Written by Nik Paradis
Alas, all the parts we need have arrived for both the electrical and mechanical design. Hooray.
Many of the mechanical parts we needed were custom machined. Although, we scored a pretty sweet deal with some company who offered to give us free work since we're a school team (the bill would have been around $800)! After assembling all of the mechanical components, the prototype looks quite similar to the photo in the first blog post. We have about 2-3 minor modifications that need to be made, but those work orders have already been put in well before this update. One of those parts happens to be required for the torsional spring, so although the handle pivots and moves up and down, we need to still test which spring will require the optimal amount of force to lower and retract smoothly. Aside from that and an incorrect handle size, everything has gone quite smoothly!
Although we are a bit behind on where we intended to be as of today, we're quite hopeful the electrical testing will progress rather quickly. One of the critical factors with these tests is safety, so having fire-proof electrical boxes and an insulated testing area are a must. Once the circuitry is complete, we will need to ensure the heating element gets up to the desired temperature. This should be done in the next few days but will only happen once the circuit controls the voltage and current as we expect it to. The final step will be to house the electrical under the base platform and ensure the wiring holds up, there's adequate thermal insulation and finally, the user interface (LEDs, on/off button, etc.) will be put into place.
T-9 days until we present to the instructors. If all goes well, we'll have another update in the next few days/weeks. We'll keep you posted!