propane tank.  I will also use the torch to solder the piping together.  The boiler will either be a found item that can suit the requirements of a boiler or I will make a boiler out of copper piping and caps.   I will need a 2 inch copper pipe with 2 inch copper caps.  The total cost for these parts is $24.  For the turbine I plan to convert an air grinder into a turbine motor.  I am hoping the boiler can build enough pressure to power the air grinder.  The air grinder will cost nothing because I have an air grinder that I can convert.  I plan on using an electric motor for the generator.  I have plenty of motors to choose from and will have to see which one will work best.  I will need a linkage from the air grinder to the electric motor.  I plan on using spare parts that I have to create the linkage.  I then use a light to show the energy being create by the generator.  The total cost for this project will be around $90 half of this is for the propane torch.  I also allowing $21 for fittings and scrap metal.


    February 25 – March 1…. Order supplies

    March 2 – 4……………….Construct Boiler

    March 5 – 6……………….Pressure test boiler and adjust if needed and construct turbine and motor linkage

    March 7.….……………….Attach Turbine (Air Grinder) to boiler, assemble and attach linkage to turbine and motor

    March 8…………………..Troubleshoot any problems

    March 9…………………..Troubleshooting

    March 10………………….Mount and fix components to base, connect output light

    March 11………………….Present

    Week 4 – Open Questions

    2010 - 02.23

    I was looking into energy densities.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_density

    I wanted to know if it would be possible to use other elements as a power source.  I looking into using hydrogen peroxide or a alcohol such as methane, or ethanol.  These alternative fuels have a denser energy mass then does the best battery technology.  The one thing these alternative fuels will need is a motor generator to turn the fuel into electricity.

    Week 5 – Midterm Proposal

    2010 - 02.23

    For my midterm project I would like to stimulate a rocket taking off.  I will be using particles for the rockets tail.  I envision the rocket sitting on the launch pad waiting to takeoff.  The user will then click the mouse and start the countdown.  The rocket’s particles will then intensify  and the rocket will takeoff.

    Here is a 3D animation I made that shows what I am thinking about.

    Rocket from Russell de la Torre on Vimeo.

    Week 4 – Mousetrap Racer

    2010 - 02.18

    For our Mechanisms class Kody and I had to create a Mousetrap Racer. The requirements were:

    • Make a car powered only by 1 Victor brand mousetrap (NOT rat trap)
    • No electricity allowed
    • The goal is to travel 10 feet.
    • There are no specific size, material, or weight requirements. However, it should be able to fit next to 2 other cars inside the class room.
    • The only human interaction should be to trigger/start the car.
    • Fastest car wins

    Using these rules we knew that the racer had to be as light as possible to efficiently transfer the potential energy into speed.

    We used the actually mousetrap as the cars chassis.  For the back wheels, we made wooden wheels out of scraps wood and attach rubber strips to the wheels for traction.  The front wheel was made out of a ping pong ball and again we attach a rubber strip for traction.  The front wheel has a aluminum shaft with a wooden dowel through it.  This aluminum shaft and dowel assembly acts as a bearing for the front wheel.

    The car’s acceleration is really fast. We took 1st place in our class competition!

    Mousetrap Racer Test #1 from Russell de la Torre on Vimeo.